24. Mar, 2017

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FRIDAY 24-3-17

We woke to a cloudy cool day, but we couldn't complain, they had forecast it, and we have to remind ourselves that although the weather is so much better than in the UK it is still winter, even down here.

We had to shift ourselves a bit as we planned to go to Castellion on the bus to take a look at their week-long Magdalena Festival.

It was tricky knowing what to wear before setting out. It was a bit cool and breezy, but the sun kept trying to come out so was it to be a coat or not, yet then again they were forecasting light rain about 16:00. In the end I packed our macs, took the coat, and put it on, and took it off as the day progressed.

At the bus stop we met our very nice next door neighbours from Northern Ireland. They had the same thing in mind as us, but we didn't suggest hooking up with them. I think that would have been cheeky in the extreme, besides we like to please ourselves what we do, and I'm sure they do too.

The bus driver seemed to be in a hurry, he didn't even slow down much for the road-calming bumps, which was problematic as the bus was full, including many standing passengers who had to hang on extra firmly. It's about a half hour ride to Castellion and on arrival we went for a wander. What we really wanted was the Tourist Information Office, but we just couldn't remember where we'd seen it. If we could just get a map of the town as well as determining what was happening and where we'd have been alright.

First we stumbled upon two bands playing alternately. One from Slovenia (a lovely country if you ever get the chance) and the other from Austria (Nazi sympathisers), so if it turned in to a competition, I was going to root for the Slovenians.

Now my darling Chef and I have a habit of getting things a bit back-to-front. It seems to be the trademark of our touring style.

So it was lunchtime, and we decided to make for the little cafe which we discovered last time we were in town. We each had a flaky pastry square with a slice of ham and an awful lot of fresh air in it, plus a flaky pastry thing with chocolate in it, and two coffees - just over €6, a fiver. Still by UK rip-off standards a bargain. We had the added bonus of sitting by the glass window in to the bakery area where we were able to watch two ladies making the fresh food for consumption which was very reassuring, and if I had my way I'd make it law back home that every restaurant must have a viewing window in to the kitchen so that customers could see the cleanliness of the kitchen along with what goes on. 

From there we wandered to the park up near the bullring (as I am typing this there is a bullfight going on right now back in the ring at Castellion - barbarians). Up in the park they had erected a temporary tapas bar area. You bought a ticket for just €3.50 and this entitled you to a small beer and a selection of tapas from a number of different stalls. Oh, if only we'd known, we could have eaten here, there was food even I could eat. Back-to-front again.

As we left the complex we bumped in to our Irish neighbours sat on a bench in the park who had just finished off their tapas and beer. We told them we were looking to find out where they were going to let off the aerial bangers in just twelve minutes. They were no help at all, and so we decided to just follow our instincts.

We made our way downhill, trying to work out where, even the Spanish would consider safe to let off bangers. We almost made it. The banging started and we tried to home in on the loud multiple banging sound. We found it on an open hard-surfaced playing field just a few minutes after it all finished. Never mind. There was a steel band banging away on their drums and we stood and watched them as thousands upon thousands of Spaniards yet again, having stood and watched about ten minutes of loud aerial bangers were on the move en masse.

Now I've said before that if that many people were prepared to turn up for such a non-event then they must be easily pleased. And so it was today. Word spread through the crowd that across the other side of town, Antonio Causapé had just finished painting his garage door, so the next thing they were all off across town to watch the paint dry.

All afternoon I have wondered who the hell works in Spain. If you could see the number of people who turn out for these non-events you'd know it wasn't just the unemployed or those who do shiftwork. This is a huge chunk of the entire community, as well as their kids, who I assume can pick and choose which days they go to school.

Anyhow the day had just been too exciting for me. Typically we stumbled across the Tourist Information Office on the way to the bus stop. The Chef popped in to pick up the programme for the festival. Annoyingly most of it happens in the evening, today starting at 18:00 (apart from the bullfighting which starts at 17:00) so that was it. Another time we'll come for the evening only. This of course means that only the evening visitors get to see the horrid noisy kids with the bangers get spit-roasted.

As you'd expect we bumped in to our Irish neighbours at the bus stop for our return trip. Thankfully the bus driver on the return leg hadn't been watching the Australian Grand Prix practice sessions and used his throttle peddle wisely.

This evening The Chef prepared our evening meal using the two new halogen hobs. Success - they both worked which meant I could go to the waste bins with the hob boxes and the two hotplates (European plugs removed as they cost a lot of money to buy).

This evenings entertainment is likely to be a DVD film because there are now loads of Brits on the campsite and I can't get on to the internet. They're probably all Skyping home or something. After small yapping rat-like dogs on a campsite, loud Brits come a close second on the annoyance scale.

Tomorrow will start with loads of chores ready for our departure on Monday.