Walking the Camino de Santiago from Leon to Santiago
We arrived in Melide and it was quite a warm day. The semi-rugged countryside and Ireland-esque rolling hills were welcoming and a far cry from the mountains which I did miss dearly. My ankle was miraculously better and I vividly recall asking every girl I saw on the Camino my age and it was disheartening to hear the general consensus that I looked between 25-27. Nevertheless I had a good chuckle out of it but alas I gave up the beard and the cane so I look like myself after the Camino.
I was eagerly anticipating the polbo á feira dish which is a staple dish to try in this town. We had our meal at the pulpería as we feasted on octopus, razor clams, and an overabundance of bread and wine. It is important to note that Melide is composed of 26 parishes with a population of approximately 9000 persons. Melide relishes its geographical location as being part of The Primitive Way and the French Way.
I did notice the lack of livestock and agriculture in comparison to other villages and towns we had passed during our travels. Melide did imbue a sense a commercial ventures. The abundance of hostels and affordable restaurants showcase the means of revenue for Melide. I also noticed the presence of small businesses which is always a welcoming thought because some of the best restaurants are those quaint eateries on the streets or at the corners of the town.
For my presentation I took our group to the Terra de Melide Museum which was nothing short of phenomenal. The barber tools through the eras seemed like an enticing part of the Museum as well as well as the sewing equipment which was rather bulky. It was really something to see the complexities and progress of certain trades and equipment through the passage of time.
We invited Sam and Evanna as well to our group and we all observed the archaeological artifacts, maps, statues, and other well preserved entities. It was one thing to look at Melide through brochures and read on it on the internet but it was enthralling to see the history before one’s very eyes in the flesh.
During my research in the foundation of Melide I came across the destruction of the castles and town walls as a result of the Irmandiña Revolts that took place in the fifteenth century. They were grievances against the barons and the high taxes prevalent in the region. The stones from the destroyed remnants of the castle and walls were used in the construction of the Convent of Sancti Spiritus.
Several of the Churches which we may have seen along our trek to Melide consisted of the Leboreiro Church, St. Mary’s Church, and St. John’s Church. The Church of Leboreiro is in a beautiful Romanesque design with a nave. A hospital for pilgrims is also present on the sides of the Church alongside the Virgin Mary image in the tympanum, which is essentially the wall over an entrance within the boundaries of the arch.
The St John Church also held a Romanesque appearance while at the same maintaining a very humble appearance. The Church of Santa Maria was a twelfth century Romanesque church which held many wondrous paintings concerning the Holy Trinity. The Cross of Melide despite weathered was quite a sight to see.
I’m going to miss Melide quite a bit and I found it to be very fitting to be staying for a day to experience what I felt was necessary and move on. I had some great times in the Albergue which I remember and Melide is the forefront of my perpetual addiction to Gazpacho thanks to Dr. Gyug. I met a couple from Ireland who I happened to refer to the exact restaurant we ate at under the premise that I thought it was the eatery which served the best octopus and I was right! They were just tourists but they wanted to do the Camino one day and we really had an awesome time walking together. The attitude of people of Spain and outside is just amazing and asking for directions can just turn into a simple meaningful conversation which is always welcoming.
These are some experiences which left lasting reminders in my head and in my journal. I am trying my best to salvage pictures from my broken camera but I may just find a way to get them from the card I have inserted in it! Hopefully I will include more pictures and make future edits as I deem fitting. Thanks for reading!