January 20th 2010.
How time flies when you're having fun.The sun is shining and Conil looks better than ever, prosperous even and a buzz about the place with more new shops opened than shops closed and at least one big new hotel that has gone up within the year.....and although it means a slight detour on the walk to beach, they have also landscaped the cliffs in front of it with boardwalks through gardens and some great viewing platforms. Conil remains essentially a spanish holiday resort, refusing any high rise blocks, Irish pubs or all-day english-breakfast emporiums and all new developments blend in very nicely with the andalusian 'white town' concept. I can recommmend it.
The local festival of San Sebastien was set for Sunday and the site management put on a very nice free lunch on Wednesday which was very well attended and at which an extraordinary number of jugs of Sangria were sunk...which may have accounted for a dismal showing in that night's quiz - our first - when we only managed 5th place by a whisker, should have been second and could have been first. Honour was somewhat restored on Thursday night when the Good Fairy took the Whist Drive by storm, winning a €1.46 bottle of wine for coming first ( as opposed to €50 for winning the quiz).
Friday night was lets-get-pissed-at-the-sports-bar night where all the drinks are a €1, things got out of hand and getting home by torchlight is hazardous.
On Saturday we cycled up to the fruit farm for oranges and veg and ran foul of the Polizia Traffico who pulled me over at a roundabout, where they were stopping motorists,because I wasn't wearing a cycling helmet.... I couldn't believe there was a law making helmets compulsory but I was let off with a caution. Subsequent investigation revealed that you don't have to wear one a)in town b) in hot weather or c) going up hills and that there is a nice shop in Conil seeling helmets from €40 upwards. I later counted 15 people not wearing helmets on the same stretch of road but when I went to buy one later in the week and spoke to the cycle-shop owner he said that they fined 3 people on Sunday at €100 a pop so you have been warned..
This disruption to my equilibrium may account for what followed. When we arrived back at the site and I was recounting this tale to much hilarity from the usual suspects I discovered that I had inadvertently left my rucksack full of veg and oranges at the cafe we had stopped at for coffee and had to make an another 11 mile round trip to retrieve it.
Most afternoons are spent playing Boules (in the sunshine), the ladies have yet to win a session.
The festival of San Sebastien on Sunday was much bigger,noisier and more colourful than previous years, the popular reason being that the warm winter has made everyone very happy and the population of Conil were all up for a 5 mile walk in the sun drinking sherry and sweet wine and sharing it liberally with bystanders-which seems to be part of the tradition. The very large carpark at the entrance to the site is the traditional first picnic stop out of a town and was soon covered with rugs,food,drink and horse droppings in equal quantity. And they were all very happy as they then departed for El Colorado and a massive BBQ under the pines..
On Monday we walked with Paul & Marianne along the cliffs to the port of Conil, about a 10 mile round trip relieved by a couple of glasses of beer in the cantina and a huge plate of fried anchovies (before they are salted variety) which are called Boquerones and highly reminiscent of whitebait and which were very tasty.