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Travelling Spain with Two Dogs & a Parrot

With a good internet connection, I can work remotely from anywhere, so my husband Rob & I took advantage of this & are travelling Spain with our pets & everything we own packed into an estate car with roof-box.

Enjoying Galicia
17 August 2018 @ 10:20

Saturday dawned bright & sunny so as we packed-up the car & cleaned the apartment, I was disappointed to be busy rather than back on the beach enjoying the good weather.  Once again, the car was full to the brim & with all of us cramped as we setoff for Lugo in Galicia.

Billy didn't recognise the exact address of our new place, so we input the nearest large town of Lugo & setoff down motorways with very little traffic.  A pleasure to drive, but the quiet roads were slightly odd too.  Approaching Lugo after driving for around three hours, I switched to Google maps (via the Air B&B app)for directions to the house.  Despite investing in a TomTom with European maps, Google proved to be more reliable & effective on many occasions.

We arrived at a pink house in rural Galicia on a hot sunny afternoon to be greeted by the host Maria Luisa & her son.  The rustic property was immaculately clean & we had a welcome package of food & wine.  We immediately settled down inder the shade of a fig tree to absorb the beautiful view & total silence.  I've never been anywhere so quiet as even in the countryside, there is usually the sound of dogs barking or someone with a tractor or chain-saw.  Not here, it was so peaceful & we immediately relaxed knowing we'd be settled here & extending our initial two week reservation.

It was too hot in the sun, so we rested under the fig tree on the back yard.  Fig trees are not the best choice for siting close to the house as, in addition to autumn leaves, ripe figs were splatting all around us!  At least the fruit kept the wasps happy, Woody too as he was partial to a few fresh figs.

We'd been left a comprehensive folder of leaflets & brochures of the local area & informed of the annual San Froilán festival in Lugo.  This was a complete surprise, but a great experience of local folk dancing & music in the streets, bigger bands on stage, a funfair & street food.  Tapas in Galicia is free, but we were obviously recognised as being English at a bar & served cold chips & dip!  We had varied tapas delights during our stay in Galicia from nuts, to delicious hot pork ribs, traditional Galician cake, tortilla, pork scratchings, ham stew with chickpeas & fried mushrooms.

We visited Lugo on a number of occasions, exploring the old town & walking the 2km Roman city walls.  We did this at sunset, but I was disappointed not to have views over the surrounding countryside due to the new town buildings.  In the opposite direction, Sarria was a little closer to the house, more compact & had everything to offer that we needed.  We easiy found a couple of small supermarkets, then a larger one, but once again, it was during the last week (our 6th there) that we found another with more choice!

Sarria is on the Camino de Santiago, the French Route so busy with walkers just 111km away from their destination.  As a pilgrim needs to walk at least 100km to obtain their certificate, Sarria was also a popular setting-off point for those unable or unwilling to begin at St Jean Pied de Port in France!

The other direction from our house was Portomarin, also on the Camino further on from Sarria.  It was strange to walk across the old bridge many metres below the new & which is under water when the river is high.  However, in early autumn, the river is low & the water not backed-up from the Belezar dam further downstream.  The skeletal remains of the flooded village, now visible was a popular tourist attraction & for locals to enjoy on their Sunday afternoon walks.

We liked Galicia with its rolling hills, small fields broken by copses of oak & chestnut, the quiet roads & friendly, accomodating people.  We extended our stay from the initial two weeks (just in case the house wasn't suitable or the internet not adequate) by a further four.  The house was perfect with plenty of space & the open garden backed straight onto fields.  50% of the traffic on the road past were farm vehicles or milk tankers & log transporters.  Roxy was settled & as there were no people to bark as, she took to racing across the field barking at the lorries, something which would eventually get her into trouble.

The mornings were generally misty, clearing by early afternon at the latest to bright sunny days.  I started work early & an hour ahead of the UK, then when the mist cleared, took a lunch break in the warm sun, before continuing working until tea-time.  Then, in the mild evenings, we'd go for a drive, for coffee or a walk in town as it was buzzing with all the local shops open until 8pm.

This was a perfect work/life balance, just how we wanted to live & we truly felt more relaxed than in the UK.

Rob & I went out together.  As every journey was an adventure, we shopped together rather than one of us reluctantly nipping out on the chore as we had back in Britain.  We went exploring at weekends, visiting markets & towns, driving up hill & down dale in the colourful autumnal landscape.  We struggled with the language using gestures, Google Translate, pointing & smiling, sometimes not receiving what we expected, but always, the Spanish were patient & obliging.

Rob's PC began playing-up again, so we Googled computer repair shops & found a branch of PC Box in Lugo.  Taking the receipt from the Gijon shop made it easier to explain what had happened & get it repaired.  The PC needed a new hard-drive, but when we brought it home, it was speaking Spanish & Rob had to change all the settings back to English.  However, due to using a Spanish IP address, websites & search engines often defaulted to Spanish anyway.

Our Air B&B hosts were very obliging & one evening when we went out to find the car had a flat battery, came with jump leads.  We'd tried pushing, but the Honda estate was too heavy for the two of us & we couldn't get it off the gravel drive & onto the road.  We took a drive to Lugo to charge the battery & do a little shopping.  Popping into a national car spare shop, a new battery & also a charger were both well above €100 which we didn't want to spend.  We therefore decided the loss of charge may have been a one-off & decided to nip out & start the car on the days we wouldn't be going anywhere & have a drive if it struggled to start.



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5 Comments


Mar Elison said:
18 August 2018 @ 10:58

Thank you for good article ! - This is what does matter.

Mar Elison, Iceland


Colin Davies said:
18 August 2018 @ 11:20

If interested in Galicia, search for

1. My web page on Galicia. "Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain. And a few other things as well".

2. My daily blog: "Thoughts from Galicia, Spain."

Not allowed to give you the links here.

Enjoy.


nancybenn said:
18 August 2018 @ 11:36

Many thanks Mar

I've found your blog Colin, & will read with interest


jane27 said:
18 August 2018 @ 14:23

Sounds blissful. Hope Roxy is ok and didn't get into trouble with a lorry!


nancybenn said:
18 August 2018 @ 17:07

Thanks Jane. Roxy did get into trouble with something! That will be covered in a later post :-)


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