Friday, 19 August 2016

Sun and rain and clouds.

Yesterday I decided it was time to go and dip my feet in the ocean once again. After all, August is half way through and summer will be over before we know it. I planned to dip only my feet in the ocean. If I want a solitary swim, there is the swimming pool. Messing about in the sea with grandchildren is one thing but I have never fancied risking leaving my stuff on a crowded beach while I go for a swim. It can be quite hard to get back to your starting point unless there are quite significant landmarks to aim for. 

So, a paddle was the order of the day: that very Spanish thing of walking the waterline. 

While Phil went off to play chess and to try not to lose any more chess rating points, I hopped off a bus just outside Urzáiz railway station and straight into another, this time heading for Samil, Vigo's rather fine beach at the far end of town. A very crowded bus it was too and there was no messing about with chivalry and excessive courtesy. 

It was a splendid day for a walk along the beach: fine and sunny but not excessively hot and with enough breeze to keep you cool. The beach was very full and there were enough waves coming in to keep all the children happy jumping them. I resisted the temptation to wake some of the people sleeping their siesta on the sand, merely shaking my head at the foolishness of such behaviour. Imagine waking later, lobster coloured! 

I returned to Vigo via the path that runs alongside the river Lagares. At the start of the path, just beyond the Lagares reed beds, access to the path proper gets a little confused. Drainage work of some kind which was begun last year, when I did a similar trip, seemed not to have progressed at all in the last twelve months. I assume they must have done something but there is really little evidence to show for it. 

Once I had found my way past the work in progress and got onto the path, it was a really pleasant walk as most of it is under trees. It is a favourite with local cyclists, judging by the numbers I saw. They are actually more careful and respectful of other pedestrians than the ones you come across cycling on pavements around town! 

I left the path at Balaidos, the Celta de Vigo stadium, where further work in progress forced me to make a wide detour. Eventually I came out where I intended, just opposite the entrance to Castrelos park. I strolled up the road towards Plaza de España, stopping for a little clara (shandy) at a cafe on the way. 

The drink came with a small bowl of olives. Then the cafe owner brought a small plate of fried potatoes in a mustardy, spicy sauce: a variation on patatas bravas, I suppose. A couple of minutes later she came back with a small plate of fried potatoes with mayonnaise. All that for just one person! She must have known just how long I had been walking! 

It's just as well I planned my beach walk for yesterday as today began with rain: proper rain, not just low mist. I could tell it was raining before I opened the blinds. There is a particular swishing sound to traffic on wet roads. My weather witch at the bread shop assured me that the rain was for this morning only. By midday, though, the sun was still having difficulty making its way through the murk. 

However, some improvement was evident. You could see across the bay once more and the cloud had moved up from water level to just a little higher in the air. I always associated cloud you felt you could reach out and touch with mountainous areas. Of course, I knew about sea mist. I grew up in a seaside place, after all. But I never saw cloud so low down as you get here. Maybe it's the presence of hills just behind the estuary that makes a difference. But it never fails to fascinate me, the way you see a bank of cloud hanging just feet above the water! 

Later: the weather witch was right, of course. The day did improve.

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