Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Distance: 24.6 km
5:45 – The Italian women are up and zipping. They each have numerous bags and packing cubes and are still hopelessly disorganized. I’m going to chalk it up to too many cosmetics and hair care products.
6:55 – Ladies and gentleman, we have a new World Record! After one hour and 10 minutes of continuous zipping, crinkling, stomping, sniffling, clicking, coughing and whispering, the Italian women have finally headed downstairs for breakfast. 11:50 – A crow just swooped down within a few feet of my head and scared the crap out of me. That’s been the “highlight” of the morning. That and getting into and out of my massive “Hunchback of Notre Dame” rain poncho about five times. It’s required when it rains (to keep legs and backpack dry) but it’s a sauna when you’re walking up and down steep hills in 20C weather.
15:29 – I just passed through the rather substantial town of Melide and there wasn’t a bed to be found. Melide is famous for Pulpo Gallega (octopus) but with no bed, I’m not going to stick around until dinner time. There are hoards of people on the Camino Frances who started walking a few days back in Sarria and others who have joined the Camino Frances today when it merged with the Camino Primitivo. Securing a bed could be an issue but I’m not in panic mode just yet.
15:59 – It has rained all day and despite wearing a rain jacket and/or poncho, I’m soaked to the core. It would be easy to get down while trudging through mud for hour after hour but reading every signpost gives me a little burst of energy. I’m now within 49 km of Santiago.
16:00 – With all beds in Melide being taken, I’m hoping that the next few small towns will be empty. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but I can’t imagine that hundreds of people have walked through Melide on such a wet and downright miserable afternoon. They’re either staying in Melide or on a bus to Santiago.
16:58 – There are three beds left at Albergue Boente in the booming metropolis of Boente. This has been a very uneventful day. I’ve walked by myself for most of the day (by choice) and I’ve had plenty of time to think about the Camino, what I’ll do in Spain and Portugal before returning to Canada in late July, and what’s in store once I am back home. With all this time to contemplate the future, you’d think I’d have a plan. In reality I don’t know what I’m doing beyond Thursday when I arrive in Santiago.