September 17, 2015: The rain finally let up in late afternoon in Melide. While Heather was taking a nap in our cold room under blankets (the heat had to be turned on by the hotel staff), I ventured out into the main part of town to find an ATM and a supermercado to get some dark chocolate and potato chips to sustain us until dinner was served at 7:30. I found a BBVA within a few blocks and then, just around the corner, a great market that had everything I needed. Returning to the hotel, I went to the bar and ordered a large cerveza and a Coke zero and took them up to the room. The hot shower was a good way to get warm. Then I found another blanket and crawled under it until the heat filled the room sufficiently.
Not being too impressed with both the staff at Pousada Chiquitin or the facility itself, I logged on to the internet and tried to see if there were any local restaurants that were recommended. Most of them were “pulpo” (octopus) restaurants. Neither of us were particularly interested in this cuisine not did we want to walk a mile or so to some of the other restaurants, so we just decided to eat later in the hotel.
Soon it was time for our favorite TV show, AhoraCaigo, so we watched that and then went downstairs and eventually ordered a hamburguesa and a ensalada mixta. Heather said the salad was OK and, from my point of view, the hamburger was marginal, at best. A blah evening, 180 degrees from last night, but we were safe and warm (by now) and thankful for that.
The street outside the hotel was all torn up with construction that appeared to be installation of new sewer and water lines. The work went on until darkness fell and began early in the morning.
In the cold wet morning, we set out for Arzua. The day was rather uneventful, and the rain came and went throughout the morning. Just east of Ribadiso, the sun began to peak through the clouds, and we removed our ponchos for good. We crossed over the little bridge by the albergue Xunta and criss-crossed the N547 until we made it up the hill to Arzua until we eventually found Via Lactea. Our beds were in a 16-bed dorm. Heather took the lower bunk and I the upper. There was a laundry facility in the back of the albergue, and we gathered everything, got some Euro coin, and proceeded to wash what we could. No soap was for sale in any vending machine, but I was able to scrape some bits from a bin that I found and that would have to do. This part of the albergue was freezing. I found some blankets, and we sat on an old sofa in this dank room, all bundled up, and gritted our teeth with wry laughter.
After the laundry was finished, we folded everything up and put it away in our bag. Then we set out to the main part of town to get something to eat. On Calle Lugo, outside Casa Teodoro, we ran into the mother and daughter from Australia. They were staying at the hotel and just going out to do a little shopping before dinner. We chatted for a while and laughed at our aching muscles. They took off for sightseeing and shopping and we decided to eat at Casa Teodoro. This turned out to be a good choice. It was a busy and very comfortable restaurant. Heather had a great salad, and I opted for pimientos padron and a cheese plate con pan. Excellent food with a good glass of wine and a fine Coke Zero! After the meal, we strolled through the town since the rain had stopped and tried to find someplace that was selling ice cream. No luck, so we made our way back through the narrow streets to our dreary albergue and hid ourselves away in our corner bunk. Before long, it was time to try and sleep which was a challenge due to a soccer game playing on TV at some remote part of the establishment with a rowdy group of men cheering some team on until 11 pm. As soon as that was over, things quieted down to some extent except for some room mates that came in late and were making a lot of noise settling in next to us.
When we woke up in the morning, we were both tired from the lack of sleep and Heather had a bad headache. At the crack of dawn, we set out via the back roads of town through the adjacent forest towards Arco, our next stop.