BLESSINGS ALONG "THE WAY" - PARTS 3 & 4
Day 3 Begins
Sunlight streaming through our windows we got ourselves up and ready. I had a few toes that needed attention so it took me longer! I was looking forward to today as it was a rather short day to Melide, 15km or 9.4 miles. Downstairs in the lovely kitchen breakfast was set up and another couple from Italy were already down.
Breakfast was amazing, and to have our eggs in little jars and all the fixings was lovely. On a wall across from us in the kitchen was an area where different countries were labeled in circles, and when guests from those countries stayed in Casa Leopoldo they could add their states or towns. We added Colorado and Arizona.
Leaving our mark
We thanked our hosts and wished the couple a Beun Camino as we began our way to Melide. Somewhere along our walking it was mentioned that we would reach the half way point to Santiago so when we saw some pilgrims who had stopped to take a picture at this marker, we asked what was so special, well it in fact was our halfway point so we as well had to have our photo taken.
At the half-way!
Melide, is one of two towns where two Camino routes meet. The Camino Primitivo (Original Way) stops in Melide and the Camino Frances (French Way) passes through on the way to Santiago. The Primitivo is the oldest route and the French is the busiest! From Melide these two routes become one to Santiago de Compostela. Like many others who were walking, I had begun my walk on the Camino Frances in San Jean Pied de Port, in France.
The stone bridge that you see above was our way into Melide that dropped us down into the town. We found our accommodations without any problems and then went back to the little café and received another blessing (Blessings do not always come in the form of people). The most amazing and fresh calamari, and of course some wine. The little café had tables out on the sidewalk that is actually the Camino, so we watched other Pilgrims pass.
Charlotte & the celebratory glass of wine, enjoyed with fine fresh calamari.
We were over half way to Santiago today. A lovely breakfast at a little café that was part of the hotel was what we would call a cold continental breakfast. In Spain and much of Europe fresh bread, some type of meat, cheese, yogurt, orange juice and coffee are breakfast. Today, Charlotte decided that she had to have some Churros.
Churros are a welcome treat!
Aruza was out next stopping place, 13km or 8.7 miles, another relatively short day at least in miles. I found walking the Camino that some of my shortest mileage days took the longest time. As we walked out of our hotel, leaving our bags at the desk, we turned left and headed out of town into the lovely countryside.
If you are a person who is always plugged in to your music, I would encourage you to unplug in these forests as the birds songs are beautiful and all so different. Tune into Nature!
Tune into the birdsong and sounds of nature
My next blessing occurred at the sign below. The Camino often crosses main highways and you will find in some places you are walking along side busy roads. I had stopped at this stop sign to check for traffic and seeing a car coming slowly on my right, I waited for the car to go on. The driver, an older man stopped when he say me so I proceeded to cross. As I crossed and looked at him to thank him, he folded his hands in prayer over the steering wheel, smiled at me and mouthed “Beun Camino.” I smiled back and raised my hands in prayer to him as well. I felt he knew what it was like to walk this amazing “Way”, and maybe he had.
Aruza is where the Northern Way (Camino del Norte) runs into the French Way. The region was settled before the Romans arrived and the current populations is mostly of Basque heritage. I had to laugh to myself when someone shared that there were more cows than people in Galicia.
Another village church where I stopped to sit for a few minutes and to leave a few coins in the box. I found it was always good to see a sign of the next place we were supposed to be for the evening, so seeing the sign below was encouraging.
Arriving in Aruza, which was a fairly good-sized town, I found we needed to stop and ask directions for our accommodations Pension Restaurante Teodora. One thing I can say is that everyone was always kind and took the time to give directions, but the directions were not always correct. But then, it could be just me!
A lovely dinner at the hotel with our glass of red wine, we decided returned to our room to straighten out our bags, as we only had two days to walk to arrive in Santiago de Compostela.
Go back to the start of Sandi's Camino diary here, or read the next stage of the journey here, and for more information on walking the Camino de Santiago, visit Macs Adventure's website.