Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Melides to Arzua

(May 21) I love how Europeans (and most everyone else besides Americans) use kilometers to measure distance instead of miles. It makes our daily distance sound more impressive when measured that way. For instance, I walked 16 kilometers today but it really was only 10 miles (16 divided by 1.6). A relatively short day, but tomorrow will make up for it.
Today continued with much the same scenery we have experienced ever since we entered Galicia - farmlands, rolling hills and deciduous forests. At least the rain has stopped, but there is still a lot of cloudiness.
Leaving Melide, I walked past Saint Mary's Romanesque Church 12th C) (photo 1) and back into the woods. (Photo 2). The primary tree I saw today are the tall eucalyptus that have been planted between fields and along the pathways, like sentries guarding the way.(photo 3, 4)
I passed through only a few villages, and most just had an albergue and a bar and a few deteriorating old structures. I liked this one scene as I left Casteneda (photo 5) because it is so typical of the region-- stone cross, stone fountain, stone house.
An attractive exception was Ribadiso, located on the River Iso (photo 6) with its medieval bridge, and many stone buildings which have been restored.
My final destination for today was Arzua. (Pop. 7,000) where I checked into the Hotel Suiza for 36€. Not as nice or as convenient as I would have expected.
There is very little of an old world feel to this city, with the exception of a small central plaza on the main street where several outdoor cafes are located. Michele and I met our dear friend Perry from Holland whom we had not seen since Leon. We had dinner together and shared our thoughts about the upcoming end of our journey. We plan to be in Santiago on Thursday!

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