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Camino de Santiago, Day 45: Melide to Arzua

Camino de Santiago

Nothing like goofy glasses on a cannibalistic severed pig’s head to entice me to buy meat in the butcher shop!   This is the kind of pig that would really be the life of the party, if he were not dead, that is.  Wait.  Now I’m confused.

Jamie shook me awake at 8:15 am, fifteen minutes past the time we were supposed to be out of the albergue.  Whoops.  We rushed to pack and were on the trail by 9:30 am.  Jamie’s hip is better than yesterday.

We passed the 50-kilometer marker!

Again today we went down many shady trails and through eucalyptus groves.  Trucks blare their horns in small villages to announce the bread delivery.  Bags with fresh baguettes hang on the doorknobs of those who were not home to meet the truck.

A blind man, his friend, and his guide dog, have been walking the Camino with us since Sarria.  We were impressed and inspired the first day we saw him.   I imagine it’s very difficult with so many rocky or uneven paths.  Every time we see him, which happened several times today, I am reminded of the tenderness and the tenacity of people.

We found a small albergue in the larger town of Arzua and Jamie headed to the “old man’s bar” while I showered off the dirt and sweat of three days of walking.

When I joined Jamie he was sitting with two women from Vancouver, Canada who we met on our very first day of the Camino.  They are walking the Camino (one for the fourth time) to celebrate their 70th birthdays.  Soon after, the son of one of the women arrived too.  He is also Canadian, but has been living in Monaco for the last decade, and was joining his Mom for her last three days on the Camino.   He was a riot.  With quite an interesting history.

Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago. Plants in rock wall.

Vino Rosado is no longer an option since we entered the province of Galicia.  There is white (blanco) wine or red (tinto).  I ordered the house white and was surprised when it was poured from a ceramic pitcher into a shallow white ceramic cup, as is the tradition.  Wow!  It was delicious with green apple flavor and sweet/tartness.  With each sip my love grew greater.

We all talked for hours and hours and the drinking continued.  As we sat on the sidewalk, the church bells began to ring and in minutes a funeral procession fronted by a grieving old man and his family walked down the street following the hearse.  Our jovial mood quickly turned to somber.  Nothing like a procession of death to remind you to be thankful for today.  It was touching and tragic and beautiful all at once seeing the many people honoring this one soul.

The local men began pouring into the bar around 8 pm.  One found it necessary to sing Spanish songs, in operatic style, to me directly, while pinching my cheeks.  Seriously!  Then another joined in.  I joined two locals at a table, partially because I was so intrigued by the hairstyle of one – like nothing I have ever seen.  He turned out to be super nice and although he didn’t speak a word of English, we conversed.  He says the Galician people are suspicious of outsiders but once they get to know you, they will give you the world.

Around 10 pm, the mothers went to bed, and Monaco man, Jamie, and I talked for another hour.  Soon, the doors to our albergue were closing so we rushed back to make curfew.  Another amazing day.

Today we walked 14.3 kilometers (almost 9 miles).

Photos of the Walk from Melide to Arzua:


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