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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In Arzua

We are in the Pension Arcano in Arzua, a very nice pension in a quiet road off the main Camino route that runs through the centre of the town.  They have an enclosed indoor ´terrace´ on the first floor with pot plants grown by the mother who was ironing linen when we arrived.  It is a long, airy room with three wrought iron cafe tables and chairs at one end, a vending machine with all the coffees and chocolates, and another with cold drinks and chocolates in the centre of the room and then a comfortable 12 seater leather curved sofa around a centre table.  On the far wall are washlines where all the linen is hanging to dry.  This internet facility is tucked into a corner with a screen around it.  We have bought salads, fruit and cheese and will have dinner in tonight.
Our stay at A Bolboreta in Mato Casanova was really wonderful.  It is 2km off the Camino trail but worth the walk for a comfortable night´s stay.  The dinner is €8 for a 4 course meal and breakfast is included in the room charge.  They put out a breakfast - for those wanting to leave early in the morning - with microwaves, toasters, breads, biscuits, jams etc. 
We made an early start this morning and walked through lovely forests and many small hamlets.  The first big town was Melide and we followed the yellow arrows to the parish church to get a stamp.  I was directed to a door at the side of the altar and when I knocked and opened the door, two men angrily chased us away telling us to ´Vamos´.  ¨No sello aqui?¨ I asked.  ¨No, no, no!¨they said.  ´This is a Camino de las Cafe-Bars´ I commented to Bell and Jill.  Most of the churches are closed when you pass by them.  Those that are open don´t have stamps and when one is directed to the parish church to get a sello you are chased away.  Nearly all of the stamps in my credencial are from bars, reaturants, pensions, hostals and albergues - very few churches. 
The next 11km were very hot so we were thankful for the shade of the forests.  From around Boente 6km from Melide, the terrain becomes hilly and undulating as you descend to many small rivers and climb out on the other side.  We stopped at Ribadiso da Baixo to have lunch at the cafe-bar next to the ancient San Anton hospice albergue.  The man in the cafe-bar recognized me and said that he remembered my ´hombre´who drank brandy and coke!  (That was Charles Mason on the last group walk so I hope someone reads this and passes on the message!  He has not been forgotten!)
The last three km to Arzua were undulating but they passed quickly.  We found our pension, checked in and then went out to buy food for supper. We will make Seville Ensalade - a salad with many different fruits, olives, cheeses and lettuce, tomatoes, onions etc.  Tomorrow is our penultimate walk and we are all a little sad that our Camino is coming to an end. 

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Sylvia, I keep remembering that you said 'it's not the end', Santiago is just, again, a point on a longer journey we are all taking. We also all got a little antsy when one of our party in June kept gleefully commenting that its only X days (or X km) to Santiago, or similar - as if they were so excited that it was ending (which of course wasn't what was being said!). But I know the feeling that does creep up on one, knowing that the next 'end-point' is so close, and you all leave for your respective homoes when you get there and this part of teh jurney IS complete. Enjoy the last few days .... try and spend time on your own to reflect back on that which has been, and that which is to come ...
Love from Kathy