Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fishing and percebes problems

Monday 14 September 2015

At 9.40 am we were awoken by the sound of a compressor and realised and realised we were opposite a building site.  Ate breakfast at the Bahia Hotel which is the only place in town which seems to be open before 11 am.  Seagulls screamed in the skies overhead.  OH said we needed to go and look at a fishing spot he had discovered on a previous trip with his friend J.  He took us down narrower and narrower roads and through a forest of droopy leaved Eucalyptus trees, their bark shredded and all colours from ochre through cinnamon to deepest red.  finally we emerged on a wonderful deserted beach.  Gulls ran around on the sand banks and I was delighted to find shells that I had never seen before - green and rubbed sea urchins and another eggshell delicate coquillage shaped like a skull and delicately perforated.

OH decided that the tide was coming in and we needed to come back later.  Went for early lunch and I had pulpo à la gallega which is octopus cut into chunks and cooked in olive oil and garlic.  OH had chipirones (baby squid) and chips.  Two Germans with shaved chests and ostentatious attitudes came and sat behind us and spent the whole meal looking at their enormous telephones.  Back to flat for siesta.

At 4.30 OH was still dead to the world so I went out onto the silver sands which were as pure and white as those of Sutherland in the far north of Scotland.  Almost without shells. Wagtails and a solitary gull ran ahead of me on the beach.  Went back to flat and woke up OH and we went back to the fishing spot and the sun came out and it was idyllic to lie on the rocks and watch the clouds in the high heavens race across the dizzy blue.  the waves sucked and pounded the slab like rocks and, far out to sea, the water turned from azure to deep cobalt with creaming and foaming breakers.

After a couple of hours, we packed up and went to a fisherman's bar where OH had spotted percebes on the menu.  These are a type of barnacle.  I have had not had these before and can tell you that they are very tasty but take a heck of a lot of getting out of their casings. they are the size of your whole thumb, and where you have your thumb nail, they have a kind of cartilage type claw.  Harvested by hand at depth.  Normally ruinously expensive. They arrived, steaming on a plate, and it was not obvious how to get into them.  We pulled at them experimentally and I manage to squirt sea water over us and neighbouring tables.  In the end, a fisherman came over and showed us how to twist and pull the end and pop out the flesh.  He must have been speaking Galician because I didn't understand a word.  We then had zambrinas and the most wonderful white albarino wine which was deep and rich with a wonderful floral aftertaste.  Collapsed to bed.  Rain started to hammer on the velux during the night.