It’s a long 30 kilometres to our night’s destination, Arzúa. But the time passes quickly and our legs carry us effortlessly through the Galician landscape. No doubt the anticipation of reaching Santiago propels us onward, gravity drawing two comets to the sun.
The camino route weaves in and around the N-547 highway as it, too, approaches the sacred city. But it is hardly noticeable as our path takes us through lush forests, across refreshing streams and through tiny caseríos.
The medieval city of Melide arrives late in the morning. It reportedly has some interesting architectural monuments tucked into its tight, winding streets. Instead we are drawn into Pulperia a Garnacha for a taste of the regional delicacy, Pulpo Gallego. Octopus is dipped in and out of a copper cauldron of boiling water, its lightly-cooked tentacles cut into bit-sized pieces and then tossed with course salt, paprika and olive oil. Add a side order of fried Pemientos de Padrón and a glass of wine or beer and you have a lasting memory of Melide.
A dense fog envelops us as we depart Arzúa the next morning. As we slide through the moist veil it slowly reveals a landscape of muted fall colours. Occasionally the mist carries the pungent scent of eucalyptus as we pass through planted groves of these tall matchstick trees with their flaking bark and waxy foliage.
It makes for a subdued, peaceful, reflective day, one that ends quietly in Amenal at a pleasant, modern hotel alongside the national motorway. Tomorrow: Santiago.
This is the twentieth of a number of planned posts to my on-going Walking the Camino de Santiago, A Photo Essay. If you have any observations or your own Camino experiences to relate, feel free to use the Comments section below.
If you are interested in purchasing prints for any of the photographs in this series of Camino de Santiago blog posts, they can be ordered directly from my website at www.firmangallery.com/camino-frances