Almost there, but not there… Melide

Today is going to be the longest day of the trip as we cover about 30 miles or close to 50 kilometers.
Portomarin-to-Palas-de-Rei-Elevation-MapPortomarine is a couple of kilometers to the left of the map above.

Palas-de-Rei-to-Arzua-Elevation-Map Randy, Bryon and Liz start walking and their destination is Melide which requires walking the full distance of the top map and half-way into the next stage.   Will the feet survive?

2014Camino-3 Adios,  Italia!!! 

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2014Camino-1070620nrFoggy day in the woods.

2014Camino-1070625crOccasionally a cement picnic table will appear to facilitate a quick break.

2014Camino-1070627dmvThe path is worn down from centuries of pilgrims walking to Santiago.

2014Camino-1070632dmvcrWhy can’t we stay here?   In March of 2013 we did stay here and woke up to fresh snowfall.

Have Joan and Joyce been kidnapped?  Where could they be?  Um-m-m-m… shopping?

2014Camino-But first we go to the Church of San Juan since it is Sunday. This church was reconstructed brick by brick when the dam flooded the town to build a hydroelectric power plant and they were forced to relocate the city of Portomarine.

We say a little prayer for the other three trudging down the 30 mile path today.
IMG_20140824_042957_700dmvNow we hop into a cozy taxi for a joyride to Melide where we check our group into the albergue.   Every Sunday in Melide you will find a fruit, meat and cheese market where farmers bring their produce in to sell. Randy took my camera so I’m stuck with a low-end cell phone camera and Joan’s Ipod to document the day.

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IMG_20140824_043511_793dmvcrPigs feet?  Not sure how I’d cook them so I’ll pass this time.

IMG_20140824_043540_275dmvcrThis little piggy went to market…

IMG_20140824_043601_120dmvcrNorwegian cod caught in Spanish waters. Is this like lutefisk?

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IMG_20140824_043740_452dmvcrThe air is filled with noisy chatter.

IMG_20140824_060430_499dmvcrJoan negotiates our transaction and we will be supplied with delicious cheese straight from the farmer for the next several days.  Delish!

IMG_20140824_060507_631dmvJoan and I have the great plan to walk back on the trail to meet the rest of the gang to show support.  We walk and walk, but don’t see pilgrims.  This can’t be right?  We go back, find the right road out-of-town, and wait for them…and wait…and wait… and wait some more.

Finally, after almost every pilgrim has gone by, we finally make radio contact and walk to meet them. The last 10 miles have been brutal and Randy, Bryon and Liz finally limp into town, too tired to take pictures.

Painful feet, blisters and exhaustion dictate the mood tonight.

How about some cheese with that wine?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The only thing we have to fear is fear itself… and spiders.

Where does the spider rank on the likeability list?

Since most people jump and rush to kill the creepy beast, I would guess its rank is pretty low.  This charming specimen was keeping watch over a bin door this past August.

spider-0526dmvfpshr3_timelineThe Black and Yellow Garden spider is a common orb web spider. Orb web means it spins a web like a circle. The female builds the large web, and a male will build a smaller web on the outer part of her web. The male’s web is a thick zig-zag of white silk.

The spider hangs with her head down in the center of her web, waiting for prey to be caught. Sometimes she hides off to the side with a thin silk thread attached to her web. When an insect hits the web, the spider feels the vibrations and comes running.

Each night, they eat their web and build a new one.  Nothing like getting a fresh start each day.

The female lays as many as a thousand eggs on the side of the web and covers them with a papery sack.  The spiders hatch from their eggs in the fall, but stay in the sack until spring.  Imagine a thousand little spiders marching out and on their way to repeat the performance of their parents.  Yikes!

The down side of being a female spider is that the female dies after laying her eggs.  Males have it worse since they die after mating and sometimes the female eats him.  Severe form of sacrificial love, I guess.

Yes, spiders are creepy and not as loveable as a puppy or a kitty, but they do serve a purpose in this world and the artistry of their webs have decorated our world since the beginning of time.  To every thing there is a purpose...