Thursday, 14 August 2014

Dancing, eating and making merry!

Yesterday there was dancing in the streets of Pontevedra. I was on walkabout and heard the music. Along the street came a sort of procession with a band and a bunch of people in traditional costume. They stopped, the band lined up at one end of a square, the procession formed into a circle and then it all started. 

The music began again and the circle people began to dance. White van man tried to run them over at one point but they just ignored him and he managed to manoeuvre himself around them. There was some tutting from the crowd of onlookers. A pretty good spectacle. After that they moved on and, presumably, did the same in another square of the town. 

Later in the day I saw another band who from a distance looked as though they were dressed up as elves. However, when I got close enough to see their headdresses properly I realised that they were In fact dressed as chickens!!! 

I missed the Batalla de las Flores which was scheduled for later in the day, as we went up to the chess venue where I made good use of the pool once more while Phil worked on consolidating his lead for the prize for highest scoring veteran. All I saw of the Batalla de las Flores was lots of confetti on the pavement later. We had arranged to take our boys into Pontevedra to eat in the evening. It seemed a shame for them to be here without having a chance to sample some genuine Galician tapas and to see the town a little. So our friend Colin had booked us a table at El Pitillo restaurant and we planned to meet him there at 8.30. 

Of course, Sod's Law came into play, didn't it? On Monday and Tuesday all the boys and Phil had finished playing by 8. Yesterday at 8.20 Phil and two of the boys were still slaving over a hot chessboard. So I has to contact Colin and tell him about the delay, hoping to get everyone there for 9 at the latest. 

Now, El Pitillo has become a very popular restaurant. Tables are in demand. So poor Colin was in danger of being lynched sitting at a table, in fact two tables together, just quietly waiting while people queued. However, he stoically put up with the black looks and eventually we all joined him and tucked into tortilla, calamares, pescaditos fritos, croquetas, pimientos de PadrĂ³n and a very frightening chorizo al infierno. 

This last was a spicy chorizo sausage on a skewer, balanced over a dish of burning oil. A little bit scary, especially as none of us really know how to put the flames out. But we coped. We are British, after all. And I am told that the chorizo was very tasty. It's not really my thing. I have no objection others eating it but I don't do so as a rule. 

So we had a pleasant evening. Everyone was grateful to Colin for his bravery in facing the other customers while waiting for us and to Cris, waitress and owner's daughter at the restaurant, for being her friendly charming self. 

Eventually we put the boys in a taxi and sent them back to the "campamento". As they set off, I phoned the chess camp monitor so that he could go and open the gate for them I assume his went as planned as we have not had frantic phone calls from boys who had to sleep in the road. 

 Today is the last day of the tournament. The moment of truth approaches. Will any of them qualify for prizes or trophies. I wait with bated breath. 

Well, no, not really. I'll be in the pool again.

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