Melide to Salceda - 25.0 km

June 14
Lat: 42.921944 Lon: -8.275556

After a really bad night’s sleep last night, I was up at 6 a.m. and packed. The Pension was upstairs over the bar/restaurant like a lot of the pensions but this one stayed open late. As a matter of fact it didn't close until 3:30 a.m. this morning. Now usually this wouldn't be a bad thing except that it filled up with a group of Spanish people and they liked to drink and sing. Now I'm not talking about just a tune or two, I'm talking about continual songs one right after another and at the top of their lungs so that it can be heard down the street without even trying. Well it finally stopped and I was able to get to sleep, but then the alarm went off at 6 a.m. I didn't feel like getting up but knew that I had kilometers to make so I did.

It actually turned out pretty well as I was in a good hiking zone and the distance just clicked off. The sky was clear with just a little fog but no sign of rain. It looked like it could be a great hiking day with temps around 57 degrees. In no time I had hiked to a wide spot in the trail by the name of “Boente” and there was a great cafe. It looked like cafe con leche and chocolate crescent time, so I stopped and spent about 20 minutes there.

After I finished eating my breakfast I headed out for Arzua to see if I could find a church to get my Sellos (stamp) because it’s about halfway for my daily distance. Well luck would have it I found the church and slipped in the front door and the mass was just beginning so I took my pack off and sat down for the mass. The one thing that intrigued me was that the complete mass was in English. At the end of the mass after the final blessing, the priest said let’s all sing "God Bless America." This blew me away as I've been to two other "Pilgrims Masses" since I've been here and not only were they not in English, but they surely didn't sing "God Bless America" at the end. I then got my stamp and left. A little while up the trail I ran into some folks and found out that they are with a church group doing the Camino and are from America. This started to make sense of the English Mass. I found out that this group was organized by a priest in New Mexico.

Later, I was walking with Rich and his wife Joan from Connecticut and found out that he is a member of the "High Toppers." This is an organization that climbs the highest peaks in every state in the U.S.; he had done all 50 states. We walked along until we got to Calzada where we all were stopping to get something to drink and eat. I looked at my maps and saw that I only had 5.1 km. left to do for the day and yet it was only 11:30 a.m.; I was going to be at my destination by noon.

After we ate, we said our goodbyes and that we probably see each other in Santiago at the Cathedral and they headed up the trail. Not long after I did the same thing and got to my destination for the night. This is a really nice pension, the Pousada de Salceda (an albergue with rooms. I have a room) and frankly it looks more like a little resort than a pension. It is complete with a restaurant, a fish pond with gold fish, and a swimming pool, which isn't filled yet as it is too cold. It was great just sitting in the lounge chair all afternoon.

It was around 3 p.m. when Hawk and Christine came in. Everybody just sat around relaxing and making plans for getting to Santiago. For me, I'll get to Santiago on early Sunday morning. I should be able to find a place to stay Sunday night without too much difficulty but time will tell as I hear that there are a lot of Peregrinos in town so it might be a little difficult… we'll see. Until tomorrow...Buen Camino!

Spain Blog 2013

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