17 October 2022: Travel news; A very odd festival; A brush with death; & 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

Yesterday, I played the angel, taking 2 Canadian women who were having breakfast at the next table to mine into the centre of Burgos, thus saving them a wait of 7 hours in Belorado for a bus there. Only a minute later, I decided to give a lift to a hitch hiker, who amusingly struggled in poor Spanish until we established he spoke very good English. To my astonishment, he said he’d left Munster in Germany in July and had already walked more than a thousand km. As he was good company, I deviated from my route to take him to Hospital de Órbigo, near Astorga. But I made him pay the 3.50 toll . . .

This delayed me a bit for a 3pm lunch engagement in Portugal with a group of Pv friends, so I drove there at the max permitted speed so as to get there on time. I almost managed this but it didn’t matter as they were an hour late. Which bothered the Portuguese restaurant owner more than it did me, as the Portuguese eat earlier than the Spanish. But, then, who doesn’t.

I really don’t want to perpetuate the myth that it rains constantly here in Galicia, but I have to confess that, at the end of a long day driving, it wasn’t pleasant to face fog and rain coming down to the coast from the Galician mountains.

Cosas de España/Galicia

An odd failure.

More on the opportunity to be a digital nomad here in Spain. As I’ve said, I doubt the package is all it’s cracked up to be.

And this is possibly the weirdest of Spain’s many, many odd festivals.

Which reminds me . . . I always thought La Fiesta Nacional was bullfighting but this was also the label given to last week’s Día de Hipanidad.

I wasn’t going to mention this – honest – but within 3 minutes of me resuming my daily routine this morning, I followed a learner driver who did a U-turn at a roundabout, always in the outer lane and not making any signal until he/she was a back on the road they’d come from. But this wasn’t the worst experience of the day. Within a minute of this, I was driving along a straight stretch at the side of which is the test centre for new drivers. There was someone 50 or 60 metres away from me, signalling left and waiting to turn into this. I thought to myself: Surely he/she can see me and isn’t going to turn in across my bows. But, dear reader, after waiting 3 or 4 seconds, she did exactly that when I was only 20m from her. God knows if this was at her own initiative or on the instruction of an insane (or blind) instructor/examiner but one thing’s for sure . . . If I hadn’t contemplated the possibility and been prepared for it, I would have smashed into the passenger door. I get the impression it’s quite hard to fail your driving test here in Galicia but, if anyone deserved to, it would surely be this driver. Even if she had been instructed to turn so recklessly across my path.

Finally   . . . .   

To amuse . . . Solid advice . . .

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.

2 comments

  1. My daughter still doesn’t know how she passed her driving test (neither do I, thirty-one years ago, with Flunk ‘Em Freddie of Boston).

    But she does know that a classmate failed by failing to both signal his incorporation onto a highway, and by ignoring the car already in the right hand lane. The inspector avoided the crash by taking the steering wheel and swerving.

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  2. Very funny driving anecdotes from you Colin, and Maria. I now know I am not alone.

    Only the other day two MRW delivery vans bore down on me on a one way street. They were facing the wrong way.

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