August is getting close, when Spain seems to shut up shop for the entire month and suits are swapped for swimwear. Cicadas start their noisy work in earnest, the local bar owner rolls his trousers up to his shins – a sure sign it’s Summer.
Entire families will take entire kitchens down to the beach, and rustle up entire meals for, oh, 20 or so, no problem. We always feel a tad inadequate with our sand filled bocadillos and car-warm water.
Despite the fact that we can see that shimmering Mediterranean from the terrace, we’re a fair way up-mountain, and don’t tend to get to stretch out the beach towels too often. We should keep beachy stuff in the boot of the car, coastal trips tend to be for food, hardware, jobs, that elusive nail that we must drive 200 kms round trip for….it has happened!
But a rastro is enough to spur us on to take the winding road down, as we did last weekend. In Almunecar we found a cheap hostal – everywhere was full to bursting due to the impending Jazz Festival – and it was on the same street as our favourite restaurant in Spain, La Ventura.
So, we managed a night in the cell – actually, a cell would have been larger – with the ceiling fan just about the width of the room, and, no, it wasn’t a giant fan. The room we wanted was gone, so we put up with H Block in good humour, with the promise of a free breakfast from the Basil Fawlty-like owner.
Mind your head now, he advised Stan, pointing to the fan, that’ ll chop it off. Look at me, that’ s why I’m bald.
So with Stan creeping around the room on his knees, we decided to dump the bag and go out. We hit the town, had the promised meal, a few beers, and discovered an old Sherry tavern with enormous flies, thick and chewy Jamon, fly encrusted too of course, and superb wines. The old boy had Parkinsons so bad he spilled half the contents between barrel and bar – but it was perfect, just right, lined with Matador posters,Boar heads, and lined and wrinkled old regulars.
The next morning we headed back, after a few ‘finds’ at the rastro rummage. We went to Nerja and back to Almunecar, and found many treasures. Like we need more old books! They really do ‘maketh a room’.
For now I’ ll get on here with swatting flies while the dog gently breaks wind beside my foot – he has perfected the “What, me???” look.
Spanish Summer – love it! By the way, still didn’t get to sit on the beach….and we never did get the breakfast, they were out of bread….