2017 Day Thirty Seven

There really ought to be a feature on map apps where you can press a button to loudly yell “liar!”.  The plan was simple enough: locate the market, cycle there, buy yummy things, cycle back. The map shows it a very achieveable, if complicated, 1.7 km away … and off we go.

Now I’m not sure how Chris’ iPhone measured that distance, but by my reckoning, it’s at least 5 km, but that’s not the issue.  It’s the endless hills. Riding up one, to only find another, and another, and another.  And there’s little relief down.  The few downhill slopes are so steep they have to be walked.  I could have put that button to excellent use.  

Operating since the late 1800s, the market is another double storey extravaganza, seafood on the ground floor with every type of fish and shellfish imaginable, many I don’t recognise, smallgoods, cheese and butchers above. 

 The produce is proudly marked as “of the region” and service levels are high.  

We stock up on fresh milk cheese, jambon, chorizo, sweet Spanish onions, so different to the ones we have at home, and a few other bits and pieces. 

It’s amazing how far you can get with a few basic words in a place where little or no English is spoken. 

We stop for excellent coffee before getting our second unpleasant surprise of the day: Chris’ panniers have been stolen off his bike.  He’s remarkably accepting about it, but I’m rather cross.  I’m lucky my wicker basket didn’t suffer the same fate, saved probably by Chris’s complex method of attachment.  It’s put a pall on an otherwise lovely afternoon.

There’s no way we’re following that complex path home.  Instead we take the beach road with its excellent bike paths.  Much longer around even more headlands than yesterday, but we get a great view of the city and sea as we ride.  Much more my speed.  At one point, the bike path swerves onto the beach, a timber path amongst the sun worshippers.  

Later, we venture out on foot for drinks then dinner by the sea.  It’s clear that the weekend is cause for celebration and everyone is out in force. 

The carnival is starting with kids screaming on hair-raising rides, there’s a traditional long boat race off shore and on shore, a girls’ rugby match is being televised and loudly supported by a large crowd.  Everyone out out walking, eating ice-cream, making the most of gorgeous weather. 

A few wines slip down easily and eventually lead to, of all places, a Chinese restaurant, a little further down the road. Our hosts are Malaysian I suspect, with a great lamb curry, lumpia and gambas picante on offer.  Delicious – and a great hit of chilli too.

On our way home, the carnival is in full swing against a twilight sky, its colours a brilliant contrast. 

 I love the local aspects, big BBQ flavours are the snack food of the day, the “lotto” offers prizes of whole legs of jambon.  

It’s not difficult to feel like a teenager on a date in this setting.  A few wines help in this fantasy…

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