9 April 2022: Phoney discounts; April caminos; Bright lights: Changing times; & other stuff.

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galiza   

No huge surprise to read that a couple of days before giving a government-imposed discount, 280 petrol stations in Spain raised their prices by the same amount.

Vigo was hit by another curse this week – 2 vast cruisers disgorged 6,000 short-term visitors onto the streets near the port, all at the same time. These streets, of course, have been transformed – as with Oporto’s riverside – by the huge growth in tourism over the last 20 years. Time was when the Rúa Pescadería featured babushkis offering fresh seafood on stone slabs. Now, there’s a row of classy restaurants there, each with a pretty woman outside offering you the menu.

This is Pontevedra city at 6.45am:-

The bright object in the centre is a large block of government offices. In these energy-worrisome times, one wonders why the lights are necessary so early.

Doing a Camino de Santiago this month? Here’s what you need to know about the month’s positives and negatives.


Can Ukraine really win the war? Only if it gets ‘sophisticated and innovative technology’, says Richard North here.

The Way of the World

A wonderful article on what the cult of victimhood and the internet have done to the tough discipline of philosophy in the last 10 years or so. But maybe not yet in France. If it’s an Anglo thing.

And another on the belated turn of a tide.

Quote of the Day

From that article, in case you didn’t read it:- In the end, it wasn’t one person who pointed out that gender extremism wears no clothes. There were so many: therapists, academics, parents, authors, athletes, politicians, barristers, journalists, scientists, feminists, gay activists, all shouting over the years that this ideology would hurt women, children, gay people and trans people. And this was the week the spell began to break.

Finally . . . 

here’s the cat I mentioned, arriving at my gate as my car draws up . . 

For new reader(s): If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.


  1. Its probably not much consolation, but I installed the Cepsa app (and Repsol) on my phone. They give you the 20 cents from the gov, and 10 cents from themselves. So, the other day I paid 1.54 as opposed to 1.84 per litre. The so called low cost with their 20 cents discount come in at 1.61, so for the mo it is slightly better to go with the two biggies. The whole price thing is still a scam though, Brent was trading at 93 dollars on Friday about 40 less than 5 weeks ago.

    The cruise ship phenomenon is similar in nearby Coruña. The big issue here is that onboard they have got these eat all you want buffets included in the price. So the tourists jump ship at about 9ish and race back for lunch. Many dont return in the afternoon. So, plenty of morning street pounding going on, but the cafes and restaurants with hardly a soul. Oh! And several hundred race off to Santiago for a selfie in the cathedral. It might be handy if they docked the boat a bit further away, and not 5 mins walk from Maria Pita square. A few more might stick around that way. It also might help if the shops opened at 9.30am and not 10.30am.

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  2. Thanks for those valid points. David. in Vigo, the ship docks even closer to the old quarter, though it’s a bit of a trek to Corte Inglés on Gran Via. As for opening hours of shops in the morning and restaurants in the evening, I venture to forecast economic realities will bring about change in the next 5 to 20 years. For restaurants, they need more than one turn – or even two – a night. Already some of them in Pontevedra impose a 1.5 hours max.

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