I did write a post about this, but lost it. Mary comes down from the mountain for her holidays, to spend a week in the town church. It takes about 6 hours for her to be carried down and she stops and is adored, sung to and danced at along the way. She meets another angel, held by children, doing same swaying hypnotic walking as they tap the sticks and the songs and dancing get more joyous as she gets closer to town. For a couple of non-believers, we were both quite enraptured by Mary and the ceremony and watched from several viewpoints, including a wine in the plaza mayor at the end at midnight!
We had a lovely rest day in ponte verde when we just did 10km and then met dad at the cathedral and decided to just chill out.
We all went for a beautiful (or so I thought) lunch, c and I wandered around the town, c even brought her camera and took a few pics. We had a wine in the plaza and spent time people watching then early to bed.
Woke a bit squiffy next day. On and off as we walked, but it was the best walking we had had in a few days. Agricultural suburbs, rivers, old bridges and woodland beautiful.
We came down into a town at 10km after we had powered past all the other peligrinos up a hill.
The owners of the cafe were standing there waving we went yay!! And ran down the hill. Coffee, toast. Yum!
Then it all went a bit wrong, felt v acidy and nauseous for next ten km. loosened waist belt, tried not to think about meatballs which I was pretty sure were the culprit.
C found hotel and checked us in, while I sat with bags. When we got to room I was sick a few times, drank gastrolyte, sick again then managed to sleep. C saved the day later with digestives and 7up.
In am I decided to ship bag, but thought I could walk 18km. Bit delusional as at about 3 km felt terrible, couldn’t tell c as she would panic, but yay! Cafe at 5 km. we ordered a cab and I have spent day sleeping. Feel I can walk into Santiago tomorrow yay, but still getting bag shipped!
Blisters on little toes the main blight since we left Porto on 5th may. Otherwise, loving it… Felling fit, strong, powering up the hills. C been well whole trip, not a glitch. All good. Yay!
Even gave my first public performance of ukelele at casa fernandas. A sort of home stay, dad couldn’t hobble to get the uke fast enough when they asked if anyone played guitar. Bit embarrassed (read Beetroot) but aided by a few ports, we had a great singalong with 4x Lithuanians, 4x Aussies, 1x German and 1 American who lives in Zurich + fernanda and her hubby.
Madrid in the rain
Saint George or San Jorge (haw-hee) is the patron saint of the city.
Last night, muchas excitement. A reenactment of the story (which we don’t really know). It involved Christians, Moors, a dragon, Esmerelda, maybe unrequited love and st Jorge galloping in on his steed and setting fire to the poor dragon that had been paraded through the streets.
It was all very exciting.
Then there were fireworks in the square which were so exciting coz they were right overhead, colouring everyones
A reflection on coincidences……
Tourist office at train station not open, so….
Went into hotel for a map.
She’d never heard of avenida da Sevilla (the road our hotel was on) and when she googled it, it was in a suburb 30km away. Bloody booking.com.
But (bloody booking.com) the booking hadn’t gone through, so we stayed at the hotel.
Just outside the hotel was a bus stop where these women in all different coloured and styled flamenco dresses were getting on the bus.
Our jaws dropped and we just watched for a while, thinking they must be off to work as dancers.
I couldn’t believe the dresses, earrings, make up and hair even in the kids. The little boys were all smart too in braces and with a red scarf as a belt.
We walked on, I saw these cool retro postcards, and while I was browsing c asked a lady where they were going.
“The ferry”…. Or something.
As I paid for the cards c said “feria?” As the cards were old adverts for Feria de Sevilla -a week long celebration in April. Biggest night- the Saturday!!
We got a Spanglish run down from the guy in the shop but still didn’t really know what we were going to. An expo? A trade fair? A competition? No. The Easter show but muy muy cooler!
On the bus, still not quite sure what we were going to, we met manuela, her husband and baby Juan. Manuela had a gorgeous green spotted dress on. They honeymooned in Australia. She explained it to us.
It is a week long celebration, set up like an old town with streets and casetas (little bars in pavilions).
Most casetas are private, bought by people who invite their friends or clubs.
We wandered through the “streets” admiring the horses and carriages, costumes and casetas and saw these two women putting their money away.
The flamenco dresses have a purse sewn into the ruffle. We admired it and began chatting as they spoke English. They have known each other since they were 10 at scouts, who meet at the feria every year. They said it is a festival that is about the beauty of the women so they all take the chance to wear the dress. The men just accompany.
They dance the sevillanas (a type of flamenco) eat and drink “too much” and it is a celebration after the solemnity of Easter.
They invited us into the caseta (a big privilege) introducing us to Angel. He was the informal boss of the caseta, a policeman by day. He bought us ribolitos the traditional drink -white wine and sprite. But strongly cautioned us (in Spanish) that we should be careful and eat. The girls told us traditional food was fried fish (marinated in vinegar first) and flamenque meat rolled with egg and peppers and, yes fried.
That was our food because so far all we had seen was candy floss for sale unless you got in a caseta.
Anyway, it was brilliant, we ate, watched the dancing, listened to the music and castanets. Colette had a quick castanet lesson from these 2 other women inside. They were amazing, dancing and playing, really playing the castanets.
We headed out after an hour or so and saw the posada-big entrance door lit up – it has a unique design each year, then headed home (at midnight as everyone still flooding in).
I remembered as well that we weren’t even going to go to Seville I just had a lot of trouble booking the trains.
Heading home, again very lucky. Which hotel were we staying at its not on the key (fortunately near the station) which bus do we catch? where’s our map? What street is the hotel on???? How do you even say station in spanish???Whoops.
Anyway, with luck and miming we got on the right bus, went past the station, recognised the street, got off the bus right outside the door. You can’t ask for more than that!
For breakfast at 1pm we were a bit limited. Went to a cafe where you ordered the coffee, but went across the road for the food. Mmmn fried again. But C found a new word churros!