TREKKING — DAY 35

PALAS de REI to MELIDE — 10 Miles

We stayed in the cutest little place last night, the Pulperia Casa Camino in Palas de Rei.  Although Dick had made reservations they first tried to give us a dark little room with no window and one small bed but when I asked for 2 beds they let us have this room.

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Looks cute, huh?  Well it had it’s drawbacks.  The shower was a death trap.  I’ve never seen anything like it before.  It was tiny and had one plastic sliding door that made you step into the tub onto a ski slope step — where I slipped, banged my shin and almost brought the shower walls down with me.  The shower nozzle sprayed water directly at the side wall and there was no way to adjust it.  That made bathing almost impossible.  I had to hold the nozzle in my hand and clean myself as best I could while blood streamed out of my cut shin.   The bed was one of the most uncomfortable I’d ever slept on and the pillow was made of cement!

All in all it was a horrible nights sleep and the frosting on the cake was this morning when I stepped outside into fog and a light rain.  I had only planned to walk 10 miles today and was so glad of that decision.  Dick bought a Cafe con Leche while I was outside donning my rain gear but for some reason I couldn’t even take a sip of the coffee.  Just as I was ready to leave I looked up the hill and saw a bus load of tourists get off and head for the Camino Trail.

This morning I knew that the trail zigged and zagged around the main highway and I thought I’d outsmart the other trekkers by staying on the main road.  Well, that was an excellent decision.  As I observed everyone else getting off the road and cutting inland, I kept going straight.  Then the trail would come back to the road and zig and zag inland but on the other side of the road.  HA! I had them all beat!

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Then just as I was tooting my own horn and thinking I was so smart I passed another entrance to the trail but decided I’d just walk right past it and stay on the main road.  Well, there was a taxi driver sitting there who rolled down his window and told me the trail was “back there.”  I told him I wasn’t going to take the trail because it would be muddy.  Then he said, “No, it’s not muddy, and anyway it’s shorter than the highway.”  Shorter?  And no mud?  OK!  So I turned around and went back to the trail.

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Well this was pretty.  But about two blocks into it…

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What’s this???!!!  He promised “NO MUD!” And why was that taxi driver sitting there anyway?  And why was he so insistent I take the Camino Path instead of the highway?  Perhaps, just perhaps, he knew more than I did.

The path wasn’t too difficult although for some reason the slightest uphill was killing me today.  And my foot was making me walk funny for the first couple of miles until the ibuprofen kicked in.  The trail did pass through cute little villages where other trekkers were stopped for a break.

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After about 3 miles I stopped for some fresh squeezed orange juice and there were 2 other older women trekkers in the Bar.  The OJ was very sour so I drank it quickly and followed those women out of the Bar.  We immediately started going uphill and it was then that I noticed one of them was smoking.  What??!!  She was old, she was walking uphill and she was smoking?  And I was huffing and puffing behind her — without having a cigarette in my mouth???  Well, I had to do something about that!  I sped up so that I could pass them and get away from the trail of smoke but it nearly killed me by the time I reached the top of the hill!

The path continued to be pretty and seemed to pass from one village to the next with plenty of places to stop for a break.

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In many places along this trek I would pass these vault like structures perched high above the ground and I had no idea what they were for.

 

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More pretty sights before the path merged again with the highway.

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For some reason I just had no energy for this walk today and was so happy when I could finally see the outskirts of Melide.

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Just before entering the town I noticed some steps going up to an open door.

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I could vaguely see another trekker inside so, being curious, I entered through this side door into a church.  This year had been declared the Holy Year of Mercy by the Pope and some churches along “The Way” had special side doors through which to enter for this special Holy Year.

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The church was small but welcoming and I knelt to pray and light a candle for Curtis, a friend who was not doing well.

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Today was a beautiful day but I simply had no energy to continue on. I was so happy to meet up with Dick and check into Pension Xaneiroi.

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Without even taking off my coat I flopped down on the bed and slept for the next 2 hours.  Later in the day we went out for wine and ice cream and my Camino Concierge was a very happy camper.  He deserved all the wine he could drink!

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