Jueves, 10 de abril de 2014

We had made bold to confide somewhat in{115} fortune when we embarked on this stage of our campaign. The map gave no pledge of a road, and the guide-books were equally uncommitted. Borrow, indeed, had traversed the province, with his honest guide, Martin of Rivadeo; but Borrow made his journey on horseback, and his description did not lead one to infer that there was any opening for wheels. Yet our trust in the chapter of accidents brought a suitably generous reward.

Take the mountains of the Lake District, and double their height; plant them under an Italian sky behind a Cornish coast; add plenty of old broad-eaved, balconied houses, not unlike Swiss chalets, a primitive picturesque population clad in bright colours, and draught cattle, ploughs, waggons, pack mules, and other appointments en suite. Such a picture is fairly typical of the scenes that awaited us upon our way. Here the road dipped to carry us past the end of a rocky inlet, where the waves were breaking upon the chesil beach some fifty yards away. Here it rose again to disclose a panorama of sea and mountain, with the thin blue smoke of the charcoal burners’ fires trailing lazily across the plateau or wreathing itself around the shoulders of the hills. To Borrow’s eyes it had all seemed gloomy and desolate; but{116} he had traversed it in the mists of a stormy autumn, and beneath the halcyon skies of summer it is a veritable fairyland.

The Ria at Návia is scarcely worthy of the name, for it is merely the mouth of a little tidal river, not a harbour for sea-going ships, like the firth of Rivadeo. Yet it is a beautiful valley, and the queerly-cropped poplars give a very bizarre effect to the view. A little further on is a more striking feature. A huge serrated ridge, known as the Sierra de Rañadoiro, flings itself out at right angles to the cordillera, and stands like a wall across the plateau which divides the mountains from the sea. Just before it reaches the coast it branches off into a number of smaller ridges, ravelling out like the strands of a cable; and the last group in the series are the seven Bellotas, which proved such formidable obstacles to Borrow and his guide.

There is no chance of “shirking the fences.” Each ridge terminates in a bold and lofty headland, each valley in a rocky creek; and seventy years ago those deep narrow gorges must have been ugly places enough. But Borrow’s stony bridle-path is now a fine broad roadway, his “miserable venta” is a comfortable inn; and he certainly would not{117} have troubled to push on to Muros had he found such good entertainment as did we.http://www.gutenberg.org/files/44490/44490-h/44490-h.htm


Publicado por a333 @ 6:13  | literatura y ribadeo
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