Martes, El Primero de Octubre
Tuesday morning, October 1st, was going to be another nice day in Galicia, clear with temperatures in the low 70’s F.
At Casa Blanco, Patty and I were served a traditional Galician breakfast (meats, more fresh Arzúa-Ulloa cheese, fresh bread and jam) at 7:30 am. With the beautiful environment, our host’s attentiveness, and the outstanding food quality, our stay at Casa Blanco was one of the highlights of our trip.
Soon afterward, we said our goodbyes to Arnel and Ginny, who would soon be hiking northwest towards the Camino de Santiago, and Maria gave Neil, Vanessa, Patty, and myself a ride back to Palas de Rei.
At Palas de Rei, we contacted our friend, Mary, who had stayed in Santiago de Compostela the night before, but had taken a taxi that morning to a Palas de Rei to meet up with us, and with her sons in the I’ll Push You group. Soon, she met us at the center of town. In the mean time, Patty and I had bought hiking sticks at a local store.
Soon after starting to walk west from Palas de Rei, we met Nancy, an Air Force Colonel from Washington State. She had started walking the Camino some years before, but she had to abandon the effort due to a flare up up of sciatica. This I could closely relate to, as this very morning was my first test of my own ability to handle my sciatic condition. In further conversation I learned that Nancy’s husband has Parkinson’s Disease, and that she will soon face difficult years as his care giver. Eventually we parted ways, and I returned to Patty and Mary.
We reached TBD.
Not long afterward, in discussion with Patty and Mary, I brought up the term “forest bathing”, a term that I had first heard referred to in an article in the Washington Post. As I did, Liz, from Canada, was passing by, and she mentioned that she knows something about “forest bathing”. And thus started yet another “Camino Moment”. We walked with Liz for a while, we enjoyed the conversation. But unfortunately, our paths didn’t cross again for the rest of our trip.
We stopped for a rest at TBD. There, we were hoping that the I’ll Push You group would catch up to us. Eventually, they did.
While we were stopped, I used the opportunity to call Iberia Baggage Service. In the extended call (The conversation was not extended. The call was.), I took note of the fact that of all of the conversations that I was involved in so far that day, this was the only one that that was recorded.
Along the way, we stopped at TBD.
As we were entering Ferulos (?), I stopped to take photos of the Roman bridge that takes you over the TBD river, and three Brits riding bicycles stopped there as well. I started a conversation with one of them, and he took an interest in our past hike along Scotland’s West Highland Way, what we were doing with the I’ll Push You group, and our upcoming hike along the Camino dos Faros. We talked so long that he was left behind by his group, and he left before I could catch his name.
As we were walking into Melide, we passed by one of my past favorite restaurants, Casa Alongos, to one of the town’s leading institutions, Pulperia A Garnacha, a restaurant that specializes in preparing pulpo (octopus). There we caught up with more folks from the I’ll Push You group. That is where I met Ron, Chris, and Kate.
Patty and Mary were going to return to Pulperia A Garnacha, but, but I still needed some hiking clothing (light-weight, quick-drying, lots of pockets, etc.). So, I Googled potential stores in Melide. I found one called Amería Rua, which was only a couple of blocks away from our pención. So Patty and Mary went for food, while I went shopping.
Amería Rua, was a small shop, and the lone attendant was Louisa. I explained to her in my halting Spanish that I was from Los Estados Unidos (The United States), and that my equipaje (luggage) had been sent to Sao Paolo, Brazil, and that I needed some clothes. Louisa was tremendously helpful in setting me up with a couple of hiking shirts, a pair of hiking pants, socks, and a hat. But for underwear, she indicated that she would send me to a store around the block. She ended up taking me to this store in person, and explaining the situation to a couple amused female employees. They helped me pick out a few sets of underwear. I really wanted to get out of there, so I wasn’t especially picky. So, it was only later that I came to appreciate the difference between European and American cut in briefs. For the next 3 days I would be hiking in what I would affectionately refer to as man-thongs.
After shopping, I hurried on toward Pulperia A Garnacha, where Patty and Mary were waiting for me. But along the way, I stopped by TBD to take a few photos.