Saturday, July 25, 2015

Melide - Arca O Pino

Camino Primitivo / Camino Finisterre day 14.
Distance: 32.0km (338.0km), time spent: 9:27 (107:14).
Weather: Nice.

We do not have to go far to feel the difference from the calm walk on the Camino Primitivo. Out of Melide there are a solid flow of pilgrims, we see more people in an hour than we did during a whole day on the primitive way. This day also means something more to me, it is with a special feeling that I return to the route that was the starting point of my adventures on long distance trails. I am also excited about how much of the route I will remember from last time.

Sunrise in Melide, the first day in a long time where there was not clouds and fog in the morning.

The French way greets me welcome with a clear blue sky in the morning, in opposition to the grey one that I have grown accustomed to. Douglas and I are lining up into the queue of pilgrims towards the grave of St. James. It is not so bad, even though it is a transition. I immediately recognizes the first church we come to, the bridge over a small creek consisting of large round boulders; and the small shed with fruits and water where you pay in a trust box. El Pequeño Oasis, which now has its own sello as well. There is a queue to stamp.

In the morning in Melide. The last part of the route before it joins the Camino Frances.

Ribadiso do Baixo, the last time I was here it was raining. A lovely albergue nicely situated next to the river Iso.

I remember the walk on this part as pleasant, and it still is. Even though it is more noise now, that may be the biggest upheaval from the primitivo, it is no longer quiet. Rafael and Lucas overtakes us in Castañeda, like a speed train on the Camino, and hurry on further (they had walked from As Seixas early this morning). I have to take a break in Ribadiso do Baixo, for memories sake. This is really one of the most pleasant albergues on the last stretch of the Camino. The place is beautiful situated next to the river Iso.

A queue of pilgrims outside the albergue in Arzua, the clock has just passed twelve and people are finished walking. We had some trouble understanding this.

Arzua is also a small town that my dad and I just passed through, now it is in the middle of the day (around twelve o'clock) when Douglas and I arrives at the town and already there are a large queue outside the municipal albergue here. Rafael and Lucas are sitting in the line waiting, that is to say, Lucas is sitting there for them. Rafael is somewhere having a beer, I would guess. I have some difficulty to understand the need to rush ahead to the next place to arrive this early and then just sit outside the albergue for a long time waiting. Rest of the day, I assume, goes by with drinking beer. A private albergue opens up behind where Douglas and I stands observing the pilgrims. That someone does not takes his backpack, goes in and pays the few additional euros so as to earlier could finish with the necessary routines I could not understand either.

The Camino after Arzua, a walk between cornfields.

We continue walking; the current of pilgrims has abated considerably after Arzua. Large parts of the route is as I recall it, still pleasant. A new bar has emerged, and a huge wound is crossing over the route where a new highway are under construction. Next to a house there is a long line of paper notes with sayings and words of wisdom hanging, 'Not all those who wander are lost' (Tolkien) amongst others. At the entrance to Calle there is written 'No hell below us, above us only sky' on a trash can, I can recall reading the same four years ago. I stop for lunch at the nice bar here, as I did last time, and have a beer with the proper name of Peregrina.

Peregrina beer in the pleasant bar in Calle.

The temperature rises throughout the day. Moreover, the number of pilgrims has risen as well. At Santa Irene, which I was thinking of going to for a while, the albergue is looking refurbished since last time and there is a new bar next to it. It looks more tempting to stay here now than it did that time.

A rose in a halo. Calle.

I continue further on the two and a half kilometres to Arca O Pino, or O Pedrouzo (here the different guidebooks and signposts varies a lot regarding the real name of the place). Just outside of the main street, I find my albergue for the night, Otero, which looks ok enough, but nothing more. I have washed my clothes and had a beer before Douglas arrives later. While he is doing the usual routines, I go for a walk in the town; I visit the church again, as I did on the previous stay, which contrary to expectations is open this time.

Green corn fields.

Where better for pilgrims to sleep than right on the Camino, at least is in the shade.

We met no one else we know here. Most of the others did not plan to go any further than Salceda, except Pol, but we could not see him anywhere here. It was a small transition encountering significantly more pilgrims than usual, but overall it was little that dampened the spirits. However, I do wonder how I would enjoy it in this throng for more than the few days I will spend in it now. Being back on the Camino Frances was also a very good feeling. Tomorrow Santiago de Compostela awaits me (again).

Inside the church in Arco O Pino, notice the scallop behind the altar.

<- Arca O PinoSantiago de Compostela ->

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