The event took place in the centre of town in Plaza España. To celebrate, local community associations and youth groups had built strange looking floral arrangements. Unlike traditional flower arrangements these were made with all manner of woodland vegetation; twigs, leaves, heather, as well as a selection of wild flowers. However; when I say “floral arrangements”, I’m not talking table-top decorations: one of the displays was well over three metres high and had to be wheeled into the square on a cart.
The attendees were mainly school children and their mothers. One exception was a small group of curious looking elderly folk wearing flora headbands and keeping a beady eye on proceedings. Like many local traditions, its significance is easily lost on ‘outsiders’. I’m sure my neighbours would think the same about a group of unsynchronised youngsters careering around a May Pole.
‘Have you been to see the dolmen yet?’ he asked.
Last month, while we were filling up, he’d mentioned the discovery of a megalithic monument in the village of Vilatan. Dolmens are prehistoric burial chambers consisting of two or more upright stones topped with a stone roof. The one discovered in Vilatan was quite unusual as its roof, a single large stone, was still intact. When Pablo first told us about the discovery we thought it would be an interesting attraction for guests staying at our rental property to explore.
‘Not yet,’ I replied, ‘we’re hoping to go later in the week.’
Not for the first time, I’d opened my mouth before engaging my brain. I now felt duty bound to fulfil my commitment.
The following day we set out to discover this ancient monument. Earlier in the month I’d seen a sign for it in Escairon, the nearest village of note to Vilatan. That would be our starting point. The sign read, ‘Dolmen de Abuime’.
‘They’ve even given it a name,’ I remarked, as we headed out into the countryside.
The last of the signs pointed down a grassy track. Having come this far we decided to take a look. I parked up and we continued on foot. The track led into a field where we found another sign. This one showed a graphic of a dolmen, complete with a roof, and the distance in metres.
‘This must be the way,’ I said, pointing at the sign.
Vine Watch – week 6
The new shoots are now growing by at least 2cm every day. Secondary shoots have started to develop from the leaf nodes. The locals call these secondary shoots nietos (grandchildren). They systematically remove them believing that less foliage will benefit the grapes. Although this theory has no basis in fact, removing them doesn’t harm the vines and in my opinion it makes managing the vine’s growth easier; allowing for better airflow which is proven to help reduce mildew.
Hark at me: I’m beginning to sound like an expert. Well you know what they say about experts, “An ‘ex’ is a has-been and a ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure”.
Craig and Melanie own and operate a luxury farmhouse rental property called Campo Verde. To find out more about a stay at Campo Verde and Galicia in general, visit our website getaway-galicia
Craig’s book, Journey To A Dream, is available exclusively from Amazon, to purchase your copy click here for your national Amazon store.
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