Palas de Rei - Ribadiso do Baixo
22 November 2002
Last night was partially responsible for a very late start. We actually had a night on the town with pool, shots, beer, wine, and plenty of food. By the end of the night, I was a zombie. I needed to catch up on sleep in a serious way. I also needed to rehydrate badly. The primary reason however was that I wanted to be in Melide around 14:00 eating octopus at a traditional Galician pulpería called Pulpería Ezequiel. I could not leave earlier than 11 because it was only 15.5 km away.
I stayed with the girls in a cafe until then when I left during a break in the clouds. The respite from rain was short lived however. Here the Camino weaves its way through forest tracks through fallen leaves and between small fields and pastures. Sometimes I have to wait while herds block the way.
I successfully found the pulpería upon reaching Melide and had a large 2 hour meal of octopus, potatoes, and white Ribeiro whine, another Galician specialty. During the meal, 2 former pilgrims introduced themselves and joined me. They are a Spanish/Dutch couple and we spent an hour telling stories. They topped it all off by paying for my meal. I am looking forward to checking their website, http://www.tritonllafranc.com. I have met so many interesting people this trip.
The 11 km to Ribadiso was a race against darkness that I lost. I managed to stumble into this refuge, but I was concerned I might pass it in the dark.
Alessandro is here. The French-Canadian girls arrived shortly after me, and there is an Italian/Austrian couple here as well. This is a place as nice as it is strange. It is a former pilgrim hospital transformed into an albergue. It is a collection of buildings rather than just one.
Two days left until I reach Santiago. Tomorrow's stop is likely Arca, 22 km away. Santiago de Compostela is only 20 km further.
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