Day 31 of our Adventure: WALK!!
CAMINO Day 22
Monday October 2, 2017
20.6km / 14 miles / 5 hours
Total Ascent: 1216 ft.
Total Descent: 1508 ft.
Difficulty Rating: Terrain 3; Waymarking 2
Ferreira to Melide
“Galicia at its finest!” Compared to the past few days, and certainly the past 21 days, this was a walk in the park. We had time for breakfast at Casa da Ponte in Ferreira (I love the Innkeeper, Estelle ~ she was blowing kisses as we were leaving) before starting on our way on a very cool and misty morning. We met up with one of the peregrinos that we’ve seen off and on since we left Oviedo on the Camino Primitivo. Xavier from Lyon, France injured his knee at the very start of his journey with his Mom, sister, and wife. We think of him every time we hit a tough downhill patch. He has figured out that walking backwards is easier. Personally I’d fall on my butt if I tried that, but he’s become pretty proficient. He left 2 hours ahead of his family, and then he takes a rest while they eventually catch up. It was nice to see him again!
For the most part we walked on well-trodden dirt paths that passed through aromatic eucalyptus groves. We also saw lots of chestnut trees. The chestnuts are in these fuzzy round balls which are everywhere. Yesterday we saw 3 women gathering them in their aprons. We walked on pathways that were filled with acorns. I found out the hard way that acorns are very slippery when you walk on them. I fell as we were chatting with a nice man, Nizar, who is from Lebanon and now lives in Ottawa, Canada. I was not hurt, and the pile of acorns provided a soft landing.
We passed through small villages filled with stone houses. Many of them had the horreos (granaries) that are common, especially in Galicia. These are much smaller and shaped differently than the horreos that we saw in Asturias; many have been restored.
We happened to be right in front of a farmer who was herding his cows into the barn, probably for milking. It was about that time, based on what we’ve observed… who knew that we’d learn so much about cows’ schedules on this trip?
After finding the Pension Berenguela and dropping off our backpacks, we headed to what would turn out to be one of the top 3 meals that we’ve had on our Camino. O Tobo do Lobo is a guest house and a restaurant, and when we walked in we found that our fellow traveler Nizar was about to have his mid-day meal. We joined him and had a wonderful conversation (without falling into a pile of acorns!) and a wonderful meal and bottle of wine as well.
This is where the Camino Primitivo joins the Camino Francés. Major changes that we expect starting tomorrow: there will be bars and cafés in nearly every village, and waymarking difficulties will become a thing of the past. We will have a very short walk tomorrow, less than 9 miles to Arzua. Really looking forward to that!!