Castromaior to Melide, 30.8km
Today was a day of firsts for me…
My first first was witnessing the Green Flash at sunrise. Not the Green Flash superhero or the Green Flash Brewery, but the optical phenomena that happens right before sunrise or right after sunset. Over the course of my outdoorsy life, I have witnessed hundreds, if not thousands, of sunrises and sunsets. This was the first time I’ve seen the green flash.
We didn’t capture it on camera, but it happened between these two photos. It didn’t last long but it was very cool.
My second first happened at the end of the day. We (still with my Florida friends) ate supper at a popular restaurant in Melide. The Galician region of Spain is known for its Pulpo Gallego, and this restaurant claimed to have the best in town. I’m not one to experiment much with food, I like the tried and true. For me, the tried and true doesn’t include octopus, but because of the needling and peer pressure from my new friends, I gave it a try for the first time. It wasn’t too bad, I was surprised but I don’t think I’ll be searching the restaurants of San Antonio looking for it. Maybe I’ll just wait until my next Camino.
Between my two firsts of the day was a good walk of 19 miles. A couple of things of interest today. First, while stopped for a break a few kilometers outside of Palas de Rei, two big charter buses stopped near an intersection of a highway and the trail. One hundred plus pilgrims piled out of the buses and waited to be outfitted with backpacks and trekking poles.
When the whole group was supplied, they began their group-walk to the west. We continued our walk behind them and soon caught up. They were part of a tour group that was dropped off, walking to Palas de Rei, and were to be picked up by the same buses on the other side of town. This is definitely a more rational way of experiencing the Camino.
Besides the orange flags hanging off their backpacks, these pilgrims were easier to spot along this crowded way – they were cleaner, smelled better, and were less sunburned than those that had been on the Way for a while.
Outside of Palas de Rei, they boarded their buses and the pilgrim traffic went back to normal.
The second thing of note from today’s walk, we may (untested by me) have found the Holy Grail of Spanish Hamburgers. One of my friends from our Florida group from Copenhagen (confused? yes, the Florida group had two outsiders. One from Texas, the other from Denmark) and I stopped at a bar in a little town outside of Melide. I ordered bacon and eggs, a logical choice on a warm, Galician afternoon. My friend ordered the Hamburguesa. Well, a picture is worth a thousand words…
It looked delicious and was claimed to actually be delicious. Oh well, goals for my next Camino…