Les Trois Escargots

A growing family of snails.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ortigueira and Galicia

Somewhere on the north coqst of Galicia. Along a 10 km stretch of coqstline, there are at least nine different surfing beaches. The secret is finding the one that is working.

Maria's birthday party in a rented house near Ortigueira. We ate tortilla, pimientos de Padron and kilos of Shitake mushrooms. When Suso ate a hot pepper, I told him that we drank Fairy Liquid in England to cool the heat. To everyone's horror, the doctor grabbed the bottle and squirted the green liquid into his mouth. He grimaced slightly and then swallowed. We hadn't told them that we had substituted the washing up liquid with 'licor de hierbas', a powerful spirit. Suso went on to drink a litre of it and he suffered the consequences.

I broke my toe surfing. I think the board hit it in a wipe out. I got no sympathy from Albane.

We parked the van one evening near Playa Esteiro and watched the sun peek momentarily beneath the cloud base before dark.

The Carribbean of Spain. You might not believe it, but this really is a beach in Galicia.

Some kind of flower. Maybe when I am 50 and into these things, I might know the name.

We thought it was going to be a quiet lunch at Belen's parents, but with her grandmother (who showed me a huge scar across her midriff midway through the meal) and the brilliantly named Papa Moncho, it was never going to a sedate affair. We ate octupus, prawns, pimientos de Padron and empanada. A typically Galician meal with theit typical hospitality and generosity.

At the entrance to the Ria of Ferrol, Suso gives me a history lesson. The red wine from lunch is still coursing through my veins and all I remember is that no one ever conquered the fort protecting the entrance to the harbour. That and the fact that my beard was sparser, but bushier than Suso's. And maybe just a bit ginger too.

The founders of modern day Galician folk music, Milladoiro. Great diddly, diddly music with crazy bagpipes, a harp and guitars.

The aftermath of Ortigueira festival.

The Galician seascape.

These Basque loonies were playing in the street at Ortigueira. The guy with the bagpipe also played a hollowed out ram's horn. I had no idea what they were saying, but Fran christened their lmusic as Punk Folk.

Fran, Albane and Belen on a rainy walk one Sunday.


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