Today we have a long distance to go before reaching our destination, Palas de Rey. 25 Km. is the longest distance we are going to walk in one day.
The weather forecast is for a sunny day with high temperatures, so we start walking very early in the morning because we want to reach Palas de Rey before midday. When we leave the hostel it's completely dark. We start walking close to a group of people with torches. It’s not so long before the dawn breaks.
Today the track is flatter than yesterday, without so many ups and downs. Nevertheless, the landscape has little in common with yesterday. Most of the way is on paved roads with little traffic, although, sometimes we have to cross the main road. The march becomes tiring and boring, a lot of road and very little nature.
As the day goes by, the temperature rises and my back starts sweating from the contact with the backpack. The tiredness is more and more noticeable..
It was midday when we arrived in Palas de Rey. We went straight to the hostel. After taking a shower, we went to have lunch in a nice restaurant located in the town square. There, we ran into a group of pilgrims that were staying in the same hostel as us..
While I was walking, I thought that The Way of Saint James is like life itself, with beautiful stages and others no so nice. Yesterday, the way was harder than today because of the irregularity of the path, however, it was much more pleasing because of the beauty of the landscape. In life, many times, the same thing happens. The harder ways have the biggest rewards.
Third stage Palas de Rey-Melide 15´22 Km
Today the stage is supposed to be 30 Km, but we have decided to divide it in two, Palas de Rey-Melide, and then Melide-Arzúa. For me 30Km is too much. As we have plenty of time, we prefer to travel The Way with ease and enjoy it. There is no need to force our bodies and cause damage.
As usual, we get up early. At seven o'clock we are ready to start walking. Although we have less kilometres to walk. the weather has changed dramatically and it threatens to rain from 11am We would like to finish the walk before it starts to rain. The day is cloudy and cool, which is good for walking.
The landscape is amazing, it seems as though we are walking through an enchanted forest with enormous trees with leafy branches on either sides of the track that come together at the top to form a passageway of vegetation. We cross some streams and go through eucalyptus forests.
Shortly before we arrived at Melide, we saw a place at one side of the way where they put stamps of The Way and sell t-shirts and caps. We stopped there in order to stamp our papers. and then I heard something that caught my attention, the man who was putting the stamps said:
- I change stamps for legs
I didn't understand what he meant. Then he said:
- The donations I get putting stamps and the profits that I get selling these things, are used for buying prosthetic legs for children that need them and whose parents can't afford to buy them.
In that moment someone called the man to ask him the price of something, he left the desk and it was then I realized that he had a prosthetic leg. In the conversation with the other person, he said that he has travelled by bike all around Spain, 6.000 Km. in 63 days. I was astonished. That person was an extraordinary example of resolve and solidarity.
As I had to continue my journey, I looked at the stamp he put on my papers, looking for some information about him. There it was his name , Ionut Preda, his website www.quierocaminar.com and one sentence that said:
"Many dreams could come true if we just believed in them"
Without any doubt, once I return home, I'll search on the internet for information about him.
I leave you some links so that you can know a bit more about this person. It's worth having a look:
Compared with the previous days, we have hardly walked today. We got to Melide at 11:30am. After taking a shower in the hostel, we went out willing to taste the famous octopus from Melide. We went to a restaurant that a woman who lived there recommended to us, it's called " La Garnacha". The restaurant was crowded, there were many long tables that were shared by several diners. There, we ate exquisite octopus and delicious rare beef steak, accompanied by a Riveiro wine. If you ever go to Melide, don't forget to make a stop in La Garnacha, the food is excellent and the atmosphere is lively.
Today has been a great day.