Sunday, August 30, 2015

Day 10 Melida to Arzua --Undulating Ambulation Amongst Ungulates Under Eucalyptus

Avoid alliteration always! Well not today!

Breakfast Melide style: Iberian ham, local cheese and churros. Why yes, thank you, I will!

Sorry, gentleman. If you want a hot Galician blonde, you are gonna get a cow!

Oh beer thirty offering in Arzua: Estrella Galicia. Why yes, thank you, I will!

Java Jive Paul Parris has a cuppa cuppa cuppa cup a cup of cafĂ© con leche

After enjoying a large breakfast at Pension Berenguela, our accommodation for last night (with the single long cigar type pillow--Sheesh! Who thought that was a good idea?), we packed up our gear and were off to the races for the 10 mile hike to Arzua. Melide is a city of about 9000 people and Arzua, somewhat smaller, is the last "town" between here and Santiago de Compostela. This was another "short day." When I mentioned to Paul that I better not eat a big dinner because I didn't walk very far today, he said, "When 10 miles isn't very far, you have an altered perspective." True dat!

Our pathway today passed predominantly through cattle farms and corn fields with interspersed eucalyptus and pine forest paths and a little walking through villages on the roads. It was definitely "East Tennessee style-" up one hill, then down the next with a "hellish" hill at the end that seemed to ascend steeply at first and then relentlessly all the way to downtown Arzua for well over a mile. Finally, it ended. And I was beginning to wonder! We are passing through Northern Spain's dairy region. We are seeing predominantly either Holsteins, used for milk and butter, or the Galician blonde, the preferred bovine for cheese production. We also saw a few sheep today, which are generally scarce in this area. No goats, folks.

 Here we see the light passing through the eucalyptus tress and onto the thermocline of the stream in front of an aqueduct.

The best part of today was definitely the walk with the small villages, their stone buildings and churches. Arzua, although the last major city before the big SDC, isn't much of a town. It's also Sunday, so many things are closed. It is basically one very long strip along a major highway with a small "antiquity" center. One thing we have come to appreciate though passing through areas where the buildings date back to the 9th century and there are many references to the Crusades, the Moors, and kings we have never heard of, is that Spain is OLD compared to the USA. History here has an entirely prolonged meaning in comparison.

This is the font of the Estrella Galicia beer...or oranges, if you prefer.

Overall, a "short" ten mile day into a sleepy Sunday town with not too much to recommend it. But the beer is good. And the tap....well, that's a matter of opinion.
Paul's Ponderings:   Another "short" day, meaning only 10 miles or so.   By far the hottest day of hiking and we were really sweating coming up some of the steep hills!    In theory, tomorrow may bring rain while we are out.    One thing we've seen, which may parallel the USA in a way is that many of these small towns are quite full of elderly folks.   Not that there is anything wrong with that, we say as middle aged types.   But, like in the USA, cities like Madrid and Barcelona are full of young folks and the country areas are left to the aged/aging.   Unlike last night our room here in Arzua has no A/ quickly the lack of such things becomes noticeable!   Thank goodness for tepid showers!   

Also weirdly enough while walking, we see many signs of horses on the path (use your imagination), but we have yet to see an actual horse being ridden on the path!

At this point we are about 24 miles from the end and getting a bit of barn's to a successful finish!   Tomorrow night we are staying in a town of 50 people, before moving back to the big city.   

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