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John Quincy Adams
Diary Entry

January 3d 1780 Monday.

This morning we got up at 5 o clock and at 6 we set away from Benbibere. We dined in a little hut amongst the mules and at about 6 o clock we arrived at Astorga. We have had very Good roads all this day. The Guide told us that we had 7 Leagues but we had 10 good English Leagues.

In the first volume of this journal I promised to give a description of several things. I will now give one of the Roads, Houses, men, &c from Corunna as far as this place. The roads in General are very bad. The Lodgings I will not attempt to describe for it is impossible. However I will say something about them. We did not once lodge with the mules but not much better. They shew us chambers in which any body would think a half a dozen hogs had lived there six months. I have in my first volume said something about Castellano. We have not met with any place quite so bad as that but we have come very near it. Sometimes we might see a chimney but it is very seldom. They have a large flat stone in the middle of the room and they punch two or three holes in the roof of the house out of which some of the Smoke goes and the rest must be borne with. They never wash nor sweep their floors from the time the houses are made to the time they are pull'd down. The roofs of the houses are generally a parcel of boards cover'd with straw.

Adams, John Quincy. Diary Entry, January 3, 1780. Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Published in Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1: November 1779 - March 1786 (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1981). Pages 23-25.