Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 2014: Camino de Santiago
By Maria A from NJ, Summer 2012
Page 7 of 11: Day 5 - Palas de Rei to Melide - About 15kms
Path on the way to Melide
Today will be a short day and I could not have been happier! The typical stage is from Palas de Rei to Arzua, which is about 30 kms. So we decided to break it in two, not only to have a break of two shorter days, but also to stay at the same hotel for two nights. I scoured the Internet, message boards, etc. for the “perfect place” and thought I found it in the Pazo de Sedor in Castañeda (between Melide and Arzua). But more about that later (doubles about €80).
We had breakfast at Casa Benilde, which actually was my only complaint about the place. They charged us €10 PP (the highest we paid in our whole trip and certainly on the Camino) for a breakfast with very little fruit and prepackaged croissants and muffins. The lady that serviced the breakfast area was very attentive, but that’s about the best I could say about it. So if you stay here, go to a bar/café and save quite a few euros.
It was great not being in a hurry knowing we just had to cover about 15kms that day. Our second café con leche stop came at O Coto, at the Casa de Somoza café/bar in a lovely garden. They also had what must have been the friendliest bartender we encountered in any of our stops (he also prepared a really yummy café con leche). Before we left he insisted my daughter pose with a staff and pilgrim’s hat with scallop which he provided. The Casa de Somoza offers rooms with private bath. Wish I had asked to see one if possible for a future visit, I really liked the setting.
We continued our walk to our destination of Melide, crossing the picturesque medieval bridge into Furelos and then climbing into Melide. We arrived there by around 2:00 and were ready for lunch. I had read so much about the pulpo (octopus) in Melide and was really looking forward to sampling it there. We followed Lincasanova’s recommendation of Pulperia Ezequiel and were so glad we did! From the casual communal setting of long wooden tables, friendly service and delicious pulpo , it could not have been more perfect. We had eaten pulpo before in prior visits to Galicia, but this one was out of this world! My son was feeling adventuresome and also ordered orejas de cerdo (pig’s ears). A little too chewy for me.
Once we finished lunch we walked around town for a bit. Saw Iglesia San Roque, unfortunately closed and went to Iglesia Parroquial Sancti Spiritus, next to city hall (where we thought we could get a stamp for our credencial). Although the church was open we couldn’t find anywhere to get our stamp. So, we decided to call the taxi driver that had been recommended by the owner of the Pazo so he could drive us the short (by car) distance. The taxi driver, Jesus, promptly came and took us to the Pazo (less than 10 minutes).
As we approached it I could see it was just as I had imagined it: a gorgeous stone pazo, surrounded by rolling green hills and pasture. The owners were not home but a lady that worked there gave us the keys to the rooms and accompanied us. They even have an elevator! The room I got (sharing with my daughter) was okay in size; the bathroom was also big and modern. But the room my husband and son got was very small, with the smallest twin beds I have ever seen. I offered to go talk to the lady and see if they could move to a bigger room. But they had already made themselves comfortable and didn’t want to change.
We had dinner at the Pazo (not included in the rate), and this proved to be a very uncomfortable experience. The woman in charge of the restaurant/kitchen was extremely rude and made us feel totally unwelcome. Actually, she ruined the evening. The food was also pretty mediocre, so all in all not what I expected. Unfortunately, this would not be the last run in we would have with her.
After dinner we sat in the front courtyard and enjoyed the star filled night for a while before going to bed.
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