Thursday, May 2, 2024

Spain's Camino Primitivo Days 12 and 13: Leaving Lugo, Walking to Melide

 Larry and I left Lugo on Easter Sunday morning and headed east through the farms.  The next two days would be through countryside that was very rural.  In fact, there were fewer accommodations choices than during any other part of the Camino Primitivo. (Many pilgrims traverse the entire 29.4 miles in a single day.  Not us.)  When we would reach Melide at the end of Monday (day 2 since Lugo), that all would change, as the Primitivo ends and merges into the Camino Frances - the camino that the majority of pilgrims use in journeying to Santiago de Compostella.

We left Lugo over a bridge built by the Romans and saw very few other hikers during our journey.  I expected to see more because we were within 100 kilometers of Santiago - the distance required to obtain a certificate at the end. There were a few others out on the route early in the day, but by the end of the first day, we felt like we were out there alone.  Maybe the Easter holiday had kept the numbers down.  

Also on this day, Spain's time changed.  Sunrise went from 7:15AM to 8:13AM, and sunset was nearly at 9PM.  Pretty amazing for the last day of March!

Even though it was Easter Sunday, the rural churches did not seem any more open than on any other day.  We heard one ringing its bells - that is it.

We stayed the night in an AirBnB in the tiny crossroads of San Roman - my nicest accommodations of the entire trip.  We got to watch Spanish television (which looked suspiciously similar to American TV), and flipped the language on the television to English while watching Cool Hand Luke.

Our apartment was a couple of doors down from a nice little restaurant, where we got dinner.  

It was at this apartment that I finally broke the code on my iPhone.  I was eliminating unneeded apps from the phone in order to open up more space on the phone.  I thought maybe it was just too overloaded with data.  Doing this, I came across a VPN app that I had purchased just before leaving the U.S.  A tech savvy relative recommended it because I would be on so many public Wifi networks.  When I opened this app, it was directing my connection to New York City, and not Madrid as I had directed it to do.  As soon as I turned off the VPN, a flood of texts and emails came charging out of my phone!  It turned out, my problems weren't connected with my Spanish SIM cards at all.  A cautionary tale to others traveling out of the U.S.

Day 12 Camino stats: 
Date: Sunday, March 30, 2024
Distance: 11.8 miles 
Time: 4 hours, 36 minutes
Start time: 8:28 AM
End time: 1:04 PM
Total daily steps: 30,010 steps 

Our second day into Melide was a little tougher than the previous one, with periods of rain and several ridges to cross.

Amazingly, we met only two other hikers the entire day!  They were a couple of young women from the Czech Republic.

We had reserved a private room in an albergue in Melide, so we missed the opportunity to interact with other pilgrims there.  But we did encounter a couple of Canadian families at a bar in that city, and we would see them again several times on our way to Santiago.  Melide had more hostels, restaurants, traffic and pilgrims than I had seen on my entire trip.  We added over three miles (not shown below) just exploring Melide.  As a result, this was the day with the highest number of steps on my entire trip to Spain.

Day 13 Camino stats: 
Date: Monday, April 1, 2024
Distance: 17.6 miles 
Time: 6 hours, 54 minutes
Start time: 7:47 AM
End time: 2:41 PM
Total daily steps: 51,939 steps 

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