Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day 9 Palais de Rei to Melide : Farms, Fields, Forests and Fun

This was the view out of our hotel window on awakening this morning--mists across Palais de Rei and the valley.  We woke up and had a wonderful breakfast at Casa Leopoldo, then on our way to Melide. After a nearly 18 mile walk yesterday, we were looking forward to a break of only 10 miles. Most pilgrims walk 20 miles on this day and go all the way to Arzua, but we realized when we were booking the camino walk, two days of 10 suited us just fine. The path today was predominantly an undulating series of walks through forest and dairy or corn farms, an occasional orchard and some secondary roadways.
Beautiful weather and scenery throughout our day!

San Xulian Church. Read the legend below. Witches, murder and redemption!
The villages we passed through today were San Xulian de Camino (legend to follow), Ponte Campana, Mato, Cato and Furelos (with a Roman bridge seen below).

The legend of St Xulian is that he was cursed at birth by a witch to kill his parents. When he learned of it,he ran far away to avoid this happening. Many years later, his parents heard of his whereabouts and set out to see him in Northern Spain. On arrival, he was out hunting, so his wife allowed them inside to rest on their bed. When St Xulian returned,  his wife was away and he found a couple sleeping in his marital bed. He assumed his wife was cheating and killed them both, thus fulfilling the curse. He therefore established 7 pilgrim hospitals and legend says, an angel visited him late in life to announce God's forgiveness.  He was beatified and canonized years later.
The fog made us feel like we were passing through an enchanted forest.

The symbol of the hiker on the Way is the clam shell. Here someone has built one the size of the McDonald arches onto the roof of the house.

El Camino and the Oaks

An important marker for those doing the last 100km--the halfway point  to Santiago.

Notice the yellow arrow on the house below the window. Pilgrims follow the yellow arrows, usually spray painted either onto the road itself or a convenient sign post, tree or wall. Here it is displayed well on someone's home.

A gnome playing sax? It's not the craziest thing we saw! See below!

Gorgeous Holsteins that produced milk and butter. Cheese is the work of the Galician blonde cow. We didn't see those today although we have seen quite a few before today. One other interesting thing is that although we have walked through many fields of corn, no one serves humans corn. In Northern Spain, all corn goes to Bossy the Cow.

By far the weirdest thing on the camino. A pilgrim hiking in his panties.

The Roman bridge  at Furelos, just outside Melide.

Razor clams, A melide specialty!

Pulpo--steamed octopus with olive oil and paprika. Yum. This is a signature dish of the town. When we walked into the restaurant, they had huge pots for steaming octopus. Locals were coming in off the street with plastic grocery bags for whole octopus takeout!

Santiago cake--Paul is IN LOVE with it.

Roman coins in the Melide museum collection. This museum is very interesting and has all sorts of things including an exhibit of Melide in the movies...Lotsa films done here.

Paul listens to the Victorola

Mahon reward for 10 miles well done.

A local channeling Paul--the best wine store in town is closed for the day until Monday. Despondency prevails,

A local yokel en route to a funeral. A very proud lady focused on remaining upright and coifed en route.
Overall, a short 10 mile day, but rich in people watching and scenery. Bring on the 10 miles tomorrow.

Daily mediation: Sarah wife of Abraham. Paul's observation is not to give anything away unless it is freely given.  Mine- Abraham gave Sarah to Pharoah his wife for number of years for rich rewards. Sarah gave Abraham her handmaid for mating purposes. Ishmeal and continued jealousy and problems were born. Basically, an  INDECENT proposal isn't just between Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore and Robert Redford.  Any proposal that minimizes someone's worth will result in pain. Cheery thoughts!

Paul's Ponderings:  Whew, a lot shorter day when compared to yesterday!   Can't say that Melide is a lovely town, but we had a great dinner in what seemed to be a backyard of a local, complete with local wine.    Another short day tomorrow is on the horizon, then we have two days to finish it out!

Post Script:
Last night's shared dinner in somebody's backyard. A burger and grilled veggies!

The local wines are stunningly good and really cheap. THis bottle was about  $10. Often the wine is free with your pilgrim meal which is gargantuan, 2 courses and a dessert for $10. And, even better...(see below)

It's the only wine in the world that is 13% alcohol AND makes you SOBER! It's right on the label!

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