During our five-day itinerary jam-packed with activities, this was our most jam-packed day. We started off with an early coffee (and bica!) break at the beautiful Castillo de Castro Caldelas. The clouds broke up long enough for us to enjoy a stunning view from the top of the castle. Then it was off to visit the San Pedro de Rocas monastery, with a quick stop on the way at the Río Sil mirador. At the monastery we were greeted by the Real Banda de Gaitas (Galician champions) for a short concert before taking a tour of the monastery.
Then it was off to Vilamarín cooking school for several food demonstrations and speeches, followed by a cocktail-style lunch provided by the school and served by the students. Then a quick stop to check into our hotel and we were off again to the village of Ribadavia. This was the only time (other than our last day) that we actually got rained on, but Ribadavia charmed everyone, as did 80-year-old Herminia, who runs a small bakery in the centre of the village where she has spent her life making Jewish pastries from age-old recipes. We also took a short tour of the Castillo de los Sarmiento and were treated to a tasting of DO Ribeiro wines at the Iglesia de A Magdalena.
This was followed by a reception and dinner at Restaurante Miguel González, located inside Hotel Rústico San Jamie just outside Ourense. Chef González had prepared a traditional pork-based meal (quite different from his usual more avant-guarde cooking) which was perfect for a cool rainy evening. Finally we arrived back at our hotel sometime after 1 am. A long but enjoyable day.