13 Oct 2019
It was still dark when I left the Pension Eirexe at 8:00am and crossed the road to the cafe for breakfast. Susan was already there and breakfast was meager: cafe con leche and toast. The sky was overcast and ground was wet, 52F, rain forecast periodically throughout the day. I was headed for Melide, 22 Kms away, expecting to arrive around 2:30. As it happened, there was no real rain during my walk, just some mist and occasional sprinkles. Hooray!
There are a variety of rain gear strategies. The pack-covering poncho (my fave) is very popular, followed by the pack rain cover and jacket. Asian pilgrims seem to like carrying an umbrella!
I like the poncho because I can put it on easily and quickly, it covers everything (including pack shoulder straps), it can be progressively removed for better ventilation as conditions improve, and it can be put back into its stuff sack without breaking stride.
Of course, just because it doesn’t actually rain doesn’t mean you’re not going to be wet. The “steam bath” effect ensures that your clothes will be wet and need cleaning/drying.
Melide is a large, dense city and the streets were busy with markets and traffic, so navigating through it to find my hostel was a challenge. I succeeded and the rain held off until I did. The real rain began after I checked in; which complicated getting lunch/dinner as I have limited extra clothes and only open-toed sandals to wear outside the hostel.
The Pension Pereiro staff was kind of terse, possibly Russian, and the place was new but odd. For example, the interior courtyard separating the rooms from everything else was a nice idea but didn’t work well when it was raining. And, there was no heat that night, which meant some of my clothes didn’t dry completely. All in a day’s progress on the Camino.