Basqueing at Lunch

Well, it’s been a ride.  And today the last full day in Basque country.  It went so fast.  As usual.  I’m being boring.  Vacations are always like that especially when you’re having a great time.

So, after a leisurely breakfast, Rayman and I decided to take a walk.  On our walk we visited a lizard of unnatural beauty.

We visited mom horse and her colt.


Stopped in to visit some sheep.  See FB.  It’s a video and you know my success rate sucks.

We talked to some true free range chickens.   That’s a video.  Drats.

My, oh, my.  What a great place for walking.  No wonder all those families were out for a stroll on this walking path (for those on the central coast, it’s like Bob Jones Trail only longer).  The kids like me love this kind of thing!!


When we returned it was lunch time and by that I mean 1:30.  We grabbed the clothes off the line as rain was coming.

Okay, I need to interrupt myself at this point.  Two observations.  One is that I pity the poor motorist that encounters mechanical problems or a flat tire because while the infrastructure is great, it does lack one thing.  Shoulders.  The roads don’t have shoulders.  There is no place to pull over.  Anywhere.  Okay.  Almost nowhere.  Don’t know how they cope with that.  And because there are no shoulders, it is also very difficult to turn around if one needed to turn around.  It is for all practical purposes impossible.  So, Spain is without shoulders.  Who knew?  However, they do have a plethora of roundabouts.  So, if you miss a turn or need to make a turn, you can always hold out for a roundabout.  You may go miles out of your way.  But there will be a roundabout right around the bend.

The other observations is that the weather changes on a dime.  We hung out our clothes and took them back in within about an hour because rain was coming.  And the wind.  It too starts and stops on a dime.  One time is was calm when we left for an outing.  We came back.  Plastic lawn chairs were littering the lawn.  The patio umbrella was prone.  A potted plant had blown over.  And the cows were gone!!

We went to lunch as I mentioned earlier.  We arrived and stood in the entrance of the restaurant.  People kept running up and down the stairs.  I thought the bano must be upstairs.  Wrong.  The main dining room was there.  Why people ran up and down remains a mystery.  Anyway, we had not called for reservations so the lady told us to come back at 2:30 which we did.  And had lunch.  Here’s a shot of those stairs.  And Janis.


But I digress in a new and interesting way.

Rayman was banging on all cylinders today.  When Terry got up this morning, Rayman asked him how he was.  “Absolutely wonderful.”, Terry responded.  Rayman, without missing a beat retorted, “Well, we’ll take care of that.”  Then, when we were having coffee while waiting for our table at the restaurant, Terry was “reading” a Basque newspaper.  Soon we were all joining in trying to translate or figure out what the stories were about.  There was a picture of this guy who had jumped in the air holding a ball.  The question before the group was, what sport was this guy playing?”  Allan had his phone with a translation app.  You hover over the words and it translates for you and that how it was figured out that the guy in the air was playing handball.  At this point, Terry asked, “What in the world is handball?”  Rayman immediately replied, “You don’t want to know.”  Snickers around.  Then Allan googled something and found out this.  “The Spanish national handball team is the national handball team of Spain”.  Shocking news.  We had a great time.  Here’s Mr. Funnybones himself.  Looks like the Barcelona police station but it in fact was the restaurant “foyer”.


Now I am not exaggerating when I say that Janis has saved our bacon all week and Allan has not been far behind.  These two linguists did most of the talking, if you get my drift.  Lord knows how many mistakes would have been made if they had not been there helping us out.  (An aside.  Basque is completely different than spanish.  I will show you what I mean in a minute.)  And I am also not exaggerating when I say that Janis and Allan spent a lot of time while we were waiting for our table tackling the Basque menu.  Papers were dug up.  Pens were found.  Translation software was used.  Notes were taken.  No stone went unturned in the quest to decipher the code presented on the menu.  But when it came time to order, I couldn’t figure out which set of words were veal, fish, or fowl.  So I did the only thing I could do.  I sucked my lips together in the center and did my fish impersonation.  The funny thing is, the waitress knew what I meant!!  And then Rayman went into a small panic when wine was ordered and he didn’t hear riojas.  He heart tinga which is basque for riojas.  He seemed upset.  And I learned that if you ask for pimonton (spelling suspect), you could get pepper.  The spanish do not put pepper on the table.  The food is almost bland because of lack of pepper and spice.  And thank you Allan for looking that up!!  Here’s the name of the restaurant.  Spanish on top.  Basque underneath.


Other things happened.  A big party (25 peolple?) presented itself midway through our lunch.  And I volunteered to take a picture.  I was applauded after I counted down, “Uno, dos, tres.”  Snap.  Rayman muttered something about taking away the microphone.  I have no earthly idea what that was about.  This is the table before they arrived.  And that’s my fish dish.


I also don’t think I am overstating anything when I tell you that they could have rolled me out of the place.  A huge tuna salad, a big piece of perfectly cooked hake on potatoes, bread, cake, vino.  All for about $12 euros/person.  Didn’t eat another thing.  I hope I am not betraying anyone’s trust when I mention that a late snack was enjoyed by the others.  We had a lot of leftover chicken.  And ham.   Although I did make an exception for the cause of politeness to polish off the port.

And this is a mask and geranium by the garage of our villa.  Seems entirely suitable to end this portion of this trip with it.



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