Day Eleven on the Camino Primitivo, Part Two ~ Melide to Arzúa, 13.95 Kilometers (8.67 Miles)

Just so you know, all Amazon and links on this website are affiliate links. As an Amazon associate and a associate, we will earn from qualifying purchases when you  click on these links, at no cost to you. We sincerely thank-you as this is a reader-supported website.

On this day eleven of our Camino Primitivo, part two, we joined the Camino Francés, and not only made a change in direction, but also found familiar faces. Our total mileage for the day, if you count the 14.3 kilometers from part one of day eleven, was 28.25 kilometers.

Appropriately, the juncture of the Camino Primitivo and the Camino Francés near a quaint chapel in Melide, see below, marks the final 50 kilometers to Santiago de Compostela. When you reach this city, Santiago de Compostela is so very close!

“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed...It feels an impulsion...this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.” ~ Richard Bach, From Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Day Eleven, Camino Primitivo, Part Two Maps and Stats

My soul did not want to leave the Camino Primitivo upon arriving in the Praza do Convento in the center of Melide. It was 10:30 a.m., and as good pilgrims do, we carried on and soon joined the Camino Francés. 

If you wish to spend the night here in Melide, there are many options from which to choose. See the interactive Google map of Melide for their location, or click here. There is the giant municipal Albergue de Peregrinos de Melide just beyond the square, many private ones, and hotels and pensions throughout town. 

As you can see from the elevation profile of day eleven part two, starting in Melide, the walking is now much easier and is relatively flat, with mild elevation changes throughout the full 14 kilometers. 

Elevation Profile, Melide to ArzúaElevation Profile, Melide to Arzúa

Our Journey on Day Eleven of the Camino Primitivo ~ Part Two

We reluctantly left the center of town on the final steps of the Camino Primitivo, walking through the Praza do Convento onto the Rúa Nueva, (see day eleven, part one for the photo of the plaza). After 100 meters the Way turns right (west) on the Rúa Principal. Here we joined the Camino Francés! One takes this street until it ends in a walkway by a cemetery in only 1/4 kilometer and you are essentially out of the center of Melide. The street is now called the Camiño Santiago.

You continue walking to where the walkway ends, joining the main road, the CP-4603 for about 200 meters, before turning right onto the road called the Santa Maria at the 50 kilometer waymark.

In addition to the many pilgrims we were seeing as we joined the French Way, we also knew we were on the Camino Francés, by its many shops. Here is one we soon encountered - welcome to the Camino Francés!

Souvenir Shop on the French Way, Melide, SpainSouvenir Shop on the French Way in Melide

Shortly after the souvenir shop, on the outskirts of town is the famous and well-touristed, Iglesia de Santa María de Melide. It is definitely worth a look.

Iglesia de Santa María de MelideIglesia de Santa María de Melide and 50 Km Waymark

The interior of the chapel contains some remarkable 14th Century paintings, and there is an old 8th Century Roman fountain on the grounds as well. My photo of the paintings did not turn out well, and I never did see the fountain through the throngs of people. 

There was a guide at the door when we entered who in rapid fire English explained the historic value of the place to any eager pilgrim ears. There were so many people here that after the intimacy of the Camino Primitivo, I just wanted to leave! I was not a very good pilgrimage traveler, adjusting to whatever came my way.

My suggestion is that you try to see this lovely little chapel either early or late in the day, or in the off-season. In early September, at 11:00 a.m. it was packed with pilgrims and many others. I was unable to find any information regarding the hours of its opening, so you may want to check with the locals before making any plans, if you want to see inside. Google maps says it is open 24 hours/day!

After leaving the chapel, the Camino Francés yields way to a lovely, wide, off-road path, generally westward and in the shadow of the N-547, passing an old washing well along the way.

Inviting Tree-lined Off-Road Camino Path, near Melide on the Camino FrancesInviting Tree-lined, Off-Road Camino Path

We kept a new, determined tempo to get to Santiago de Compostela more quickly. We were moving at a much faster pace on this flat terrain.

