Day 44 – To Melide

Airexe to Melide – 22 Kms, 32,077 steps

My walk to Melide was long but the weather was just about perfect. I left in the cloudy, pre-dawn darkness and didn’t see another pilgrim for an hour, which was very nice, given the crowds of the past few days.

Pleasant shaded lanes

Tomorrow is the “National Day of Spain”, a big national holiday here. They’re celebrating Columbus discovering the New World, resulting in Spain becoming an economic and military powerhouse. I’m told lots of stores, schools, etc. will be closed. Some cities even have parades. How this will affect pilgrims remains to be seen.

Public art encouraging pilgrims to proceed

The path took me through small towns and farm fields today, alongside busy highways, and through underpass tunnels. Generally, the path surface has been smooth, packed dirt and dried mud or crushed stone. Nonetheless, “my dogs are barking”, i.e. my feet are taking a hit from all the kilometers. I’m using my bag of footcare essentials daily to ensure that my feet will get me to Santiago.

Grain storage building, designed to keep vermin out

I’m recognizing a lot of places and landmarks from 2019 as I go along, and it’s fun to “fill-in-the-blanks” when I encounter them. It’s also surprising how much I do, and don’t, remember accurately.

Someone’s “finca” (estate), tucked away in the hills

One of the nice Camino traditions is that any bar will refill your water bottle with tap water for free. They’ll do it even if they sell bottled water.

Shady lanes are nicer once the sun comes out

Melide is a larger town with a main drag, and all manner of trucks pass right through it. It really needs a truck route around town. The main street has one roundabout and, while I ate lunch, it was entertaining to watch big freight tractor-trailers negotiate it. Then there was this, which happened right before my eyes:

Here’s the front third…
… and here’s the back third. The driver could steer the rear wheels.

I stayed at an albergue with private rooms, the same one I stayed at in 2019. I saw a couple there with their medium Schnauzer, and I remember seeing them alongside the path with the dog earlier in the day. The dog hadn’t looked happy. At the albergue, they were tending to the dog’s foot: he cut a foot pad on the path. That’s an interesting challenge if you bring your dog along on the Camino. I wonder how they proceeded.

Tomorrow is a short 14 Kms to Arzua. Santiago draws ever nearer. Only three days until I reach it.

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