Phil was taken off by car this morning to a place called Rianxo, somewhere near Padrón (where the little green peppers come from) to play in a one day, quick play chess event? Had there been room in the car I might have gone with them but the vehicle was full. No room for a non-contender! I suspect they had a rather hot and squashy journey, especially those in the back seat.
So, here I was, up and about early, shopping done, washing done and hung out to dry on the balcony. A whole day was spread out before me. So I went down to Travesía de Vigo and caught a C3 bus to Samil, Vigo's biggest (I think) beach. It was a rather long and tedious journey. A small boy was travelling with his mother and grandmother and kept informing them, and incidentally the whole bus, that he was going to the beach. "Vamos paya", he said again and again. Despite the correct version being repeated back to him, "Vamos a la playa", his diction never improved. Besides, his grandmother kept teasing him, telling him that they were going to Grandma's house: " Vamos a casa de yaya", causing some consternation. ("yaya" is short for "abuela", a bit like "gran" or "nana" or whatever abbreviation is accepted in your household.)
Eventually we got there and small boy, mamá and yaya took the packet of biscuits they had been consuming all the way and headed off. I went in the opposite direction to them. The beach was fairly full but I have to say I have seen it fuller. Perhaps by the afternoon it was packed to the gills but by then I was long gone.
I did that Spanish thing of walking along the tideline, getting my feet wet and coming away with sand sparkles on my toes. People were in the water. Sand castles were being built. Serious-faced small boys transported buckets of water to fill moats, unsuccessfully. My plan, after walking the line, was to walk back along the River Lagares as far as Castrelos Park and then catch another C3 bus back home.
Before setting off, I stopped for a glass of water at a cafe, sitting myself down outside at an empty table. I had just ordered when a chap came out and said that I had taken his place. A case of, "I nip inside to the loo and lose my seat". Well, he left no indicator that he had deserved that table. I apologised. Anyway he sat down there across from me and proceeded to ignore me. OK. So I ignored him back.
The place had wifi, so I was going to post a photo on Facebook. The waitress told me that the network was unprotected but it demanded a password and she never reappeared to tell me what it was so I abandoned that project, drank up, paid up and left.
The walk back along the river really starts after the wetlands section, where the river meets the sea and there are some reedbeds, all signposted nicely in Galician. What they neglect to do is tell you that the track which is paved so well with fine grey stones is not in fact the river walk. It does indeed go along the river but only so far; it leads you to a barrier, beyond which is a major road without pavements. I know this because I followed that path and had to turn back to the point where there was a road-bridge over the river and a sandy path on the other side of the river. THAT is the river walk!
In a few places there were little platforms overlooking the river, ideal for fishermen if it were not for the notices saying that fishing was forbidden. On one of these platforms I came across an old man doing some kind of Tai Chi exercises. Very good!
It's quite a pleasant walk with some nice photo opportunities and some interesting graffiti.
And then you are at Castrelos Park and effectively back in Vigo Proper. There was some kind of race going on in the park. Before I saw anything I could tell there was a sporting event because I could hear the commentator, droning away in that special tone used by sports reporters. I wonder if they have special training and need a certificate in sing-song speech before they are given a job. I never found out exactly what it was or who won, simply skirting my way round it and setting off for the bus stop on Gran Vía.
At the stop the useful display told me that there was no C3 bus for 33 minutes. I started walking. A C3 bus passed me.
Further up Gran Vía I stopped for a clara, spent some time fishing peanuts out of one of those bowls of mixed inedible, rock hard nuts they sometimes offer you. I was given a little tapa of pasta and tuna sauce as well, I hasten to add. Then I set off again, in time to see the next C3 bus sail past me.
So I caught a 15A to the end of Pizarro and walked the rest of the way home along Calle Aragón. Another little adventure over!!