We were very surprised at the many off road paths we found on the French Way on our day eleven on the Camino Primitivo, part two. They were often very shaded and walked through tree-lined countryside!

Essentially, after Melide, the French Way continues to follow to the south of the N-547 on these nicely shaded paths. We frequently traveled into and out of forests like in this photo, below.

Walking thru cool forest paths on the French Way near Melide, SpainVery Cool, Forest Walks on Day Eleven, Camino Primitivo, Part Two

The Camino does join the N-547 in Barreiro de Abaixo, but never walks onto it, but onto a path beside it. It once again turns off the N-547, on country paths and quiet pavement to walk into Boente, 5.5 kilometers from the center of Melide and shown on the sign below.

Walking into Boete, Camino Frances, SpainWalking Into Boente

Just before town, watch out for the private Albergue and Cafeteria El Aleman, and in a few more steps the pricey Rectoral de Boente, if you choose to stay in Boente for the night. 

Boente, Spain, on the Camino FrancesTurn Right Here in Boente

After turning right, in the above photo, the Camino joins the N-547, below, to walk through Boente. If you need a stop there are lots of bars, and if you are done for the day, it has the Albergue and Pension Boente and the Os Albergue Fuente Saleta along the main road.

Joining the N-547 in Boente, Spain on the Camino FrancesJoining the N-547 in Boente

At the junction of the N-547, there is a lovely fountain and cruceiro. Here I am by the cross. The church is just down the road a bit more. This is a nice place for a rest, if you need, on the bench shown in the photo on the left. 

Elle by Cruceiro in Boente, Spain on the Camino FrancesElle by Cruceiro in Boente
Igrexa de Santiago de Boente, Spain on the Camino FranceIgrexa de Santiago de Boente

The Way turns right by the church to walk north of the N-547, then crosses under a bridge and alternates to the south, staying close to the highway's direction and nearby towns. It goes over and sometimes under the highway, but rarely on it on its way to the next town of A Fraga Alta.

Here is another glimpse of the town of Boente on the north side of the N-547.

Boente, Spain, on the Camino FrancesAnother Glimpse of Boente on Day Eleven, Camino Primitivo, Part Two

Once in the town of A Fraga Alta, 2.2 kilometers from Boente, turn left at this small, private Albergue Santiago, shown below, as it continues on south of the highway. There is also a café bar here, if you need a food/beverage stop. At this albergue you are now 7.9 kilometers into this section from Melide. 

Albergue Santiago in A Fraga Alta on the Camino FrancesAlbergue Santiago in A Fraga Alta

Steps after the turn, above, you encounter the casa rural, La CallejaAfter A Fraga Alta the road ambulates through the countryside through Pedrido and O Rio.  

Walking the Country Road thru Pedrido towards O Rio on the Camino FrancesWalking the Country Road through Pedrido towards O Rio

In O Rio, there is a nice picnic area in the shade to left by the river.

Toward the Next Town of Rivadiso on the Camino FrancesToward the Next Town of Rivadiso
The French Way is Shaded Enroute to RivadisoThe French Way is Shaded Enroute to Rivadiso

When you reach this old Roman bridge over the River Iso in Rivadiso, you have walked 3 kilometers from A Fraga Alta, after a total of 10.9 kilometers, and there are only 3 kilometers left to go to Arzúa. It is a wonderful and quiet place. 

Bridge Across the Rio Iso in the Town of Rivadiso on the French WayBridge Across the Rio Iso in the Town of Rivadiso

Just after the bridge, are three accommodations, the municipal Albergue Público Municipal de Ribadiso, the Pensión Ribadiso and finally the Pensión Albergue Los Caminantes.

A bit farther onward is the Albergue Milpés. All four of these places are in a quiet setting, if you prefer it to a larger town. 

Just before Arzúa the French Way joins the N-547 and walks on a nice dirt path on the south side of it. 

Arzúa Just Ahead on the Camino FrancesFinally, Arzúa Just Ahead on Day Eleven, Camino Primitivo, Part Two

When you enter this hedge-lined path you know that Arzúa is very, very close. I loved the protected feel of this path into the city. It certainly shelters you from the risk and the noise of the increased traffic. Good job Camino engineers!

