I had a good night’s sleep, but there was no reason to hang around O Cruceiro as I had done the day before at Casa do Rego. I didn’t even stick around for breakfast and planned to stop along the way.
I struck out at the first place I stopped, so I kept walking while keeping an eye out for food.
I walked through the village of Ligonde and all of a sudden I heard, “Good morning, Miss America!” Then I saw two of the Italians who had been with me at the super fun dinner at Casa do Rego. I suppose when you’re the only American in the group you become Miss America by default.
It was so nice to see them, and we continued walking together.
We came upon a place called Casa Mariluz that looked promising for food. I wanted to continue walking with them, but I REALLY needed to eat so I stopped.
The dinner menu at O Cruceiro the night before was lacking, so I only had a bocadillo. It wasn’t enough, and I was feeling it that morning.
This same thing happened back in Columbrianos, and much like that morning I started the day with low energy.
I ate my breakfast (bocadillo and zumo natural) at Casa Mariluz and got ready to head out. As I was leaving I saw Tina, the third Italian who had been at Casa do Rego. She was walking with a group of Brazilians, and they were stopping to eat.
I left them there and continued on, hoping that my meal would give me a boost. I still wasn’t feeling full strength and stopped for a snack break in A Brea.
After a brief rest I got up again and set off for Palas de Rei. By the time I got there I was worn out and ready for a good lunch. I was so looking forward to a filling helping of pasta.
After stopping multiple places I couldn’t find any pasta. I was tired, hungry, hot, and upset. Not a good combination. After a fruitless search I was already across town, so I just kept walking until I found someplace else.
Slowly I pushed forward until I came upon an albergue called Casa Domingo. In my quest to avoid staying in another terrible albergue Carol from Casa do Rego recommended Casa Domingo as a good option. I wasn’t ready to stop for the day, but I could at least have some lunch there.
Lunch was so good! It was salad and chicken, which seems simple enough but it was well made. It was just the kind of meal I needed to hit the spot.
I had been moving slowly, and the day was getting later but I chose to leave and keep walking. My goal for the day was to make it to Melide, but based on the current time, how far away from Melide I still was, and the fact that I was really tired I didn’t think I was going to make it. As I left I decided to see where I was around 3:00 or 3:30.
By 3:30 my tired self stopped at Café Campanilla. I was grateful for a shady spot to rest and get a snack. Again I tried to muster all of the energy I could after a rest. I kept walking to see how far I could get.
Well, I didn’t get very far before I stopped to sit again and thought I should call it a day. I decided that I would check in at the next albergue I came across. After looking at my guidebook and map I realized there wasn’t anywhere nearby to stop. I would actually have to walk to Melide.
Oh boy. I really was not feeling up for this, and it was already starting to get late by Camino standards. How was I going to make it?
I started saying all kinds of prayers and the old church hymn We’ve Come This Far by Faith replayed in my head. I continuously reminded myself that faith had already brought me this far and I would need to call on the same faith to help me get to Melide. It was a long walk of constant conversations with myself and with God.
I felt like I was crawling by the time I got to Melide. Even once I was in the town I still hadn’t “arrived” since I still needed to find a place to sleep. I identified a couple of places in my guidebook and decided to try Albergue San Anton.
After some wrong turns and getting lost I FINALLY made it to the albergue. And better still, I was actually able to get a bed!
As I was checking in I saw Beth, and I was so excited! I think I screamed. I hadn’t seen her since Paloma y Leña, and I was so happy to be reunited.
Then I saw Tina! At that point I almost started crying. I was so tired, overheated, and achy. I had taken a chance on this albergue and wound up finding two of my favorite pilgrims. My heart was so full. This is what the Camino is all about.
The Galicia region of Spain is known for pulpo Gallego, or Galician octopus, and Melide is the epicenter. Since I was here I wanted to give it a shot. Tina had plans to get octopus with the Brazilians, so I went with them.
It turns out it was the birthday of Du, one of the Brazilians, so it wasn’t just a dinner it was a celebration. We went to Pulperia Ezequiel and saw other pilgrims there.
We had quite a feast for Du’s birthday. Tina and I ordered wine and were given bowls to drink out of. I ordered salad and pimientos de Padrón. I’d always eaten them separately but I decided to add the peppers to my salad this time, and it was so good! Give it a shot.
Then came the pulpo. I’ve eaten octopus in Greece and found it to be chewy and not that enjoyable. I was only planning to have one bite just to get a taste and move on.
I was so pleasantly surprised with the pulpo here in Melide. It was cooked just perfectly and seasoned so well. Instead of just one bite I kept eating.
The meal was rounded out by a tarta de Santiago, which served as a birthday cake. I’m not a big fan of desserts, but it was yummy.
Aside from the fabulous food it was so much fun celebrating Du’s birthday. Our group consisted of Du and his friend Junior from Brazil, Tina from Italy, Simone from Germany, and Go from South Korea. We each went around and sang happy birthday to Du in our native language, which was really cool.
Once again a great night with a fun group of people made up for a tough day on the Camino. This dinner just reinforced my feeling that people really are the best part of the Camino experience.