DAY 28: Monday, June 22 2015 Melide to Arzua. ( 17 Km)

Another very warm day with very little breeze. Even the locals are finding the heat and the lack of rain unusual. There are times throughout the day that we are so hot a bit of rain sounds awfully nice. However, we should be careful what we wish for as some of the Camino here becomes deep mud holes when wet.
Today we walked through many eucalyptus forests, both Blue Gum and Rainbow species. As the trees are generally not lining the Camino path.they provide a fresh, invigorating scent but no shade.
We have entered the centre for cheese making in Galicia. Galician cheese is truly delicious and each village seems to have its own unique recipe. It is made from the milk of the Galician Blond or Galician Red cows, distinct breeds. We stopped for a cold drink in Boente, a village acclaimed for its cheese. It is very difficult to buy the Boente cheese as it is primarily made for the villagers own needs………perhaps the supply and demand have elevated the cheese’s desirability. We did not get to try it:-)
Over the past few days we have walked passed covered cement or stone structures filled with water. We guessed that these might be for the farm animals or even for pilgrims to bathe in. Luckily, we did not immerse ourselves as these are old clothes washing troughs for the village women.
We have also been curious about the chimneys and the horrereos with the carved stone crosses or steeples on them. The custom dates back to the Middle Ages when people believed these carved stone images would protect their homes and crops from evil spirits. The decorations have become a trend lately and are now re-appearing on new or renovated buildings.
At one point today there were 16 other pilgrims in a space of 1/2 kilometer so the Camino is getting busier each day.. We still find that we are able to have as much quiet and private time as we wish. Pilgrims all walk at a different pace and take breaks at different times making it easy to claim solitude when you wish. We learned a new word to describe pilgrims walking only the last portion of the Camino–“sinmochilas” —meaning without backpacks. The sinmochilas, mostly are younger, excited and perhaps not as contemplative as those have walked the whole way. We find them a joy, and marvel at their exuberance and incredible energy.
Our hotel was off the Camino and, of course, uphill. We were hoping it was worth the extra kilometers and it was. The Pazo.Santa Maria was an 18th century manor house now an elegantly restored casa rural in a beautiful, park like setting. It provided a lovely respite. We wished we had had more than one night here but Santiago is calling.

Rod's new best friend.... The churro lady, she gave us some as a breakfast treat!
Rod’s new best friend…. The churro lady, she gave us some as a breakfast treat!
A determined and inspirational Pilgrim.
A determined and inspirational Pilgrim.
We looked closely at this and believed it to be a resting place for hot and tired pilgrims to sit and soak tired feet. Not so.... It is not all about us! Rather it was designed as a long ago community laundromat where women would meet to socialize while scrubbing their laundry on the stones and mortar
We looked closely at this and believed it to be a resting place for hot and tired pilgrims to sit and soak tired feet. Not so…. It is not all about us! Rather it was designed as a long ago community laundromat where women would meet to socialize while scrubbing their laundry on the stones and mortar
The other kind of eucalyptus -
These are  ” Blue Gum” eucalyptus trees brought in by Franco as a reforestation plan. A much prettier version of the tree. Seen in large commercial plantations
Typical forests of very tall Rainbow eucalyptus trees.
These are the more common  Rainbow eucalyptus trees.
Our lovely suite in the 273 year old main building.
At days’ end, our  lovely suite in the 273 year old main building.
The symbols places on the top of chimneys to ward off evil spirits.
The symbols places on the top of chimneys to ward off evil spirits.
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