Arzúa Now Close at the Hedge-Lined Path on the French WayArzúa Now Close at the Hedge-Lined Path

Pass by the Pensión-Restaurante O Retiro and La Puerta de Arzúa  just before entering town.

Accommodations in Arzúa

We stayed in the economical Pension Rúa right along the N-547 on the eastern side of town, the first place we saw! It was adequate, clean and comfortable and only a short walk to the center of town. They also run the albergue right next to it, the Albergue Don Quijote and a café bar.

As you would expect there are a gazillion places to stay in Arzúa. Here is the list of albergues, starting with the 46-bed muni, the Albergue Público de Arzúa farther along the Camino on the west side of town. Next I will list the privates, from east to west, the Albergue Los Tres AbetosO Albergue de Selmo, the Albergue Santiago Apóstol,  the Albergue Don Quijote (+34 981 50 01 39), the Albergue Ultreia, the De Camino Albergue, the Albergue Turístico Arzúa (+34 981 50 82 33), the Albergue Pensión Cima do Lugar, Cruce De Caminos Arzúa, the Albergue del Peregrino, the Albergue Los Caminantes Arzúa, the Albergue San Francisco en Arzúa, the Vía Láctea Albergue en Arzúa, and finally the Albergue da Fonte (+34 604 00 23 80).

In addition to the Pensión Rúa where we stayed, there are many more economical private rooms, like the Pensión Domus Gallery, the Pensión Begoña, the Pensión Luis, the Pensión Boutique La Casona de Nené, the Pensión Casa Costoya,  the Pension Casa Elena and  the Pensión Arcano.

For even more choices of accommodations and to see the deals today in Arzúa click here.

Reunion With Familiar Faces

While Rich and I were resting in our hotel, he says to me, "Call Camino Mother." Gylvia was part of our Camino family, and we fondly called her the "Camino Mother" because she has a very nurturing personality. (see day nine)

I ignored Rich and kept on working on categorizing my photos, and posting to Facebook. In about five minutes he says again, "Call Camino Mother." I'm not sure why he didn't call her, but I suppose it was because it was I who had her phone number!

So, I called Glyvia. Much to our astonishment she was in Arzúa! We had caught up to her, even though we had spent an extra day in Lugo. On her first day after Lugo she had gotten lost and after a one-hour detour grew discouraged and ended up staying in San Román (see our day ten). She had spent the second night in Melide. Today she made it to Arzúa! Her niece, Saskia had gone on and she was now with Magdalena, a bit further on. 

After our rest, we met Glyvia at the church in the center of Arzúa and wandered around to find this café. It was sunny, bright and inviting, so we walked in for a bite. I cannot remember the name of it, but we really only had small dishes and wine, not a full dinner. 

Glyvia, Elle and Rich at Café on Main Street

Shortly after sitting down, Mattias, another member of our Camino family, walks in. Not only had we caught up to Glyvia, we had also caught up to Mattias, who was having foot/blister trouble. He joined us for a beer. We were so very happy to see our familiar Camino family faces again!


Perhaps my mind set put me in a more closed place when we arrived on this day eleven of our Camino Primitivo, part two. I am not exactly sure. 

But I do know that we walked very quickly and with much endurance on the French Way, partly because the terrain was much, much easier and flat, partly because we were not as desirous of the company of throngs of pilgrims with the concomitant heightened tourism and partly because we were eager to arrive in Santiago de Compostela. 

My attitude was also influenced by meeting up with so many pilgrims who were seemingly on a race. We had encountered several pairs of peregrinos who, when they heard us approach from behind, would speed up and try to stay ahead of us. (Ay, we did not want to repeat the episode of day four and the "Three Amigos.")

By the afternoon, we were growing sick of being polite and we just wanted to "get there." We chose to keep our pace throughout the "races." Sure enough, whenever we would come to a hill, the racers would fall back and then disappear. Whether or not it was the Tortilla Francés we had in Melide, or our conditioning in the mountains of the Primitivo, we were very strong on the hills. 

