Day 32 – Eirexe to Melide — 24 km

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Chilly this morning again (overcast) – I left Eirexe round 07h00.  Planned to stop over in Melida – 24 km walk today with slight ups and downs but nothing too hectic, thank goodness as the last few days have had some surprises with the up hills!!

Sadly some of todays walk was alongside the road

Pine forests, corn fields, meadows, oak and chestnut woodland accompanies one on this stretch of the Camino. I walked through a number of small villages full of rural character, crossed 6 rivers and thankfully the glorious paths helped to keep the noise of traffic down and energy levels up!!  I was looking forward to getting to Melide for some odd reason.  For all the pilgrims who encouraged a stop over in Melide there were just as many advising not to stop over in Melide.  What I have come to learn on the Camino is – whatever others might like or dislike does not mean you will like or dislike it!!  So even though many a pilgrim advised not to stop over in Melida – I decided I was going to spend the night there.  Shereez, Jess and Kristen who I have not seen for a few days are planning their stop over in Ribadiso, which is 10 km from Melide.  Wonder where Debbie is staying tonight? Debbie (Jess’s mom) broke away from the group the same time as I did and I think Debbie must be a day or two ahead of us.  I was tempted to take a taxi and surprise the trio in Ribadiso tonight however after  the 24 km’s walk today I decided to just rest and enjoy Melide’s street markets.

The walk today was at a slow pace and sadly the Galacia Province of Lugo came to an end and I entered the last province on the Camino, namely – La Coruna.   Today I passed a  Japanese pilgrim who was in such pain.  He could speak a little English and I offered him my arnica massage cream as well as some pain killers – he was so grateful he insisted I take his orange.  His knee was rather swollen and I wonder how far he got today.  I stayed with him for a while – waiting for the pain killers to kick in and helped him wrap his knee tightly before I continued walking.  I was feeling helpless and I wished I could do more for him.  The tears were sitting there in his beautiful brown eyes and I am almost sure when I walked away he let them flow.  You don’t know these people from a bar of soap yet you care so much about their wellbeing.

Breakfast in Palas de Rei, two cafe con leche’s and caught up with some acquaintances who decided on a very late start for the day.  15 km’s left to get to Melide, +- 3 hours with a few stops and I will be there.  The rest of the day was easy on the feet!

The walk to Melide was so beautiful and wherever I looked some odd form of beauty just jumped out at me – those moments where one stops and stares and thinks and questions and thinks some more and smiles and walks on……

I saw today as the final start of the countdown to Santiago de Compostela.  Time is flying by so fast now and slowing down has not made a difference to the thought that all of this is going to come to an end in three days.   I was feeling a little sad as the completion of the Camino draws near.  I haven’t felt like this for a long time. It is not so much that this is a safe haven, or an escape from the world or a feeling of dread and uncertainty about going back into the world.   It is more a sadness for the most wonderful thing I have ever done in my whole life is coming to an end. A true sense of camaraderie and hundreds of thousands of people living the life that we read about in spiritual teachings, and I am blessed enough to be a recipient of that generosity consciousness, and hopefully in some small way contributed as well.  How does that famous saying go?   “21 days of repetition and it “is” instilled deep within the soul” – walking is so part of me now I cannot see my life being without these walking sticks, back pack and even my stunning sandals.  The sadness is rather overwhelming with only 3 days to go!!

Taking a break in Lobreiro

Even this far into the Camino you see boots being left behind!

A sight often seen along the Camino

Melide is also where the Camino Primitivo (another Camino) joins with the Camino Frances therefore it was expected Melide would be full of pilgrims so I opted to go private and enjoy the comfort of better bathrooms as well as beds!!  Rumours also spread that the municipal is not a great albergue.  The private albergue that I spent the night was directly opposite the municipal albergue and it gets a rating of 10 out of 10 from me.

Melide has a lot to offer the pilgrim, great restaurants, great markets with quality fruits and veggies.  The cathedral is small and cosy and I saw a live concert in the square in front of the cathedral.  I enjoyed Melide!!

Daylight made no signs of weakening despite the overcast skies. It only gets dark at 22h30ish in summer.  It occurred to me this night that the Camino must be one of the only places in the world where grown adults actually willfully, longingly, and regularly go to bed before most 10 year olds.
I am happy to report that I have no new blisters and the old ones have healed beautifully! No more compeed sticking to my socks and sleeping bag!!  Daylight was finally fading. The snoring brought the feeling of safety, the ear plugs brought sleep.
…on I walk….
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  • kay

    So beautiful my friend! Heartwarming to hear how complete stangers, united by a common goal, reach out and help each other!

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