Day 30 - Melide to Salcedo
Trip Start Sep 03, 2012
36Trip End Oct 07, 2012
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Where I stayed
Kms walked in total: 775kms
Kms left to Santiago: 25kms
It rained all night, and it rained most of the day! Not that I'm complaining as it freshens up the effort and dampens the paths which become much softer on the feet.
It also strengthens the eucalyptus smell whenever there is a forrest, as that's the most common tree in Galicia nowadays (imported by the pulp industry).
There is one painful element dropping all over the path when the wind blows or the rain hits harder - the chestnut seeds. They fall without warning and are inside a spiky skin. A direct hit is a hurtful experience.
The walk was a mix of good old forrest with good old roads. Nothing much to say apart from the fact that I took it at a very relaxed pace as it was only 25kms and had a place to kip booked. It was the most humid and sticky day up to now though - raining but 20 degrees celsius - a tropical mix.
The place I chose to sleep is in the town of Salcedo, although calling it a town might be an overstatement - three hostels and the main road. Luckily my pousada had a bar and restaurant, and the rooms were closer to a boutique bed and breakfast than a "pousada". Not a bad deal for 30 euros.
Sod's Law did work today again. At Melide I put some order in my cleaning kit (that's also an overstatement as its two Waitrose plastic bags - one for the shaving kit and liquids, and the other for the tooth brush and paste. Those bags certainly last!). During my albergue days I had been saving any extra soaps and gel sacs for use at the albergues (use and throw). As I was now staying at hostels which all had a large availability of the above, my Waitrose plastic bag had become a little soap museum.
I decided to leave them all behind at Melide...and yes you guessed it! The pousada at Salcedo had none, and I had forgotten my own shampoo at Portomarin. Sod!
Anyway, I had a good long shower and went for a beer and dinner downstairs. When I arrived at the bar, there were three advanced age norwegian women sitting on the stools...and what a riot of a time they were having. The headless chicken laugh and all!
I was only there for one hour before dinner but they managed to drink to "Riokkaaa" bottles. The youngest one of the three seemed to consider herself a "healer" and was practising Rekki motions on the other two. Totally drunk but waving her hands frantically as if dusting off bad energies from the backs of her two colleagues. I wondered why her feet were totally covered in blisters if she had such a wonderful skill of curation - perhaps one cannot rekki oneself?
Anyway, it didn't take her long to make a complete arse of herself. She was sitting in the middle of the three, chatting with an Irish old man that knew them from other days. She made a sudden Rekki movement on the woman on the right (sort of moving both her hands quickly down the back of the other one without touching her), and as she was trying to gain her equilibrium onto the stool again her right foot slipped off the foot rest and she fell sideways onto the floor like a big tree log. Karma?
Their drunken behaviour continued during all dinner, joined by four americans on the table next to them. They were not touched by the effects of alcohol, but did join into the "let's talk and laugh as loud as possible" fashion.
Every person they saw alone they asked to join them. Nice but to be avoided, so I politely declined and stuck my head back into my book. If I want to suffer idiots I can switch the TV on any time of the day.
It was an early night for me as I didn't want to hang around the bar with the drunkards. There was a curiosity in the bedroom. It was a bit stuffy so I wanted to open the window which was on the inclined ceiling. It was impossible to reach so I looked around for a pole which these windows normally have. None there, but there was one remote control that might be related. I started playing around with it, and effectively you could open the window and close the shutter with the remote.
I opened the window as far as it would go, lay down to relax, and after five minutes the window closed itself again. I tried a couple of times with the same result.
I then read the information on the menu and the windows are programmed to close themselves if there is a probability of rain. Now, the system is quite clever, but who on earth would install them in Galicia where the probability of rain is 99 percent on most of the days of the year!
So no wonder the room was stuffy...and so it stayed!