Palas de Rei – June 21

We took a taxi from Portomarin with Miriam & Ronan, but arranged to have them dropped off part way to Palas de Rei so they could walk 5 or 6 K to town. After a morning nap we went in search of lunch. It was cooler and looked like rain. On the way we passed a common structure you see in this area. It can look like a raised coffin or a tomb but is used to store grain etc to keep the bugs out.
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We had lunch in a pulperia, a place that specializes in octopus. I wasn’t hungry enough to get a big plate so had something else, but it was interesting to watch him prepare the plates.
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He had a huge steel steamer pot that he was boiling the octopus in. He’d take it out and slice it up, put it on a wooden plate, sprinkle it with salt & paprika and off it would go to the table. (We are in Melide tonight, especially well known for its pulpa, I’ll try some tonight.)
We walked around a bit and found the lovely small welcoming church playing beautiful recordings of Ave Maria, then O Caro Mia Babina (?). An older gentleman welcomed you in to get your pilgrim passport stamped.
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On the way back to the pension the heavens opened up. We were able to duck under an overhang for the worst part. We hadn’t been able to get a booking at the same place as Miriam & Ronan who were on the other side of town. That night we took a taxi over to them, in the pouring rain, to have dinner together. Hake for Miriam and a wonderful beef stew for the rest of us. There was a small tour group there from Ireland. The leader was Irish and his wife was Spanish but had lived in Ireland for 20 years. Every year they lead a group on the Camino. They had been married I. Santiago. This year they had their one year old Matthew with them. Miriam had come across them on the trail, the dad carrying Matthew on his back. He was a happy little chap and I had fun playing with him. (Made me miss Seeger.) He smiled a lot but I kept missing the smile.
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