Distance Today: 20.8 km
Total Distance from Oviedo: 290.2 km (All Trails).
Elevation Gain: 492 metres
Weather: Sunny; warm AM; hot PM (30C)
Highlight: Culture shock!
Our entire focus today was on our arrival in the city of Melide where the Camino Primitivo joins the Camino Frances. Suddenly the population of pilgrims walking to Santiago would increase dramatically. We weren’t looking forward to it.
Sixty per cent of pilgrims who receive their Compostela in Santiago walk the Camino Frances while only 5 per cent walk the Camino Primitivo. How would we feel suddenly being among so many other pilgrims?
We caught sight of Melide in the far distance (about 12 km) from our viewpoint near a windmill lined hill.
The place we wanted to stay in Melide was the highly recommended Albergue San Anton. We didn’t make a reservation and were disappointed that there was only one bed available there. The hospitalero arranged accommodation in a nearby albergue for us in a room for twenty people for 10 Euros each.
After settling into the albergue we went to the centre of town to watch the influx of pilgrims arriving. Pilgrims seemed to form the majority of the population!
Judging by their new, clean clothing, some of the pilgrims hadn’t been long on the trail and might just be walking the last 100 km so they qualify to receive their Compostela. I must confess I was slightly envious of those new clothes! I’ve worn the same thing every day for 44 days and feel it is about time for something new!