15 October 2022: Travel News: Electricity prices; Views on immigrants; The declining UK; & Other stuff

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Awake! For, Morning, in the Bowl of Night, has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And, Lo, has caught the Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light

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

Travel News

Well, I have ended up in a tiny ‘medieval’ village – Los Pintanos – in the wilds of North Aragón, having been led a merry dance by my out-of-sorts satnav(GPS).

My intention was to drive from Pamplona, via France, to Roncesvalles, the starting point of the Camino Francés for many folk. I’d imagined this to be a bustling places with plenty of accommodation options. Wrong. Maybe because I was on the main road, if I’d blinked hard I’d have missed whatever there was to see there. So, to get a bed for the night, I had to drive another 2 hours to get to Los Pintanos, which has possibly the narrowest – car-defying – streets in Christendom. And a (lovely) Hospedería, about the location of which my satnav had no idea. What fun finding it in the pitch dark.

The good news is that I passed through some beautiful Basque towns – in both Spain and France – and revelled in some stunning scenery en route to this hilltop village. And I had a great lunch of fish soup and ribs along the way. Before receiving my latest motoring fine for not stopping before joining a totally empty highway at a T-junction. As a result of which I learned what orejas(ears) are in motoring language. Strange to relate, the inevitable breathalyser gave a 0.00 result, despite me having had a glass of wine 2 hours or so earlier. I’d expected it to be low but not zero. But I didn’t complain to the traffic cop. Or initiate a discussion about why.

A foto from my window:-

Cosas de España/Galicia

Anxious to get travelling early, I’m padding out this post with timely comments from 2 regular readers:-

1.  María writes about cheating in her school, which I think was in Boston (in the USA, not Lincolnshire), so not Spain: In high school we used to do the pen cheat thing, too. I even had a classmate with long fingernails and a sharp pencil who used the fingernails as a cheat sheet. Later, electronics upped the ante. Teachers and professors discovered inhibitors, and requisitioned phones and smart watches. Now, we’re back to the old fashioned ways again.

2. David writes, confirming my own experience with energy prices: I am finding the tarifaluzahora app very useful. Incredibly, most days the cheapest period is around 3pm to 5pm, while midnight to 7am can be 60 to 70%more expensive. I (think) Tuesday was at its cheapest from 11am to 12pm, one of the so called high tariff periods.

Oh, dear . . . From outside Olite town hall:-

Funny how attitudes differ: A paragraph from yesterday’s Voz de Galicia; Immigration is the the keyThe INE  predicts how Spain and Galicia will be by 2030. The data indicate that, if we continue as of now, without the arrival of new residents, Galicia will lose 20,000 inhabitants per year. This fall here contrasts with an increase in Spain as a whole, which will exceed 50 million by 2030. The key to reversing this downward trend in Galicia will be the arrival of immigrants. Thanks to them, the ‘vegetative balance’ could be positive.

The UK

Anyone know for sure what’s going to happen next? In the political sphere, I mean. Oh yes, and the financial sphere.

Quote of the Day

A bit of philosophy from El Mundo: As soon as you realise life is shit, you will have a better life.

Finally   . . . .   

To amuse:-

For new readers: 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.