Walked 31.4 km, 6 hours 36 minutes
Ascent: 680 meters
Descend: 600 meters
Kilometers to be traveled: 54.2
The full alberge wakes up early again, only a few stay a little longer, a few were up and away very early. But I am actually in the large group of wakeers, without turning on the lights, everyone is getting ready for a new walking day. It is Wednesday that breaks the week so well.
At home I could possibly work half a day at home for my employer, a daddy-Wednesday-day. The day that I have been on my weekly schedule for almost 17 years as a half working day. Work in the morning and then be ready in the afternoon to do business with daughter and wife. The other days of the week naturally work an hour longer as compensation. Even if she is now an adult and she studies at the High School, that break is still nice. But during the journey of the tours for me, not half a day of walking, just completely against it.
06.50 I leave the alberge, after taking a breakfast from my provisions. And Rother indicated that the alberges are sometimes full in my planned stop, so continue today to be on time. The weather is good, it is dry and the morning turns orange, the sun is already showing. It is going well and the time for taking pictures is not to be missed. First it goes up a bit, not really strenuous, good enough to loosen the muscles.
In Palas del Rei I take my lunch, but before that I already got my stamp in a church on the route. Don’t forget to take that extra stamp, because the rules … I have to admit that I haven’t met many pilgrims yet, this is probably due to the location of my last place to stay, which is nicely away from the larger places and is therefore used by few will be.
After Palas del Rei the route continues on rural roads, on small paths and through small villages with a new alberge once in a while, ready for the upcoming Jacobs year.
Ve-ni-te-na-na-na, na-naa-naa-na-naa-naaa-na-naa-na-na-na-na-na-na-naa-na-na-na… Yes, there is it again, but now a small piece of text. It seems familiar to me, but I cannot get any further in the text…. And no, I’m not going to figure it out, if it has a purpose, it will come out by itself.
One of the villages that I walk through is called Casanova, nice name, would the Casanova come from here? It also gets a bit slower, almost unobtrusive, you have to look carefully but then you notice. What is even more striking are the kind of pilgrims that I see. Hikers with little to no backpack. 2 sticks in the hands but (almost) nothing on their backs. Did I miss the bus pilgrims’ departure point?
Before I walk into Melide, the Camino Primitivo connects to the Frances. The Primitivo starts in Oviedo, where the sweat cloth of Christ is kept. If you walk from Leon via Oviedo to Santiago, you first honor the master and then the student, in accordance with the statement of King Alfons II. Now, 8 months later, I have already put the Camino San Salvador and the Camino Primitivo on my list. Together good for a 500 km, so 3 weeks of walking.
But I am now in Mélide, a busy stopping place according to Rotheer, partly caused by the merging of 2 caminos. The crowds are not yet visible and the more I walk into Melide, the more alberges I see. I slowly get the idea that there will be no lack of sleeping facilities. After a walk through the place I decide where I will spend the night, it is a private alberge in the center, on the first floor above a store.
Upon entering there is nobody, so I take a seat in a chair and wait for someone to come. I first get a short tour before I can decide whether to stay or not. The dormitory is clean with neat bunk beds and plenty of space in between. There are also small lockers for the valuables. I am the first to report today, I also have all the time and peace to use the facilities.
After my shower I see a 2nd pilgrim, also the last one to spend the night here. It is an old acquaintance, not that we have spoken before, but we have seen. Yesterday in Gonzar, but also seen a few days ago, then he pulled a small trolley with his backpack. Now he is wearing his backpack and I no longer see his trolley.
I saw that he had 3 stamp cards stamped and my curiosity was aroused. He is French, runs the Camino from his hometown. 1 stamp card is his and the other 2 are for his grandchildren, unfortunately I did not find out why he stamped for them. I know you can walk the camino for someone else, but I don’t know if you can / can do this during 1 camino.
Now let the tourist hang out in Melide, a tour through the village and after 15 hours see if I can have a new battery in my watch at a watch store. I come to a store where the Casio is sold, then I think it will of course also be possible to change batteries. The door is locked but a sign tells me to press the bell. 10 seconds later I hear someone calling behind me on the other side of the alley. The shopkeeper, he’s coming.
He opens the store and asks what he can do. In my very poor Spanish and many hand gestures it becomes clear what I want. He receives the watch and disappears behind a screen, 5 minutes later he comes back and my watch does it again. It also shines again, so cleaning was included in the 6 euros. Now on to something for the inner being.
Mélide is known for the pulpo, the best in Spain, but I skip, I don’t eat Octopus. But at every restaurant the pulpo is still the largest on the menu or sign. But luckily there are other things on the menu card. Today no menu del dia, but just a main course and dessert. It is not busy due to the time of day. Do some groceries after dinner, because my provisions hit the bottom of my provisions bag …
The 20 or more bunk beds are therefore confiscated by only 2 pilgrims and also each at 1 end of the room. We all have to snore really hard to bother the others with this. I still have plenty of time to perform my self-imposed obligations. Then it’s time again for much-needed sleep and sleep.
Na-na-na-na-na-na, naa-naa-naa-na-naa-naaa-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na ……
Accommodation: Albergue Arraigos