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Published: November 2nd 2015
11 October 2015, Sunday, stage 35, Melide to Arzua
GPS: 11.3 miles, 4 hours and 30 minutes walking, Left Hotel Carlos 96 at 0906 and arrived at Hotel Suiza at 1530, 6 hours and 24 minutes.
FitBit: 11.13 miles, 25,478 steps, 105 floors
After the buffet breakfast at the hotel we started the day's walk. We had not gone 1/2 a kilometer when we passed the restaurant Cafe Alongos where we had eaten dinner last night. We will not forget the delicious Pulperia Burger, ground octopus with just the right Spanish paprika seasoning, lettuce, cheese, and tomato served on a kaiser bun. And, roasted vegetables with the most heavely avocado, garlic and lemon dressing. We had spent more than 30 minutes last night with Concha and her husband, Franc - short for Francisco, discussing the true spirit of the Camino and the love of all the people sharing that spirit. It is not where you are from or what country is the best it is the smiles and spirit of the people that make the Camino a heart warming experience for those on it and those that serve them. Concha is unlocking the gate and seeing her this
morning was a delightful start to the day.
We had gone only a short distance farther when we spotted the statue of a pilgrim next to the Edificio El Peregrino building. Then we paused to view the old hospital run by the convent with beautiful grounds beside the path. A short distance farther and we paused to photograph the 50 kilometer milestone to Santiago. This caught the eyes of the group from Aiken, SC, who commented on the hiking poles across the milestone adding some character to the shot. We were summoned into a church with a history (San Xulian) with a very eloquent young man as spokesman to tell it. The altar was from 9th Century and most of the other features from 12th Century. It was one of the most memorable of the small chapels we have visited along the Camino.
Now we are on the move and Karen's attention was drawn to the small grey stone horreos. A small version served as the cartas (mail) and pan (bread) slots for the house.
In a field, laying prone with legs straight,was a horse. Karen thought it must be in distress and was concerned for its
well being. But when a dog came by to check out the horse it raised its head and showed that it was just relaxing. Our scenery was very bocolic with the grass pastures, stone fences, nice houses and trees. We passed through fields of corn, some harvested, others still standing, past groves of eucalyptus, pines, oak, sweet chestnuts, cottonwoods and other varieties. The day was marked by lots of ups and downs. We would climb coming out of Melide, then go down and across a stream or river and climb again. The crossings of the streams and rivers varied from stone bridges to just stones. We paused to look into the Igrexa de Santiago, a small chapel in Boente. We then stopped for a drink and bathroom at an albergue with nice outdoor seating area. Here we met Michael Joseph Trujillo again. He is a retired attorney from Seattle and is walking the camino with five friends, all have experienced various medical issues with blisters, ankles and knees. Michael has a medical band from his stay in Pomplona and his experience in the Spanish healthcare system. From the band we know his age, 68 and full name. He is a
very interesting individual and great conversationalist.
At last we crested the last hill in Ribadiso and stopped for lunch at the Albergue Don Quijote. It was about 3 kilometers to our hotel and the guide book mentioned it was on the road out of town but implied it was not on the Camino. So I used google maps on the cell phone while having lunch to get the location. This gave a route that looked easy to follow but no street names. So off we headed but the cell phone mapping would not track and give directions. So had to ask a gentleman who pointed at a building across the valley. Redirected, we trod down into a valley and up again, all the time with our eye on a building we thought was the hotel. We arrived at our Hotel Suiza at about 1530 and checked in. This took a little time as Harlan had to run down the receptionist who was in the kitchen! Again, people in the hospitality business wear many hats. I asked the lady how to get to the Camino for tomorrow. She took me to the door and she showed me the path directly
across the street. I thought this was East and not West but there it was right out our front door.
Several large groups we had been traveling along with along the Camino were at the same lodging with us again tonight. Karen and I were given a small table between the groups. Our dinner was served quickly even though there was only one waitress for more than 40 people.
Tot: 0.041s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 11; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0065s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb