My pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago XV

Our morning gets off to a rocky start. We sleep until eight o’clock and start packing up. One of our roomies  flies out of her bed and angrily raves at us for making a noise so early in the morning. Despite her claiming she can’t speak English, she makes herself very understandable for a good long five minutes. I am so taken aback and for fear of saying the wrong thing, keep quiet, bundle up all my things and go outside to finish packing. I am fuming inside.  This is the first time on this whole trip that we get accused of being too noisy. I don’t know how to pack up sleeping bag and other items without making some kind of noise.  (So far on the trip seven o’clock was considered late and if we get up at that time, we are normally the last ones out.)

Nevertheless, the whole incident leaves me feeling homesick and angry and I have to walk quite a distance to shake it off. I finally decide that it is not worth having a single person spoil my whole day and start focusing on the beauty around me!  (It is probably just one of those things, if you live in such close quarters with complete strangers there is bound to be some friction somewhere along the way.)

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We reach Malide late morning. It is known for its “Pulpo” (octopus). This is the delicacy of the region and there is no way that I’m passing through without trying it out.

Pulpo at Casa Alongos in Melide

Pulpo at Casa Alongos in Melide

I can smell it the minute we walk in, which for some people might be slightly off-putting, but for me it promises deep, rich flavour. We have our Pulpo and I love it. It is rich, but extremely tasty and they obviously know the secret of how to cook it so it melts in your mouth.

We pass a field of youngberries which gets picked fresh and sold next to the road. You can’t get it fresher than that! We have a little rest and enjoy the open countryside all around.

The sun is out and seeing as we desperately need to wash some clothes (I think I must be smelling by now), we decide to cut our walk short today. After this morning’s incident it might also be a good break to stay somewhere where we have a room to ourselves. We enquire at Casa Cajella and find a beautiful little cottage with a double room for only €30. The place is very charming and neat and when we ask about washing we realise we have hit a true bargain. She does our washing and hangs it out in the sun for us for a measly €2. The day is turning out so fine!

Casa Calleja

Casa Calleja

Casa Cajella

Our bedroom in Casa Cajella

After cleaning ourselves we head off to the little restaurant down the road for a beer. After days of rain I soak up every bit of sunshine I can grab to help thaw out mind and body. We head back for a short nap, catch up on some correspondence and off to supper again.  The scene when we get there is one of real old country life. The men are sitting around the table playing cards and two women come past herding the cows into a shed down the road for evening milking. I’m enjoying being a spectator as the men get quite animated with their card game and another big group of family and friends end off their week outside on the verandah, children running around playing.

Bar Santiago in Castaneda

Bar Santiago in Castaneda

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On the way home we pop in to see the cows being milked and as they say…”all’s well that ends well”.

I am really looking forward to sleeping in my pretty bed tonight!

Casa Domingo to Castaneda – 18km

 

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