Friday, 9 August 2013

Out and about again.

Yesterday I saw this in the barber’s shop down near the port where Phil goes to get his hair cut and to get a little bit of Spanish barber shop chat. The last time we saw this creature he was about half the size and extremely scrawny. The barber said that they had found it fallen out of a nest and took it home, never expecting it to live. But it did. For a while they had it on an uncovered perch but now that it’s learnt to fly they have had to put it in a cage of sorts as it gets in the way, although it’s quite tame. He had planned to set it free once it had learnt to fly but apparently some of his customers protested and said he should keep it. He’s even had a visit from the press and should have his picture in La Voz de Galicia at the weekend. 

Today we are in Pontevedra where Phil is taking part in another chess tournament. Inconveniently it’s not in the centre of town but out in the sticks at the Polígono Deportivo del Casino Municipal de Pontevedra, or something like that. Anyway, out on the edge of town in an area full of houses with “horreos” (traditional storage “sheds”, not family tombs close to the house as many people I know think) in the gardens and lots of grapes growing round about. 

 I also saw one of those old communal washing places but there was a sign on the roof telling people that they were definitely NOT ALLOWED to wash their cars there. OK!!

The last time we came to Pontevedra we did a reconnaissance with our friend Colin in his car and thought we had found the venue. Close by was a hotel, La Paloma, into which we booked ourselves once Phil had decided to play. 

So we arrived there at around one o’clock, discovered that our room didn’t seem to have the hotel wifi coverage and swopped it for another. All good but it delayed us going down to town to meet Colin for a spot of lunch. We made it finally, after about 25 minutes walk. 

Then it was back to the hotel for a quick wash and brush up before going off to settle the chess player into round one of the tournament. 

Checking with our helpful hotel chappy we were a bit surprised by the directions he gave. 
Not round the corner at all but a good couple of kilometres walk!!! 

So off we went, left at the roundabout and straight along the main road until you come to one of those Galician roadside crosses. You can tell it’s the right one because the house has a statue of a Guardia Civil on the wall. 

We seemed to be walking forever so we popped into a chemist's shop to check we were going the right way. The same instructions: go past the “old road” off to the left, carry on until you come to the cross and the Guardia Civil and then turn left. We found them both and turned left. Then it was 800 metre according to the signpost: a long 800 metres in our opinion. 

Walking back to the hotel after greeting various friends and leaving Phil to get on with it, I tried a little experiment. I took the old road. It was rather shorter than the walk along the main highway. Not a great deal shorter but a good deal pleasanter: no cars racing past you at full speed. 

Whether we can stand even a slightly shorter walk every day in the heat that has been beating down on us is another matter. I think we need a conference to decide what to do about this. Watch this space!

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