We bought a road atlas to navigate from the airport. We had deliberately left our guidebooks at home. This part of the world is thankfully not in the guidebooks. We were met by Karen, the friendly and helpful housekeeper in one of the bars in Vila de Cruces. She escorted us to The Mill and showed us what was what.
It is an elegant, spacious, comfortable and well equipped house in a glorious secluded location with a river to jump into from the garden, and some exquisite wild swimming in warm waters a short walk downstream.
We lounged under the vine-covered logia, watched the comical green lizards, cooked on the BBQ and made full use of the excellent kitchen. Every meal was eaten outside. The children (14,12,9) decided to sleep in the separate annexe. Sometimes, when not in the river, they persuaded us to get up and play badminton on the lawn. An occasional fisherman wondered by, but otherwise the only sound was that of the crickets and cicadas.
We made some low-key exploratory forays to Santiago, Lugo, and Pontevedra. All well worth a visit for the purposes of random wondering and really good cheap food. We did not see a single British tourist outside Santiago in 2 weeks. Lovely countryside and good, almost empty roads.
Time slowed down. Food tasted better. The children woke up late. It was great.
We found that the small town of Vila de Cruces, a 10 minute drive up the track, seems to operate under the the same special time dilation that affected us at The Mill. Cars drive slowly. There is no hurry in any of the shops or the post office. Everyone appears completely content with this fact. Excellent butchers, bread, fish etc, who speak no English or Welsh, but who can understand you anyway. There are some friendly bars with wifi and cold beer. Once a fortnight there is a market where a lot of people gather to eat boiled octopus.
If you want a luxury executive holiday with a super highspeed multimedia office away from home, activities organised from dawn to dusk with a creche for the nippers, a tiki bar and a really bangin' club scene, then this place is really not for you.
We stayed for 2 weeks and we left reluctantly.