Route: Melide – Pedrouzo
Distance: 37 km (Total: 734 km)
During the last two days we walked almost 80 km. With the hilly terrain and the continuous rain it was quite a challenge. We are gla we did this as we have only 20 km left befor Santiago. Nevertheless we are not planning to get there tomorrow. Personally, I m not in a hurry. I booked a hotel there for the 6.03 and a train ticket to Madrid for 07.03. a bilet powrotny do Madrytu na 07.03. Besides, I wish to cherish the last kilometers of our walk and stay for the last night at a so called Polish Albergue, which is on a hill roughly 5 km from our final destination. Henry is planning to walk to Fisterra, a town on the Atlantic coast, which is another 100 km walk. Anyway, he decided to keep me company all the way to Santiago. How nice of him!
Back to yesterday we got to Melide very late. Because of this I was also delayed coming to a Holy Mass in the evening there. Once I got to church I was surprised to see that at a moment in time where in Poland there would be a time for a short homily, at that church it was past Transfiguration already. These „fast” Masses are unfortunately common in Western countries.
The albergue, we stayed in Melide was perhap even more noisy than the previous one. A roup of pilgrims from Argentina raised the level of decibels in the dining room by 10 every hour.
If you look for peace and quite during your walk in the last 100 km I strongly advise not to stay at albergues, like we did today. Instead we stayed at a small B&B.
The weather today was again quite capricious. I think I changed my clothes 4 times, putting on and off my rain pants and jacket. Compared to yesterday, though, it did not rain as much.
In our hike today we could see some new elements in the environment, i.e. eucaliptus trees and citrus trees here and there. As for the former, walking walking through a patch of forest, which seemed recently grubbed up, I was inhaling the the volatile oils released from the Eucalyptus… What a feeling!
Apart from that there were a few elements of fauna along the way. First I heard some squealing of the hogs probably loaded on truck en route to a slaughter house. Then I saw some quietly grazing animals of different kinds. At the end, at the cheese festival in Arzua, so called finished products.
After about 14 km walk we get to the city of Arzua. There I can see some commotion. The neon sign I saw while entering the city mentioning a cheese festival, is taking its shape in front of me eyes. Crowds of people carrying plastic bags with lots of cheese and some other goodies inside. We get off the Camino trail and follow our noses to see where all the action is.
As a side note, I have a feeling most of the peregrinos generally rush from hostel to hostel not stopping along the way and not visiting places of interest. Then they get to an albuerge and are cooped up with others there droning on.
Back to the cheese festival, it turns out to be quite a fiesta. There are many stalls offering Galician and Spanish delicacies just like churros, cheeses, bread, meat, pastry. Looking at one of the stands the brand looks familiar, doesn’t it?
Somewhere in the background of it all I hear music I am trying to get closer to. Banda de Musica, i.e. a youth band, is playing all kinds of hits in a kind of medley. Just watch and listen below.
Though it is lunch time I have to walk on. There are still over 20 km to go. Unfortunately my battery in the watch needs urgent recharging. Since it is measuring all kinds of things along the way I have to charge it once every three days. For the next 13 kilometers all places like bars, restaurants, albergues are closed. All I can see is some empty bottle. I walk around some close hostels in search of an electric socket. To no avail. Finally the watch goes dead. I knock on the door of one farm and ask a lady for help by plugging it for just a few minutes. I take the opportunity to rest a bit then. Though it has been over 20 days since I developed a blister on my right heel, it still bothers me.
Close to our destination I pass a peculiar sight. A certain couple is walking in the opposite direction (some people do a so called return Camino) and they are walking with a donkey carrying some of their things. Cool!
Meditation XXVII. Full Joy.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be f
J 15, 11
Today is the fourth Sunday of Lent, so calle Laetare, i.e. rejoice…
Thus I meditate on the topic of Joy, and Full Joy. This is a state we all want to experience in our lives. This is what God wants for us as well, and there quite a few references in the Bible proving this.
Many a time, however, we tend to mix Joy and Pleasure.
The former is one of the so calld fruits of the Holy Spirit, which comes from our heart. Pleasure is something we derive from the outside that gives us a similar though short-term feeling. It is initiated externally when, e.g. we buy ourselves something or receive it from somebody. This distinction is pretty important.
How come, then, there is so much saddness in us? You can see that with non believers and believers. Suffice it to look around at church. Logically this must come from the fact that we actually lack real faith and therefore Holy Spirit does not dwell in us. This void is then filled with the other guy from down below. The sign of it are our are those frowned and serious face we wear.
So what is the recipe for Full Joy? Being with Him, in Him. Without Him there is big emptiness and sadness.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice
My soul does magnify the Lord,
and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour