Day 16: Total distance 17.5 kms. Total ascent: 164m
Weather: Raining, windy and cool. Temperature: 19
As we waited in line for the albergue to open, we first smelt the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread, then we observed a steady stream of Spanish folk walking past the albergue holding large, round wrapped packages. Judging by the shape and aroma of the circular white and red packages we knew there had to be a panaderia close by selling empanadas, and judging by the number of customers it had to have a good reputation. Is it a Spanish custom to buy empanadas for Sunday afternoon? As soon as we had checked in to the albergue we headed up the road in search of the source of the delicious smells. We didn’t need to go far; just a couple of shops away was a small unpretentious-looking panaderia, which inside was a veritable treasure trove of empanadas and bread. Actually, the range wasn’t huge – two or three types of empanada, and several types of bread – all freshly baked, still warm and it all tasted as good as it smelt. We bought one large, crusty and brown empanada for lunch which was so good, we decided to race back to the panaderia and buy another for dinner. By the time we returned to the bakery, there were only two left, and one was obviously reserved for a customer, but we were allowed to buy the final bonito empanada. Then a couple of huge loaves of fresh crusty bread. What a welcome to Melide! In fact, it was just as well we bought these as we had foolishly forgotten that from 2pm on a Sunday everything in Spain shuts down – including our supermarkets! We managed to buy some red peppers, tomatoes and strawberries from a lady at the local market who was packing away her produce but graciously let us buy from her still.
The day had started dark, cool and wet. In fact, we were all woken during the night at various stages to the sound of the thundering rain on the albergue roof – it is quite something when you can hear the rain falling over all the snoring! We had a 17km trek today, and for the first time we pulled out the storm covers, jackets and made sure all clothes were in plastic bags in the packs. Thankfully the rain was patchy, and within the first hour had cleared, although it continued to threaten and sprinkled a little while we walked and then finally set in late afternoon. No wonder this part of Spain is so green! The wind was blowing a gale, but mostly from behind so we were pushed and buffeted along the path – it is surprising how much windage a pack on your back creates! The forecast for the next few days is rain – but hopefully we can dodge the showers like today! Galicia typically has 12 days of rain in September, so we expected to get some wet weather and are thankful for the two weeks of beautiful sunshine we have experienced up till now. It appears the rain in Spain does NOT fall on the plain, but primarily in Galicia!
… rain, rain… go away!…
The pine trees also gave way to eucalyptus forests today. You could smell them as we walked through dense glades of the tall slender trees, the wind blowing the leaves down the path, and the children enjoying playing football with the fallen chestnuts, still in their prickly green cases. This is what memories are made of!
Tags: 2012, postcard: Spain