Saturday, August 4, 2012

Beach, and then Nit de Rumba

During the day yesterday we visited the seven-kilometre-long lovely, sandy St. Pere Pescador Beach. The beach actually continues for longer than seven kilometres to the towns of Empuriabrava at one end and L'Escala at the other. On the way to the beach you wend your way through cornfields and orchards,  empty crates  stacked high ready for the harvest. So far we have been lucky to find a very quiet place on the beach, probably because this beach is adjacent to the nude beach. At the far end of the beach near Empuriabrava you can see the multicolored canopies of the kite surfers. Nearer us are the windsurfers. Fortunately, there is a clear channel so that windsurfers can get off the beach without going through the well marked swimming area.

There are usually lots of wind and waves at San Pere but that doesn't deter us from swimming. One moment you're up and the next down but it is lots of fun in the warm water. Walking back down the beach we caught a very funny sight. There was a huge Pyrenean Mountain dog lying close to the water and napping the way dogs do with one eye open. What a perfect existence he had. He had dug a pit for himself and his owners had propped a beach umbrella over him. He wasn't even with his owners. I did make a bit of a faux pas just as I spotted him, when I said,  "Isn't he gorgeous."This was also the same time that a totally nude guy strutted by. Fortunately, I don't think that he spoke English.

The only down side to the beach is the nudists.....all shapes and sizes. Think about it! And the wind. If the wind whips up in the wrong direction then you have to move but fortunately there is a bar/restaurant right at the edge of the beach, which serves beer and lovely cocktails.

We made it home just in time to watch the Olympic swimming finals on the BBC. I must say the coverage has been fabulous with a number of former Olympians, such as Ian Thorpe, as commentators...much better than the same old, same old, style of reporting we are used to. The commentators are genuinely enthusiastic, knowledgable and insightful.  And they don't pretend to know everything. Bravo BBC for your Olympic coverage.

Fed and watered by eleven o'clock it was time to go to the next village inland, Selva de Mar to see Catalan rumba groups play. A stage was set up in the town square for the rumba night. You couldn't move there were so many people there. Catalan rumba has a Romani influence and evolved in Barcelona in the 1950s. It is a cross of flamenco, rumba, Cuban music and rock and roll. The first group, La Troba Kung Fu, had an amazing sound. Everyone, young and old, was moving to the beat of the music. No one really dances as couples to the music, instead  everyone just moves to the beat just like a giant zumba class. Beer, water and cava were on sale. We managed to wend our way through the  good humoured packed crowd fairly easily to the edges where it wasn't quite so smoky. That was the only down side. It is interesting to note that there is nothing to buy to eat. By two o'clock we were ready for a snack. We've noticed this before at events. We listened to the second band for a while before going home only to hear the sounds of another open air band in the Port. Time to rest up, tomorrow night devils are chased away with fireworks in the Port, while Selva de Mar has a couple of rock bands starting at 11:30. All this entertainment is free. The Spanish really know how to party.

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