Thursday, March 24, 2016

Camino Day 3: Eirexe to Melide

Image Credit: http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/
Today's schedule:
7:30am Alarm
8:05am Everyone's out the door
9:19am Camino Lake
10:10am Arrive in Palas de Rei
10:20am Team JEJM arrives
12:30pm Lunch break
2:05pm Ice cream break
4:15pm Check into O Cruceiro Alberge
6pm Backtrack to help JEJ
8pm Eat dinner in the room
10pm Jose and I enjoy drinks while laundry is washing/drying

Distance covered: 23.23km/14.43mi
Mia's pedometer: 38,327 steps

Another early morning and quick packing so we can get back out on the trail. There was a very heavy fog blanketing the landscape today. It looks very cool and a little mysterious, like in a movie and you don't know what is going to emerge from the fog. We had to walk a little further to reach Palas de Rei for breakfast. Sometimes we don't have a lot of options, it all depends on how far it is to the next town with a restaurant or grocery store. Generally speaking, the grocery stores are only in the larger towns. Some of these places that we go through are only a few buildings gathered together and no commercial options. Mia decided to walk with the slower team this morning because Erika has been pressuring her to walk with them.
José and I chatted with an older German couple that we kept running into at large bodies of water. We came across one that resembled a small pond covering the trail. José started to pick his way around the water on the left hand side. I noticed a trail going up to the meadow on the right so I got the bright idea to just walk around, right? That lovely green grass was hiding another lake right below its surface and I now had the lake inside both of my shoes too. I was retracing my steps by walking along the stone wall when the German couple caught up with us again. I hate it when I have to admit that my husband is right...We stayed to wait for the rest of the group to show up so we could help them around the lake. We need not have done so because they managed to get around it just fine. Thankfully my shoes both dried out within a couple hours of walking. I'm wearing a wool blend sock from Costco that works great for keeping my foot warm but not hot and sweaty and they dry quickly.
Mia decided that she wanted to walk with us now so Erika and Justin are being pissy and giving her the cold shoulder now. The personalities on this trip are constantly clashing. In hindsight, I don't think it was the best idea to add additional people to our core group. We have been training as a family of four and doing about 3.5 miles an hour. Mom and Justin are doing about 2 miles an hour. I can't walk that slow, period. A form of road rage comes over me, similar to when slow people are walking ahead of me and blocking off the whole sidewalk so I have to step in the street and get around them. So it has caused a divide between the group, us and them, and Mia is caught in the middle because she walks with us just fine but they are pulling her to walk with them. The thing is that they are playing around and goofing off which inhibits their rate of speed as well. Mom is using to carrying a heavy pack when she's out hiking in the mountains but this is nothing like that. This is long distances with lighter packs.
We arrived in Palas de Rei after a two hour walk. We headed straight for the grocery store to stock up on provisions as we're growing a little weary of just toast for breakfast. The funny thing is that it's a normal breakfast in Spain. If you go to a restaurant in bigger towns, you'll see American breakfast and British breakfast options on the menu that are a little more substantial. Then we headed up the road towards the trail and stopped at a cafe so we could order hot drinks and eat our yogurt at their outdoor tables. Most places don't care if you bring your own food with you, they just prefer that you not do it inside. We got hot drinks, another stamp in our credencials, and used the bathroom facilities before heading out. We divided back into our two groups of three and headed out of Palas de Rei. Mia found a pilgrim who didn't mind getting his picture taken with her.
Every statue is an opportunity for Mia to express herself and there are lots of opportunities along the Camino. The weather has remained perfect for the most part with sunny skies and light breezes and not too hot. We were climbing a long hill when we hit the halfway mark today so we decided to wait until we reached the top before stopping for our lunch break. Nobody wants to start climbing with a full belly. Heck, who likes to walk at all on a full belly?! Mia picked out the perfect meadow covered in white daisies and we all plopped down for our lunch break. We pulled out the food from the grocery store and enjoyed another lunch of fruit, yogurt, nuts, bread and gouda, and cheese. Everyone lied down on their coats and wiggled their toes and soaked up the sunshine. We usually stop for about half an hour so our feet can rest and we can relax our stiff muscles. Mia and I slipped behind a tree in the middle of the meadow to take care of business after lunch. The only bathrooms along the Camino are located in cafes and you have to be a paying customer to use the majority of them. I carry two baggies in the top of my pack; one baggie contains a roll of toilet paper and the second baggie contains the used paper and I empty that out every evening. The new foods in our diets have been causing a little fun so we have to frequently stop and hunt for a bush and a break in the foot traffic to take care of business.
José has been helping Mia with her pack when she gets worn out. He throws it on top of his and snaps the chest strap so it's easy to get off and on. I'm not sure how he's doing it since I know his left shoulder is already bothering him. When he dislocated his shoulder a couple years ago, it caused premature arthritis in the joint that he's had to treat with cortisone shots. Lately he's been taking glucosamine/chrondroitin supplements to help it. Mia usually only lets him carry it for a kilometer or two and then she demands that he give it back to her. Mia hasn't really complained of anything so far. We try to let her set the pace as much as possible since she has the shorter legs but she just gallops all over on her invisible horse. She's been staying in great spirits and we take breaks when she says so.
Of course, she is also the first one to spy the ice cream signs as well. As long as we've already eaten lunch, then we stop. Today we ran into the group of four Spaniards that are drinking and singing their way along the Camino. They have a guitar and are very loud and outgoing. We got to enjoy their sounds while enjoying our popsicles. José isn't a huge fan of sweets so he had a beer instead. We are burning so many calories out there so I don't mind indulging in sweets every so often on this trip. I don't think I'm going to lose any weight on this trip since it's so short but at least I'm hoping to break even. After that break, we plugged along until we reached the town of Melide which is of fairly decent size. We walked to the middle of town and found an albergue that had private rooms. None of them will allow us to officially check in until everyone is present with ID's but they issue us a room and let us hang out there while we wait. Jose took the opportunity to jump into the shower and get cleaned up while we waited for JEJ to reach us.
 Mom texts me every so often with the number off the lastest kilometer marker so we have an idea how far back they are. I guess Mom got a lovely blister and stopped to pull out her first aid kit, Erika was feeling pretty despondent, and Justin was having a hard time. Mia and I decided to backtrack and meet up with them and help them make it into town. We walked back about a mile and found them as they were crossing the bridge on the outskirts of town. I put Justin on my shoulders with his pack on his back and Mia took Erika's backpack from her. We very slowly walked back to the albergue. Once we reached the room, all three of the kids just dropped to the floor and pretty much didn't move again for the rest of the night. Mom accompanied Jose and I to a pizza/pasta restaurant we had seen in town and we ordered our meals to go. Somehow our order got messed up and no meal was prepared for me. I didn't feel like waiting around so we headed back to feed the kids anyway. José went downstairs to the restaurant next door and ordered me a pasta dish. I later found out that he enjoyed a beer and his soccer game while waiting for my meal so he wasn't suffering too bad.
The food wasn't as good tonight but when you're tired and hungry, anything will do. Mom got a big salad and the kids got hamburgers again. The fries were not great so now I understand why he only had one order left when I had originally asked for three, they were what was leftover. There is only one market open in town today due to the holidays so we walked down there a couple times to buy different supplies and drinks. After dinner, we gathered all up all the dirty laundry and put it in the washer. It was 4€ to wash and another 4€ to dry, only it took two cycles to dry so it wasn't a cheap load of laundry.
José and I decided to slip down to the restaurant next door while the clothes were washing and drying so he could continue watching the game. I brought my journal down with me so I could try to catch up. It's been difficult to get any writing done in the evenings due to the lack of individual lights and Mia's little flashlight got left in the second albergue by José on accident. I'm also writing twice as much trying to capture as many details as possible. It feels perfectly normal to be sitting here writing while enjoying a glass of white wine. The clothes on the other hand are a pain. The washing was just fine but the dryer is another one of those kind where you have to empty the water tray but that doesn't seem to be functioning correctly because there is a huge puddle of water on the floor every time we go upstairs to check on them. By the time they were finished and folded, I was ready to crawl into bed with Mia again this time. José is occupying the bunk across from me, Erika and Justin are sharing again, and Mom gets a bunk to herself as well.

Expenses:
27,22€ Dia Mercado
4,30€ Cafe Castro for 3 teas & 1 Cola Cao
4,80€ for 2 popsicles and 1 beer (KJM)
3,90€ for 3 popsicles (JEJ)
29,40€ Dinner at Pizza Cafeteria Atenas
8,50€ Krystal dinner and Jose beer
3€ for 2 1.5L bottles of Acuarius drink
60€ Albergue O Cruceiro
12€ laundry
3€ for a beer and wine
**missing receipt for market purchase for 2 pack of microwave popcorn, 3 candies, 1.5L water, 1L chocolate milk ??
Total Daily Expenses: 156.12€
ATM Cash withdrawal 200€


Location: Melide, A Coruña, Spain

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