Sunday, 7 April 2013

Across the bay

Yesterday Cangas. It’s I don’t know how long since we were last there. Phil had a chess match and we HAD to catch the 4.30 boat. They’re only one an hour and we almost didn’t make. Setting off just a little later than planned had us running along the waterfront to get there in time. But all’s well that ends well; we made it with minutes to spare. 

Time for someone in the queue to decide that I was a tourist and to ask me if I’d enjoyed the dancing in Vigo that afternoon. I confessed that I hadn’t although I have seen it in other years. I didn’t say that watching Gallego dancing is a bit like watching Morris dancing: very nice once in a while, a bit of a novelty, but not something I would necessarily go out of my way for. We had seen rather a lot of people in fancy dress, oops, I mean national costume. The long skirts and embroidered waistcoats must make dancing difficult but that’s often the way with national dress. 

What I think we were missing was the re-enactment of the defeat of the French some 200 years ago. Any excuse for playing the gaita. At least they had a nice day for it. The same cannot be said of today: damp and drizzly. 

Yesterday though, while the chess team was winning its match I strolled up and down the paseo marítimo in Cangas. It’s all been tidied up quite nicely with some very good play areas and cycle paths, full yesterday of people on roller skates. Or should I say roller blades? Lighter and more manageable than the clumsy things I never got the hang of in my childhood. Now it seems to be something dads and daughters can do together on a Saturday afternoon. 
I walked as far as the beach, Praia de Rodeira. Various signs had pictures of dogs with a line through them. ¡Perros no! Really? The beach was full of folk walking their dogs. That wonderful Spanish ability to do what you like! There were lots of windsurfers out as well, colourful butterflies on the water. Further out were the rowing teams, busy practising. In Vigo you see scores of small yachts on the water each weekend. Across the bay it’s “traineras”. I wonder how the Oxford and Cambridge boat crews would fare against these. 

Walking back, I sat on the promenade waiting quite a while until an apologetic waitress spotted me. No problem. It was lovely to sit in the sunshine and wait. I was in no hurry. And the “clara”, when it finally arrived, was appreciated. 

Today, Pontevedra in the rain, which shows no sign of shifting yet.

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