After a rather lovely breakfast of eggs and bacon at the Formiga, I hit the road at a leisurely pace. It was another perfect Goldilocks kind of walking day – not too hot, not too cold, not to sunny, not too windy, in fact just right.
When I got to Palas de Rei, I sat down outside the last bar, El Camiño, where I have stayed twice. They have seats on a decking area outside and it’s great for a quick refreshment before you go into the countryside again.
This was the day I was to catch up with my new pilgrim friend Karen in Melide – she had started in Sarria on her first camino and been in front of me for the last couple of days, but when we compared notes at home before leaving separately to go to Spain, we discovered we had both booked into the same albergue in Melide on the same date.
When I arrived at San Anton, the first person I saw was Karen! It turned out we were also in the same four-berth room with only one other person. Having showered and washed my clothes, we went out to find something to eat. Which, after three o’clock, isn’t that easy unless you want pizza or pasta. There were also things going on in the centre so everywhere was packed. There was only one thing for it – Pulperia Ezequiel!
Not that either of us were madly keen on pulpo, but it was open, had plenty of seats, served up the food in a flash, and it’s a cultural and culinary classic in Melide. We decided to share one portion, which was more than enough as they are huge. I had forgotten that I quite like it when it’s red hot, so I was glad we ended up there.
Afterwards we went into the old part of town, where there was a fair of some sort, but we found a seat in the end and I introduced Karen to zamburiñas and albariño – a good food day in all.
It was lovely to see Karen again and hear her talk about her camino, she seemed to have taken it in her stride and enjoyed it immensely, in fact her enthusiasm was so infectious that if I wasn’t already on the camino, I’d want to go straight away!
When it was time to get ready for bed, we met our third room mate, a Spanish gentleman who had walked just about every camino and long distance European hike there was, including the Saint Olav’s Way in Norway. He even made his own gear! He showed us his home made backpack, wallet and customised sleeping bag, and he was very impressed with Karen’s home made zip and drawstring quilt loosely based on my sleeping bag. I expected the fiesta to keep us awake half the night, but no – I fell asleep straight away. Long walks will do that to you.