Sunday, 10 June 2012

So far so good.

No more disasters on the bijou residence front as yet. Friday’s repair to the washing machine appears to have held. The thing still doesn’t spin but we’re getting by and there have been no more floods. 

Yesterday we decided to ignore the threatening rain clouds and set off on a walk to A Guía, the little church and lighthouse at the top of the hill at the Teis end of town. Once you’ve walked past the port with its stacks of containers waiting to be loaded onto cargo ships it’s a pleasant walk. 

On our way there we stopped off at the relocated railway station. It’s now on El Arenal, in a shiny new building. Quite what is going to happen to the site of the old station remains a mystery. It’s very strange walking past it and seeing a great empty space. This, of course, is what happens when you leave town for a while: they change things. The station has moved and the bus fare has gone up to €1.22, still very reasonable but nonetheless a silly amount of money involving the driver giving out small change. Why not make it a nice round sum? What other changes will we discover? 

In the station we picked up a train timetable for the Vigo - A Coruña line, now on an A4 sheet rather than the handy card they used to have. But at least we have the necessary information for when we decide to go travelling in that direction. Ahead of me in the queue was a young man who had just arrived in town, asking for a map and directions to the “estadio de beisbol”. I didn’t know there was a baseball stadium here. The train enquiries man scratched his head as well, went and conferred with colleagues and eventually told the young man he should go and ask a policeman. 

Continuing on our way through Teis we passed the “Colegio Possumus” – the Yes, We Can School, which I am sure had its name before Obama used the slogan in his presidential campaign. 

We made it to the top of A Guia in the end and took a rather grey photo just before the drizzly rain started. The rain never really got going, however, and so we continued in our quest to find the A Guía coastal path, which we discovered accidentally last time we went that way. We very nearly wandered through somebody’s garden by mistake but his barking dogs alerted him to our presence and he sent us on our way, through a kind of enchanted eucalyptus forest, all dark paths with roots to trip you up. 
By this roundabout route we finally got onto the paseo marítimo, which is nicely laid out but perhaps needs greater publicity as there were very few people on it. Mind you, it was lunchtime so I suppose sensible people were busy eating. Which is what we did once we got home after stopping at the end of Teis for a quick “clara” and a free snack. (It seems to me that there are more free tapas around than there used to be but I am not complaining. Far from it!) 

In the bar we had a quick look at the newspaper. The mayor of Vigo, Abel Caballero, is pontificating about the bank merger which was taking place as we headed back for the UK two years back. He said it was the worst thing to happen to Vigo financially. Who knows? Maybe in a different economic climate it would have worked but the bank has had trouble ever since the merger. 

Another article suggested that the mayor should be Sir Abel Caballero after the triumph of Celta moving into the first division. Really? 

 The one I liked best, though, was the article that said that Vigo is the “gaita” capital of Europe. Vigo bagpipers have been working in association with other European countries as far apart as Brittany and Rumania and it has been decided that Vigo is the best place for that squeaky instrument. So the next time we hear one being played on the streets of Vigo and Phil goes into a tirade about “bloody gaita music” I will have to remind him that it could be worse in other parts of Europe. He should think himself lucky to be in the “gaita capital”. 

During the night the rain came down in buckets again. The bijou residence is an internal flat but still the sound of the rain in the patio managed to wake me up. And I got rained on running around this morning to buy bread. 

I didn’t do my normal run around the Castro Park but headed downhill to Puerta del Sol so that I could check on bus times out to Bouzas, about which more later. Information gathered I then ran through the Compostela Gardens, along the front and back home via the bread shop. 

We had planned to meet an old friend for lunch in a Bouzas restaurant today and had done our homework, checking upon bus routes on the computer. So, having verified times from the centre (the computer only told us times of leaving Encarnación out beyond Teis and so was no use to us) we felt we were well prepared. Not so! We got on the bus, which came at the time given at the stop (so far, so good) and sat back to watch out for the point where it would turn back on itself and head back into town. That’s where we would alight and walk a few minutes to the restaurant. 

No such luck. The bus went off its computer route at Bouzas market and before we knew it, instead of turning left to head back to town, it took a right and ended up on the fast road to Samil without a stop in between. Well, we were flabbergasted! Even more so when the bus driver told us he was not heading back to Bouzas but going a different way. There we were on the rather damp and windy seafront with no bus back for ages. So we had to phone our friend, explain our predicament and have him pick us up from the seaside, fortunately only five minutes away by car. 

After that it was fine. We had an excellent lunch at a very reasonable price and then made our way back to the bijou residence. All’s well that ends well but a warning to beware of computers bearing false information.

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