Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 9: Rest day - Melide

22 May:
Patricia had suggested a rest day, and with the few extra km they have walked, and a bit of tweaking the mileages from now on, we chose today as our free day.
We would leave Bolboreta to go to Melide so we got Angela to organise two taxis for to take us to Pambre Castle after breakfast. Built in the 14th c it is one of the few military castles that survived the Irmandinos uprising of 15th century.  The Irish lady decided to come along after all so we had a full complement in the two taxis.

The castle gates were closed when we got there but at 11am a car arrived and a woman opened the gates so that we could go inside. One can only imagine the power of the nobility over the peasants and the hold they had over agriculture in Galicia from these castles, built on high bluffs looking over hills and valleys for miles around.
An interesting finding for me was a mason sign in a stone right next to the entrance that I have also seen in Santiago cathedral. Was it the same mason?  Was it his son? The registered signs were passed down from father to son and were unique to each mason.  This was Bob's favourite outing on the walk and he said afterward that it was a highlight for him.
After exploring the castle we dropped Adrian back at the albergue together with Malcolm from Australia who we had invited to join our outing. Then we were taken to Melide and the Hotel Carlos which is run by a friendly family who have been there since 1996. Our rooms weren't ready so we sat outside in the sun and ordered a snack for lunch.

Pat and Janet like to have their main meals at lunchtime. (Pat says that they have their dinner at about 4h30pm at home in Texas.)  So they don't usually have an evening meal.  Reinette doesn't like to eat at night either but she will join the group and once she sees what they eating, she will relent and have something to eat. Bob needs to fill his tall frame so he can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. He says he used to eat twice as much as he does now and that as he has gotten older he has become about 3" shorter.  Adrian likes to have breakfast and will have dinner most nights. The Irish lady often eats in her room and does a lot of grocery shopping but she enjoys having lunch and/or dinner with the group when possible.  I rarely have the Spanish breakfast which is mostly bread and coffee but I like to have dinner with the group at night.

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