Day 14 – Rolling hills and chicken sheds

This morning it wasn’t raining (hooray!), but it was overcast and the air was still, which is ideal for riding. We slept in past everyone else getting up and leaving the hostel, so we had a quiet breakfast then packed up and got on the road by about 9:30am. It was still cool as we rode down the steep hill out of town, but perfect temperature for riding uphill again after crossing the river. On the way up, we saw two Camino walkers waving at us to pull over so we inched our way towards them uphill in granny gear and said hello. They were lost and didn’t know where to pick up the Camino trail. We were sorry not to be able to help them, but said that if we saw the trail up ahead, we’d shout. As we continued on up and around the corner, there was a trail sign, so I went down the hill (a tiny bit, but still more than I wanted to!) and gave them a cheery shout and a wave and they headed on up.

Riding alongside the Camino

Riding alongside the Camino

For some reason, Dave and I were both a bit shitty with each other all morning in spite of the ideal weather, cheery walkers and gentle ups and downs. I had been getting gradually more annoyed over the last two weeks with Dave’s road position and it all came to a head this morning when he continued to refuse to use the hard shoulder. Every time we stopped, we argued about it over chocolate biscuits then continued riding, still angry. The only benefit was that my legs appear to be anger-fuelled and we made amazing progress!

Pit stop

Pit stop

Thankfully the mood improved after first lunch and we were enjoying ourselves again. The sun was making the odd break through the clouds, we had been going alongside the Camino trail all day, greeting walkers with rings and toots and shouts of ‘Buen Camino’ once again.

After a delightful 10km on a tiny quiet country road, we joined the main (ish) road again and found it to be quite busy! Luckily the hard shoulder was a bit bigger and in better condition, so we uitilised it as cars and lorries zoomed by at 100 km/h.

We had vaguely planned to stop in Melide today but we’d only done 40km by then, so went to the grocer instead to stock up for dinner and continued on – down a hill, across a river and back uphill again, as we’d done all day. It was a good amount of up and down though and we did pretty well, arriving at a hostel in the afternoon with 50km under our belts and another 50km to do tomorrow to reach Santiago.

Santiago-bound (and look - no more mountains!)

Santiago-bound (and look, no more mountains!)

The hostel is modern and fairly busy, has amazing showers and washing machines (double luxury!), but for 20 Euros for both of us, we’re better off at a campsite. Once we get past Santiago, there should be more campsites and fewer Camino hostels again.

After chores were done and snacks had been eaten, we wandered around the tiny village. It’s a typical Spanish village, some places beautifully maintained, others crumbling down, and every inhabited house has veggies growing in the garden and chickens clucking around. There are dogs lounging around in the streets and some fields grazed by lazy-looking cows. What’s new for us today is that there are loads of strange mini buildings on stilts in people’s gardens around here. Dave thought they were chicken sheds and I laughed off the idea, but it turns out to be true! The famous elaborate chicken houses of Galicia. Well what do you know…

Famous elaborate chicken house of Galicia (and me pretending to be a chicken)

Famous elaborate chicken house of Galicia (and me pretending to be a chicken)

– Anna

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