The morning sun and a delicious breakfast prepare us for the day of walking ahead of us. After saying goodbye to Palas de Rei we begin our journey to Melide through the rolling hills. We will pass through the tiny hamlet of San Xulian, one of the prettiest pictures you can find on the Camino with a cruceiro, an hórreo and the small 12th century Romanesque church of San Xulián.
Saint Julian is another favorite on the Camino, him being the patron saint of hospitallers and hoteliers may have something to do with this. His story goes as follows. Julian, a soldier and not yet a saint, mistakenly kills his parents thinking that the two bodies he finds sleeping in his bed are his wife and a lover. However, his parents, who had been searching for him across Europe, had previously stumbled upon his home and wife by chance. His wife was overjoyed and had put his weary parents to bed before running out to find Julian. When she returned home, he then learnt that they were his parents. Full of remorse and repentance, he traveled to Rome with his wife to seek forgiveness. There, the Pope told him that to absolve his sin, he had to set up a pilgrim’s hospice to care for pilgrims on their way to Santiago. And this he did, eventually becoming Saint Julian.
Another highlight on today’s walk is the small village of Leboreiro. This village has kept its rustic old charm and it is graced by the small Romanesque church of Santa María de las Nieves.
Finally we arrive in Melide, our stop for the night. Here, will enjoy the famous and delicious Galician pulpo (octopus), and rest our heads for the days to come. Santiago de Compostela is close!