From Palas de Rei to Melide

I woke this morning early to rain splattering against my window. Clearly the weather had deteriorated from the wonderful sunny-but-cloudy sky of the day before. I walked from the largish town of Palas de Rei on country lanes, forest trails, and beside ploughed fields to another fairly big place, Melide, through mist, rain, and damp clouds that touched the hillsides.

Curve in the Camino © Harold Davis

This day was not without some challenges, but fortunately since my suitcase had caught up with me I had the gear to keep pretty warm and dry.

Cloisters © Harold Davis

If you are interested in the Camino de Santiago, you have probably heard of, or seen, the movie The Way. The film stars Martin Sheen, whose son dies in a freak accident at the beginning of his pilgrimage. Sheen takes his son’s place, and completes the walk to Santiago de Compostela.

Free Hugs © Harold Davis

Well, I learned today that people do die while walking The Way, and some of them are remembered with memorial markers. When I looked at these markers, as far as I could see the cause of death was omitted. So my suspicion is that mostly the causes were things people brought with them, such as a health issue. Wherever you go, there you are.

Hand pump for drinking water along the Camino © Harold Davis

One marker I saw today was for someone who was described as “constantly in motion”, a man originally from Yorkshire. He died while on his fifth pilgrimage to Santiago (cause of death unspecified) with a handsome memorial on the route between Palas de Rei and Melide. I imagine he found peace, and his spirit stands, hands on hips, watching pilgrims pass on “his” stretch of the Camino de Santiago with a smile. 

The image you see below is the side of a Hórreo, a traditional granary structure that you see frequently in rural Galicia. The hórreo is usually raised off the ground with stones to keep away animals, and to help minimize moisture. The white cross I saw on this hórreo is an added, unexpected bonus!

Hórreo © Harold Davis

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