On the road early
One of us looking grizzled
As this was destined to be a short day of 14 km, we opted for a slow start. The surly Germans left the room relatively early but just to move to the Albergue kitchen to prepare breakfast. This was not before they two of them "entertained" Greg in the communal bathroom as he was trying desperately to fit his contact lens, and not have to endure the "entertainment" a moment longer. We opted for a local cafe for breakfast which was as expected except for a memorable ricotta cake. We headed out by around 0800. Greg with his new knee brace fitted and operational. The trail rose briefly out of Melida and past several lovely medieval churches. The attendant at one was particularly excitable - the church had dominion over an 11th Century baptismal font. It warmed up quickly this morning and we were soon in light gear. The path passed through much more open country now and more often beside the road. Nonetheless the view over the rolling hills was pleasant and the company stimulating. No end to pilgrims willing to chat. Many of whom have boots that look like they have done the miles and climbed up some significant
mountains. On this day however there were short sharp climbs or maybe 100 vertical metres, and small stands of silver birch, pine and eucalyptus. Given that it had been pointed out to us, we noticed the large number of walkers who were carrying real day packs (perhaps 3 or 4kg) or nothing at all. The option of having one's gear transported ahead was always available, generally only a few Euros, and accepted by many. Arzua seemed to turn up surprisingly soon and the Albergue "da fonte" quite easily found. Catherine had a preference for pasta for lunch, and so another pleasant meal out in the village. A treat was the cheeses tortilla which was a thick egg dish consisting mostly of inlet sliced potatoes. Washing our clothes during the afternoon and putting them out/ pulling them during the afternoon as the sun showers passed over.
The kids (aka Alex and Jill Carman) turned up as if unannounced. Catherine was out looking for the bus station. Greg stayed back to write this blog. Catherine was not home more than ten minutes when Alex and Jill arrived. They were in great shape and generally happy with the de Fonte Albergue we
had found. The room enclosed six double-decker beds and two toilet/shower recesses that were joined by a vanity area. We had been completing some much-needed laundry and hanging it out on the continuous-string hanging lines just outside windows, As showers passed over, washing was hauled in and out trying to get it dry to the walk tomorrow. During the afternoon an older French couple turned up. They had walked 28 kms that day and so were pretty tired. They snuck in little sleeps as we went out. We wandered down the road through the village and found a little hole-in-the-wall pizzeria. The four cheeses pizza and four Estrella Galicia beers were the order of the afternoon. A very convivial chat and pilgrims continues to file past our street-side vantage point, making the customary greeting of "Buen Camino!". The evening progressed with us visiting a Jamoneria, which in Galician is spelt Xamoneria, and enjoyed Bodellas of Serrano ham and local Ullao cheese, and roasted pimientos. It was basically a cross between a delicatessen, a local bar, and restaurant: a pretty common business model in this part of the world. More local red wine (Rioja). We had to top it all off
with another serve of that tortilla to keep Alex's appetite at bay. The twilight didn't end until about 2145 so plenty of time to wander the streets.
It turned out to be a really long night as the frenchies snored like troopers and Catherine dealing with a stomach upset. Early in the morning we both wondered whether she would be OK for the next day with we planned to be beyond 25km.
Tot: 1.04s; Tpl: 0.037s; cc: 10; qc: 53; dbt: 0.021s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb