5th and 6th March 2010 Baiona

6 03 2010

We didn’t do a great deal on Friday. Hewlett Packard phoned me to say that the hard drive I was waiting for had been sent and that there was a problem with UPS. If it didn’t arrive within 10 working days they would re-send which meant that I would have to wait until Tuesday when they would phone again to check, so it may well be Friday of next week before I actually receive anything.

We both decided in that case that we would go somewhere else until the Tuesday and return to the campsite to pick it up. I went and paid the bill but the lady behind reception couldn’t speak English so I couldn’t communicate that I wanted them to hold a package for me should it arrive, I had to wait to see the campsite owner who did speak English.

As I was walking Jack around the campsite later that day I bumped into the owner and explained what we were planning to do. He said that it was no problem to hold the package for me and also said that we shouldn’t leave until Monday as there was a big festival in Baiona over the weekend. Apparently in 1493 when Columbus returned to Spain after discovering America, he landed in Baiona so the celebrations were because of that. We decided to stay. Over the afternoon the campsite suddenly became much busier, people were putting up tents, more motorhomes arrived and the bungalows and caravans suddenly had people in them. It looked promising for a good weekend, we were glad we stayed.

Saturday morning and we got up to the sound of canon fire coming from the town, more tents had been erected on the campsite as well. We walked into the town at about 1pm and the place was heaving with people, many dressed up in clothes from the late 15th century and there was a definite party atmosphere in the town. Loads of stalls lined the streets in the older part of town which were already narrow, with the combination of the stalls and the mass of people there it was virtually impossible to walk anywhere without having to wait for a clear passage, it’s difficult to describe just how busy it was. We had a good look around which took a long time and then decided to have some food which we ate sat outside a cafe on the main road, we sat for a while watching all of the people going past. Can’t beat a bit of people watching whilst sipping wine and eating seafood.

In front of the casttle there was a display of birds of prey which Jack found most interesting, not quite as interesting as the pen next to it holding around 20 rabbits, people found it most amusing watching him strain on his lead to get to them. Later in the afternoon there was a horse riding display on the beach in the same vein as our historical re-enactments, white knight, black knight, green knight all doing various displays with the black knight always being the unpopular one with the crowd who were waving coloured flags in support of their chosen knights colour. We watched for a while before deciding to walk back into the older part of town to look at the stalls, assuming that it might be a bit quieter with all of the people now watching the horse display. Wrong. It was still heaving in the old town with the smell of barbequed meat thick in the air. We found places that we hadn’t been before and wandered around the stalls before finding a nice place to sit and have a drink. There was a small band playing traditional music in the street with about 10 people dressed up doing the traditional dancing, not far from us a group of lads were playing drums much like you hear at continental football matches. Jack continued to get a lot of interest from passers by, people were even taking photos of him.

We sat in the same place for hours, drinking unlabelled wine from ceramic bowls and enjoying the dancing and drumming, watching people slowly get more and more drunk (you have to join in don’t you). It seemed that the place was getting busier all of the time, more people arriving all dressed up and few looking like they were leaving. It’s not something that you see in the UK as far as I know, the entire town was given over to the celebrations, not just a small part of it in a park but the entire town. As the light dropped we decided to head back, we had been out for more than 7 hours and Jack was clearly tired and we were both a little worse for wear ourselves. It wasn’t getting quieter, as we made our way through the narrow streets which were still absolutely jam packed with people, we passed many small groups who were plaing traditional instruments and people were dancing to the music. On the main road back there were as many people walking in our direction away from town as there were heading in, they certainly know how to party these Spanish!




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