m. ascensión acumulada
We were all scared because the Great Snorer in Chief slept with us. Legend says that no man had ever snored as loudly and desperately as he had, and those of us who were in the municipal hostel of Lugo can corroborate this. At the end it was a false alarm and the night passed in acceptable levels of silence. We woke up relatively relaxed. And with rain.
Today’s stage was to be short, about 20 kilometers, finishing in Melide. Melide is an important point for two reasons: the first, because they say that they make the best octopus in the Camino de Santiago; the second, because in Melide the Camino Francés joins the Primitivo.
Something is ending
Melide is a full stop. It is the end of small towns where there is only one hostel, one bar and four grandparents. It’s the end of knowing the person who carries that backpack a hundred meters ahead of you. It’s the end of looking back and seeing a familiar face. It’s the end of arriving at the hostel and meeting the people you’ve been eating or dining with or sleeping for the last ten days. In Melide, the path continues, but ends a different way of living it, and surely of understanding it.
Welcome to Melide
The road to Melide has been again a route without any history, mainly to the rain and feet. Along the way I’ve met Agata a couple of times. With her we arrived at a bar, shortly before Melide, where we were all. As I had warm feet, I just stopped to say hello and goodbye, and soon we arrived, along with Carme, at Melide, with a curious welcome.
Arriving at the central street of Melide, and while we waited for the rest to go to the Pulpería Ezequiel, the great fears have been confirmed: Melide was an endless trickle of people and more people who seemed just out of the Decathlon, with backpacks and capelinas, arriving from the east, following the French way.
All of them were in the way, and after a delicious octopus, I went to the toilet, making a mistake and entering the women’s toilet. This could only be a signal. The time had come to do a Frodo.
The time to leave the Fellowship had come. I’m not too sure why, it wasn’t a reasoned decision, but an impulsive one, coming out of the heart and beyond. Everyone has to write their own way, the Camino de Santiago and the life itself. The time had come to resume mine, to leave that comfort zone that this small group of strangers had become transformed into a family, to fly again.
So, I said goodbye to Joan, for whom the road ended in Melide lacking days, and the rest of the group, whom I hoped to find again in Santiago, and I pulled myself towards Rivadiso.
The crowd to Rivadiso
It’s been 11 kilometres that I’ve done as quickly as I’ve been able to, and considering my condition, it’s been very fast. That looked like the sub! I’ve been 11 kilometres advancing people, without walking alone at any time. The Way has lost all grace, and all meaning.
Rivadiso has meant the confirmation of change. If until this day, except for Lugo, the hostels were between 12 and 20 places (Grandas de Salime perhaps had 40), this one reached 140 or 150.
In Rivadiso I have not done much, wash my clothes, heal my feet, rest in the bunk bed, occupy the plug to charge the mobile during the night, and be in the bar, which had Wi-Fi, inside the hostel the coverage was almost nil.
Dinner has been curious. Full as the bar was, the waitress told me if I wanted to dine at the bar or in a shed they have outside, designed for the summer. Obviously, I have chosen to do so. So, I dined alone, half dead of cold, and watching as the pilgrims dined, from a distance, from indifference. As if that wasn’t with me.
Germán is Valencian, he is 35 years old, and his favourite colour is bottle-green. We coincided the first night in San Juan de Villapañada, and since then, we have been meeting intermittently. He came from doing the Camino de Salvador, from León to Oviedo, and holding his pace was attainable for very few. I was not in this group, of course.
Tomorrow 39 kilometres?
We have had dinner together, and they have told to reach the Monte do Gozo tomorrow, thus being 5 km from Santiago. This means doing almost two stages in one, of approximately 39 kilometres. I told them that yes, while asking me for a plate of spaghetti, that 39 kilometres are not done with an empty stomach.
In the room, we’ve been talking with the girl on the bunk above me, more her with me than me with her; she arrived when I was already half asleep, and I’m not sure what I said. Once, when I lived in Manresa, sleeping, I arranged a visit to a house that I wanted to visit to rent. I just hope it was good.