October 20

Ventas de Naron to Melide 27km

A dark morning today. The days of clear skies and wide sweeping dawns are probably over for this trip. I do like hills and mountains but I have learnt to appreciate the merits of flat landscapes. You do seem to get more sky. 

The day started with road walking in the dark. That is the best time to do road walking!

An unusual cemetery:

All the cemeteries I have seen have been surrounded by a wall. This one is as well. But I guess they ran out of space so have built burial spaces onto the wall but facing outwards. Very different. 

Throughout Southern France I came across communal washing areas. This is a long way from France but I still occasionally come across these and they are very similar in design:

The path today was another great journey through woodland:

These are eucalyptus trees that are grown for wood pulp but they have a disadvantage:The bark hangs off the trunks in strips and is a huge fire risk. I read somewhere that one of the reasons there are so many forest fires in Portugal is that the native fir trees have been replaced by eucalyptus trees for the paper industry. 

One of the fun things about this walk is the graffiti. I spotted this today:Which I loved. 

Sometimes it goes a bit over the top. As the path left the road and entered a wood there were these these signs:Too many scribblings and the one that directs to the toilet in 5m is definitely not called for. There is enough toilet paper littering this footpath without encouraging people to defecate in the forest and add further despoliation. 

People talk about the lessons of the Camino and how it provides teachings. Well this was one of them. Down the path and 5m on the left I was surprised to see;

Today’s lesson – be careful not to jump to conclusions! They may not be correct. 

Another graffiti I loved “If you start early just because it’s fresher, why don’t you take a car with air-con?”
The path usually goes straight down the main street of tiny villages:

Unlike parts of Spain further East in this region there are lots of small groups of houses dotted around the countryside. In parts I walked through earlier there were fewer but much bigger grouping of dwellings. 

More grain stores:

This is the Bridge at the entrance to Melide where I am staying. It probably is 900 years old and was built for the pilgrims. 

Today there were again relatively few other pilgrims on the path. It is nowhere near as busy as I expected. There is a feeling of places being closed. I walked through a small town and had to carefully search out a cafe that was open. Some of the Albergues are now shut. I am staying in a dormitory of 22 beds. There are only three of us staying tonight. 

53km to go

Location 42.9123, -8.0064