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Published: October 22nd 2017
Geo: 42.9203, -8.30471
Rare night of both of us sleeping well. Last night as well as our last two on the Camino are in private rooms - no more dorms!
We didn't get up until almost 7:30. We had breakfast at the albergue with Amparo. She loved our granola and acted like she may start going to the markets for breakfast and lunch supplies. We left at 8:30 and Amparo may have been the only pilgrim left.
It would be a great hike today with rolling hills, very small villages with almost every residence attached to a dairy barn, and almost all in the shade. During the first hour there was a perfect inversion with the hill tops poking through the clouds/fog hanging in the valleys.
Our book talked of the 13 century church and the pilgrim hospital (today's albergues) that was active through the 18th century in the village of Eirexe. It was really cool and only about a 100 yards off the Camino-we saw no other pilgrims take this detour.
Our first stop was at Os Chacotes for coffee, about 10 kilometers. Unfortunately, a sagged group of 10 bikers arrived minutes ahead of us and it took 20 minutes to get our coffee. That
couldn't detract from a great cup of coffee.
The only town of any size was Palas de Rei. We stopped and lit a votive candle and got our credentials stamped in the central church. A very active town with a farmer's market in full swing in the Plaza Mayor.
We planned lunch in one of four listed villages over the next 8 kilometers, none of them had services. We pressed on until about 2:00. Because there had been no services for the 10 kilometers, the place was packed and it took 20 minutes to get our beers to wash down our homemade ham and cheese sandwich. It was a nice long break and we headed to Melida with our tanks full!
We arrived in Melide about 3:30 and wandered around and asked directions several times looking for Albergue Alfonso II. Amparo was checking in and Carlos arrived within minutes. We were shown our private room, with shower - the nicest place we have stayed. It was 30 euro and the two of us in the dorm would have been 20 - a no brainer on day 30; on day three we would have been in the dorm.
Pilgrims have been talking about Melide
for a week! It is famous for its octopus. Restaurants in the last few days have offered it, but we were always told to wait for Melide - well here we are.
While waiting for Mass at 7:15 and octopus to follow, we sipped a glass of wine, worked on our journal and looked for hotels in Santiago, at Bar Canton. With each drink they offer a small snack; with the first we had a warm bowl of peas with ham in a great broth and the second came with an egg/potato tortilla.
We met Amparo and Carlos at 7:15 for Mass, but learned it wasn't until 8:00. We headed to Pulperia Ezequiel, Melide's most famous octopus restaurant. The place was filled with locals and pilgrims, almost all having the octopus. Landon and Cecelia were just finishing as we arrived.
We watched the preparation process which involved: putting these huge octopus in large boiling pots, cutting into bite sized pieces, covering in a secret spice and topped with olive oil. This stuff was amazing. As sides we had potatoes and tiny green chili peppers that were a perfect complement for the octopus.
This was our last dinner with Amparo and
Carlos until Santiago so we said our goodbyes and "see you in Santiago!" None of us could believe it had come so quickly. Not sure if this was part of the motivation, but over strong objections, Carlos picked up the entire tab!
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