Sunday, 9 August 2015

Livening things up.

 It's fiesta time in Pontevedra. 

Yesterday we heard it all begin at around midday. We were at, or in some cases in, the pool in our friend's garden in Poio but we could hear all the bangs and mini explosions from down in town. 

Later, having swum and sunbathed, eaten lunch and rested and sat around reading and so on, we made our way down into town in early evening for a bite to eat. 

The alameda was full of funfair. Some of the stalls had weird names, such as "Scalextric camarero". It was a ride with little cars running on a track. So that explains the "Scalextric" part but goodness knows where the waiter (camarero) comes in. It was interesting to see that trampolines, for kids anyway, are referred to as "camas elásticas" or elastic beds. 

Gangs of young people, "peñas", each group with its own distinctive t-shirts, were preparing to rush around later spraying each other with diluted wine. Some of the peña members were not so very young as a matter of fact. I suppose it's likely that they have been members of their peña for years and years, that they have all grown up together and continue with their old fiesta traditions. When we sat eating in Plaza de Verduras we saw one chap, dressed in his peña t-shirt, chatting to his mates but with his baby in a sling. I hope he was just getting the infant to sleep and not planning to run the streets with her. Another group were having a noisy meal - getting fuel for the energy they would use later perhaps - and stood up and cheered every so often. 

Charangas, walking bands, were making their way around, stopping to play every so often. I did try to take a picture but I must have tried too fast as the photo came out blurred. 

We headed homewards through crowded and rather smelly streets. The Spanish know how to be noisy but portaloos seem to be in short supply. 

At midnight the fireworks started and went on and on for what seemed like best part of an hour. Although perhaps I exaggerate. I did only hear and not see them. 

This morning, as we walked down to buy bread, we passed revellers making their way home. Some were dishevelled and the worse for wear. One young lady looked perfectly elegant. (One of the advantages of being young is that you can stay up all night without it showing on your face!) She was on the phone, possibly to her parents, asking for a lift home. Her young man stood beside her. We saw him striding alone up the road a few minutes later, clearly having seen her safely into her transport home. 

Gallantry, it seems, is alive and well and lives in Galicia.

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