Today I managed to catch the elusive L5 bus into Pontevedra centre. The information we got yesterday was a little garbled to say the least so when we returned from lunch today we asked again, planning to phrase our question along the lines of whether they actually knew the times of the buses. Today, though, instead of seeing our friendly host we saw someone who I assume is his wife. She supplied approximate times of buses and, more importantly, told us exactly where to catch the bus. You see, you need a woman!
There is a stop just a few yards from the hotel but that is for alighting only. There’s a neat bit of logic. It seems that they won’t let you get on there, even though the bus then goes up to the nearby roundabout and turns round in order to go back down the road. And there appears to be no bus stop on the other side. What it does then is goes down to the next junction, about five minutes walk away but still quite a distance in the sunshine, and then goes to Monteporreiro, the place I explored briefly yesterday. There it goes round the “urbanización”, the housing estate, and comes back to a picking-up bus stop before making its eventual way down to Pontevedra and on to the bus station. Quite what anyone at our end of the route has to do if they want to go to the “urbanización” is a mystery as there seem to be no bus stops until you are almost there.
Anyway, I watched the bus go past our hotel and then I set off to the picking-up bus stop. About 15 minutes later the bus arrived and five minutes or so after that I was down by the river near the centre of Pontevedra. I could almost have walked it in that time but I would have been very hot and sticky.
So I had a wander around the old quarter, mostly very quiet late on Sunday afternoon.
I took a picture of the Peregrina church, which really should have been in yesterday’s blog but here it is now.
I stopped for a drink and watched a group of gentlemen spend well over €40 on a round of drink. €7 or €8 each I reckon for one drink. That’s what you get for drinking gin on the terraza of a cafe in the big square. They proceeded to discuss a kitty and each put €50 on the table. It was clearly going to be an expensive afternoon/evening but they all looked pretty prosperous. They’ve probably got drunk at the Peregrina Fiesta every year since they were much younger and slimmer.
At one point the pigeons, and the peace, were scattered by the huge bang of a firework. And then the music started, a very rackety band playing the “San Fermín” tune. They were one peña, in yellow t-shirts, accompanied by another in greenish t-shirts and three pantomime bulls who charged anyone and everyone in the square.
Such is Semana Grande.