Xinzo de LimiaApril 10 in Spain
We really did feel like we'd regressed back into winter today. On the drive northwards we experienced snow, sleet, hail, rain, fog and sunshine! Climbing up over 1000m we passed the snowline and the forests, whose icing sugar coating had caught our eye from afar, were now around us, their branches heavy with snow. The snow ploughs had obviously been working hard to keep the motorway clear, but there was still one lane cordoned off because it was under snow.
The van aire at Xinzo de Limia was very different to the rural escape in which we'd spent the last two nights. Mid rise blocks of flats lined the streets of a rather run down area. The stopover was at the end of a road leading to some garages. Scrubby grass grew beyond the pavement and two large guard dogs behind a wire mesh fence barked at anyone they could see. The grotty, cold, wet weather didn't help our impression of the place, but it was free, it provided services and had access to shops, so we decided to stay.
The temperature didn't rise above 5°C but the sun did come out and we spotted glimpses of a grey horse behind some bushes. In a dry spell we went for a walk along the highstreet and found it to have some good little shops. In the end we had a peaceful night and enjoyed watching the grey horse escape the following morning, to munch on the greener grass that grew on our side of the fence. It soon cantered back through, presumably towards a food tin being rattled somewhere!
Before leaving we shopped at a well presented fruit and veg store that advertised eco (organic) milk, a baker's and a grocers. All the people serving us were friendly and helpful and it felt good to use these little shops - something we've missed out on somewhat here in Spain, because we've found it difficult getting used to the opening (or rather closing) times and because we've found so many lovely wild camping spots.
Unfortunately the milk we'd bought hadn't been kept in a fridge and had gone off, so it was no good for Will's tea but made a tasty cauliflower cheese. Also, the pastry Will had bought as a sweet treat turned out to tuna! Oh well, you can't win them all! Not only have the accents changed as we've travelled through different regions of Spain, but the words people use have too. For example, in some places mushrooms are 'hongos', in others the people don't know what you mean when you ask for hongos because they call them 'setas'. We know tuna as 'atun', but the pastry was described with a word we didn't understand. Its an interesting, if difficult feature of this country, that it isn't just the Basque and Catalonian regions that have their own languages.Read more