Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Vigo, Spain: Part II: Compañero de Piso

Following a very short stay in Portugal and travelling in the complete opposite direction than originally planned I was back in Vigo to spend the long weekend with a new friend, Olalla. In Spain the day after 31 October (Halloween) is Day of the Dead. It is a public holiday and an old tradition to visit the graves of family. I arrived on late Wednesday night, 30 October.

The next couple of days involved sharing cooking, eating/drinking with Olalla's friends, celebrating Halloween, resting and chilling out in my (aka Olalla's spare) pair of sexy pink slippers. I also continued to spread what I tell people is the Australian way of asking to go to the toilet. In español: necesito castigar la porcelana (I need to punish the porcelain). So don't be surprised if you hear backpackers saying this politely in Aus.

The ideal footwear in cold Europe when every room is tiled!
On the Saturday 5 of us headed east to enjoy the hot springs in the mountains, after an awesome lunch in a little bar in a little town. The Galician way of eating is to share an enormous plate of food between a group in a bar. After beer, wine, a plate of calamari and 2 plates of ribs it was time for the hot springs.

Spain has many natural hot springs throughout the country. The Romans used many of these as baths (Termas).

The springs we went to are near the Galician town of Ribadavia. When I arrived I was hit with the smell of boiled eggs from the sulphur. You get used to it pretty quickly. There was a series of 6 hot baths (rock pools) with temperatures of 38-41 degrees and some cold baths in between. They had a Japanese theme and were incredibly relaxing.

Afterwards we were back to a bar in a nearby town that is only open on weekends. We shared more plates. These ones were raciones, much smaller in size. One of the plates was Pulpo (Octopus), after talking to the owner, an old fisherman, he told us he caught it himself during the week.

A half eaten plate of Pulpo

There were also kegs of wine. You help yourself and tell them how many glasses (aka bowls) you drunk at the end... I was forewarned that this red wine makes you fart but I had no idea what I was in for. Everyone else stuck to beer. It was baked beans on steroids... an experience I will never forget and I shared a little more of me with Olalla than I would have liked.

Always happy when pouring alcohol

I probably shouldn't be crouching like that after the warning I received.

The next day Olalla, Iria and I went further north along the coast for food, hiking, beaches and awesome viewpoints.

Little Olalla with a Big Stick

Olalla y Yo



The next day was another Monday and another goodbye. 1 night turned to 8. Maybe we will meet again.

Next stop the Golden City, Salamanca!

Lessons Learnt:
Hot Springs are Amazing!
The Galician way of sharing food is awesome.
Each area of Spain has its own major beer (like Australia).
When people warn you about the wine... believe them!

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