While I never set out to race, I must admit that with all the peregrinos now out and about, it did help to fuel me on, though I arrived very tired and aching in Arzúa after a long, grueling 28 kilometer day!

I observed all this racing behavior with amusement, tried not to judge and just kept to our pace. I will, however, claim my somewhat competitive nature! I did feel proud of what we had accomplished on the Camino Primitivo.

Indeed, we had changed our course of direction, in many ways when we joined the Camino Francés. One day, we might do the entire French Way. And then, we might not. The jury is out.

The French Way is not good or bad, just a different experience. 


May your own day eleven on your Camino Primitivo, part two (Francés) be filled with a better knowledge of the different Caminos, why you are who you are and why you choose one Camino over another! May you stay steady at your own pace and soar over the clouds to get a complete view beyond the horizons! Buen Camino!

Now a greatly improved and updated version of our Camino Primitivo eBook Guide, completed in 2023, for your best Camino Primitivo experience. Click here for more information.

Camino Primitivo Stages

Your Opinion Matters! Comments

Have you had a similar experience, have some advice to give, or have something else you'd like to share? We would love to hear from you! Please leave us a comment in the box below.

Please Consider Showing Your Support

Many readers contact me, Elle, to thank me for all the time and care that I have spent creating this informative website. If you have been truly blessed by my efforts, have not purchased an eBook, yet wish to contribute, I am very grateful. Thank-you! 

Search This Website:

Follow Me on Pinterest:

Follow Me on Instagram:

Instagram Icon

Find the Pilgrimage Traveler on Facebook:

Facebook Icon

Like / Share this page on Facebook:

***All Banners, Amazon and links on this website are affiliate links. As an Amazon associate and a associate, the Pilgrimage Traveler website will earn from qualifying purchases when you  click on these links, at no cost to you. We sincerely thank-you as this is a pilgrim-supported website***

PS: Our guide books are of our own creation and we appreciate your purchase of those too!!

Shroud Yourself in Mystery, along the Via de Francesco!

Way of St. Francis eBook Guide

Walk in the Footsteps of St. Francis, and Connect Deeply to the Saint and to Nature in the Marvelous Italian Countryside!

Recent Articles

  1. The La Verna Sanctuary, The Official Start of the Way of St. Francis

    Jun 04, 24 09:51 AM

    St. Francis Mosaic
    The peaceful, secluded and phenomenal setting of the La Verna Sanctuary is a very special place where your pilgrimage on the Way of St Francis begins.

    Read More

  2. Day Eighteen on the Coastal Route of the Camino Portugués

    May 23, 24 12:05 PM

    Right Turn Toward Roundabout
    On our day eighteen on the Coastal Route of the Camino Portugués was a most enchanting stroll through time on old roads made of real cobblestone and rutted stone pavers that were full of twists and tu…

    Read More

  3. Day Twenty-Two A on the Coastal Route of the Camino Portugués, Vigo

    Feb 24, 24 07:43 AM

    Café Don Gregorio on the Praza Princesa
    Day twenty-two, Part A on the Coastal Route of the Camino Portugués, is a very short stage, using the high, flat and easy plateau trail system, called the Senda da Auga.

    Read More

Need suggestions on what to pack for your next pilgrimage? Click Here or on the photo below!

Carbon Trekking Poles

Carbon fiber construction ( not aluminum) in a trekking pole makes them ultra lightweight. We like the Z-Pole style from Black Diamond so we can hide  our poles in our pack from potential thievesbefore getting to our albergue! There are many to choose from!  ( See more of our gear recommendations! )

Gregory BackPack - My Favorite Brand

An ultralight backpack should serve you well for years, like my Gregory has - six Caminos in all! My 28L Women's pack gets a 5-star on Amazon (Ones for Guys too)!

Microfiber Towel Set

Do not forget your quick-dry microfiber towel!

My absolute favorite book on how to be a pilgrim: