It was at the end of 2017 that fellow musician Greta casually mentioned that she’d rented an enormous villa in Portugal for a week at the end of September 2018. She went on to ask me if I’d like to come along. After due consideration (about a nanosecond) I said ‘yes please’…and thus started a chain of very agreeable events.
I’d been wanting to finish walking the Via de La Plata Camino but just hadn’t got around to getting my A.I.G., this was the kick in the pants I needed.
Rob, also a musician (and English ceilidh dance caller of great renown) fancied the walk – and he’d also been invited by Greta to join in the Portuguese fun.
And so it came to pass.
Rob and I completed the Via de La Plata and spent a couple of days exploring Santiago de Compostela, staying at Rita’s wonderful AirBnB – definitely THE place to stay. Rita is a wonderful host….we were to return with The Olde Vic Band Ex-Pats, AKA the Olde Vic Band on Tour, a year later – but that’s another story.
Buskers abound in Santiago, entering the cathedral square we came across these two young ladies playing Gaita Pipes and Pandereta – expertly and with great spirit:
Anyroadup, we dragged ourselves away from Santiago de Compostela and travelled by train and bus to meet Greta & Bill in Puebla de Sanabria, a small town that we’ve visited before. Rob, being the highly organised chap that he is, had arranged a really nice hotel for us for norralot of dosh.
A wander down the road to a bar / restaurant where we consumed much food, beer, wine and maybe something even more alcoholic – after which we were cajoled into playing music for a couple of hours. I have to say, we didn’t take THAT much cajoling!
It was a very merry bunch that wobbled it’s way back to their hotel that night.
Next morning we clambered onboard Greta’s bus and headed south-ish to the Douro Valley in Portugal where we were to meet up with Pete & Lynda who had driven down from Stockport to join us for the rest of our jolly.
The rest of the week was spent exploring the lovely Douro Valley, it’s vinyards, bars and restaurants.
Some photos of our musical week:
We came across this street entertainer, he was pleased, and a little surprised, that we joined in playing with him.
Playing on the waterfront in Porto: .https://www.facebook.com/rob.phillips.986/videos/2210425962301629/
Seranading a tourist cruiser on the R Douro: