Monday, 4 July 2011

Hasta la Vista, Sanxenxo

Yesterday we said farewell to Sanxenxo. As the chess player played his final round I packed our bags, settled up with the hotel, put the bags in their store room and went for a last walk along the paseo marítimo. It was one of those dull and cloudy mornings where the world seems to disappear under mist.

Down at the harbour something had been going on with those water scooter things but it was obviously all over by the time I got there as they were loading them onto trailers, washing the salt water off them and taking them away. I clearly should have got up and about earlier.

So I said goodbye to the sunbather and to the surfboarding statue with the odd name of La Madama. I find it interesting that Vigo, a working port, has its swimmer statutes, vigorous and purposeful (perhaps?) while the seaside resort of Sanxenxo has a sunbather and La Madama engaged in leisure activities.

Back at the hotel I took the chess player an energising cup of coffee and before
we knew it he had won his final round. Does coffee count as an artificial stimulant I wonder! Then we sat around for a while waiting for things to come to an end and the prize giving ceremony to be announced.

Great was my chess player’s surprise when he discovered tha
t he had won a prize after all, for he had convinced himself that he was quite out of the running even for the “veterans’ prize”. But that is what he got: €100 for being the highest scoring player born before 1956. Age has its privileges after all!

His chess playing mate Rafa from Vigo won best Galician player and a bunch of Cubans walked away with a whole load of prizes. The top winner, a
certain Dragan Paunovic, won a boat. No, not a proper, sea-going boat. Chess players don’t win at that level, unlike the Wimbledon champion who, I understand, won 1.1million pounds yesterday!!! Mr Paunovic was quite happy; this was his third boat and anyway he did win some money as well.

And so we set off for the bus station where we lunched on a “Monbus Extra” sandwich, basically a ham salad sandwich with everything possible in it. We were joined at our table by an extremely garrulous chess player from O Grove, also waiting for his bus home.

Eventually we m
et up with our friend Colin and headed briefly for the hills, well, for a glass of wine on the terrace of his house in the hills. Lovely views from there over the ría.

We ended the evening in an Asian buffet restaurant, one of those all you can eat places, where Colin introduced us to a couple of friends, also coincidentally from the Manchester area. It turned out that one of them had been a pupil at the very first school I ever taught at. And so we had a little reminisce, finding that the senior staff who had been the bane of my life as a young teacher were the very ones she remembered with some horror. It’s a small world once again!!

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