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Report 2014: Camino de Santiago

By Maria A from NJ, Summer 2012

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Page 8 of 11: Day 6 - Melide to Arzúa - About 15kms

photo by

Cruceiro on the way to Arzúa

Another short day, loved those!

The next morning when we went for breakfast at about 8:15 (we were told breakfast started at 8:00) we found that most things had already been consumed by a group that was already there. We sat and waited thinking that they would be replenished (the same horrid woman had peeked out of the kitchen and seen we had arrived). After 10 minutes went by with the buffet not being replenished my husband got up and looked into the kitchen and motioned to the woman to please come out. When he pointed out that there was very little food out she shrugged her shoulders and said "Se acabó!" (It's finished!). At that point I intervened since I speak Spanish and told her it was totally unacceptable to charge us for breakfast and expect us to basically eat the crumbs left behind by other people. Her look was one of contempt and fury. Without a word of apology, she went back to the kitchen and then later came out with plates of fruit, bread and some cold cuts(in the process, throwing the plates on the table). I was so upset I couldn't even eat.

Given this shabby treatment, we decided we wouldn't eat dinner that evening or breakfast the next morning there. It's a shame that I can't recommend this place because it is indeed beautiful. But the poor dining experience and not feeling welcome were too big of a negative. I considered telling the owner the next day but frankly, I didn't want to relive the whole negative experience.

After “enjoying” our breakfast at Pazo de Sedor, as described above, we called Jesús the taxi driver so he could pick us and take us to Melide. After buying some water at a grocery store on the main street in the old town we started walking, and for some reason became disoriented and started going the wrong way. A store owner came running out to alert us and tell us what way we should go. After the nasty way our morning had started, this simple gesture reinstated my faith on the basic goodness of most people.

This day is a bit of a blur. Do recall that our café con leche stop was at Boente, at what was probably the cleanest/most immaculate bar we stopped at on the Camino. My husband defines that as the men’s bathroom having paper towels for drying your hands! In front of it was the church of Santiago which we visited and also got a stamp from. The priest there was the nicest we encountered in any of the churches where we stopped. He insisted in doing a prayer with us and giving us his blessing, which we appreciated.

We arrived in Arzúa about 2:00 and had lunch in a café at the town square, the name was Los Casqueiros. Nothing memorable, but satisfying. There we sampled some Arzúa cheese which was very good. After lunch we visited the parish church located just off the square and got our stamp. After a quick stop at an Internet café, we called Jesus to take us back to the Pazo, about 10 minutes. It’s difficult to fathom that what had taken us about four to five hours to walk was just a few minutes away by car!

Given the bad experience the night before, we decided we wouldn’t have dinner at the Pazo again, so asked Jesus to pick us at 8:00 to go back to Melide for more pulpo! Interesting that when we came down about 7:30 to have some drinks before going to Melide, the person serving drinks was the horrid woman. And this time she had a lovely smile on her face, probably because the owner of the pazo was now back and looking in on her. Either that or she suffers from split personality!

That night we asked Jesus to take us back to Pulperia Ezequiel, which was very lively and almost filled to capacity. We had a really fun time and spent some time talking with a couple pilgrims sitting at our table, an American young woman and an Italian young man. About 10:30 we called Jesus to drive us back to the Pazo for the night.

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