Camino Primitivo Day 12-Ponte Ferreira to Boente
Today would be a 26 km day to the little village of Boente. We had opted to walk past Melide in order to avoid the big town and the hoards of pilgrims streaming in from the Frances.
As soon as we starting walking out of Ponte Ferreira we came across this ancient little Roman bridge. Not as spectacular as the Old Roman Bridge of Lugo, but equally as old and historic.
We came across this adorable little shrine to St. James along a babbling brook. Such a lovely, peaceful place.
The path took us along a Eucalyptus forest that looked that it had been intentionally planted. All the trees were very uniform. Again, this would have been a nicer walk if the road wasn’t a tract and was a natural path instead.
I didn’t write down the name of this hamlet where we came across one of the ancient, original Cruceiro markers that were used to mark the Camino in past centuries. Just beyond it was the first water fountain we’d come across in hours. It was pretty hot by now, at least 80F and I was glad to come across a water fountain. We still had a long way to go before reaching Melide.
The scenery was beautiful along this part of the Camino. Rolling hills with green farms everywhere. The majority of the walk was on a hard surface tract and that’s unfortunate. It would have been even more wonderful if this section was still a natural path. Not to mention that it would have been easier on my painful feet. Walking on hard surfaces is the worst thing for plantar fasciitis. I could feel the burning in my feet and my Achilles pain was now acting up again.
You can see Melide in the far distance. The impending crossroads of several Caminos (The Primitivo, The Frances, and The Norte) and the start of the crowds. It looks so far away!
After a few hours of walking we finally arrived in Melide. Not a pretty city and crowded with tourists and pilgrims. Not the peaceful, solitary Camino that we have been enjoying for the past 12 days. From now on we’d be walking with a lot more people passing by us. Not to mention the turigrinos that jump on and off buses and pretend that they are on an actual pilgrimage. There’s no other way to reach Santiago de Compostela so we just have to deal with the crowds.
We were hungry by the time we arrived in Melide so we decided to stop at a local pulperia (restaurant specializing in octopus). I didn’t take a picture but I did try their steamed octopus. It was alright but not very flavorful. A little chewy, like overcooked chicken.
Our main course was a lot more appetizing. I had veal steak, Billy I think chose regular beef, and Steven had this chorizo and fried egg dish. We were starving!
Boente is a little village about 5.7 km from Melide. We had made reservations at the private albergue Boente. It is a nice place with a restaurant that serves decent food. We had the choice between 2 of the common rooms. One was 2 Euros more and had less beds and real cotton linens! Not the paper or plastic covers that other places have. I opted for the real linen room 🙂 I think there were only 12 beds in that room and it had a big bathroom.
The shower is huge! It had 2 shower heads so you could actually have 2 people shower together. I didn’t realize this until after I’d undressed and was stepping inside. Otherwise, I would have dragged Billy in there with me and cut down on showering time. They also have lockers and each bunk bed had a little shelf with a light and plug for charging your phone. Very convenient. The albergue even has a little pool around back and a nice sized courtyard with a washer and dryer.
Directly across the street is the church of Santiago. We got a stamp there and I was able to take this picture. It has several statues depicting the different versions of St. James.
We did some laundry and just chilled out. Eventually we went to the restaurant and took our time eating dinner. Afterwards, we took a short walk to check the way out of town. This is always easier done in daylight then trying to sort it out at 6:00am when it’s still dark. We didn’t get very far as the Camino continues from right behind the above church.
It had been so warm the last few days that I don’t remember the last time that I pulled out my sleeping bag. I just used the blankets provided everywhere as a light cover for modesty until lights out. The evenings were pleasant, not too hot to sleep and there was plenty of ventilation at every albergue and pension that we stayed at so far. I think we crashed early this night. I don’t remember. But I know I slept well and dreaded having to get up at 5:30 am.
Tomorrow we are off to Santa Irene. There’s rain in the forecast and I’m looking forward to finally having another cooler day. I’d rather walk in rain and temps in the 50sF then this scorching (to us) heat.