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A fine lazy day in Lanzarote

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    A fine lazy day in Lanzarote

    Their daily pilgrimage started every morning at the harbour in the old town of Puerto del Carmen. It involved a robust walk along the black lava cliffs to the neigbouring village of Puerto Calero, a stopover for coffee followed by the return journey and finally breakfast at one of the many restaurants that dotted the small port. He wasn't an avid walker himself but persuaded by his petite wife he reluctantly agreed to this daily peregrination, for peace's sake.

    Eventually, he began to look forward to it as much as she did as the days drifted lazily by. He liked looking out at the distant sands of Fuerteventura, the solitude at this time of the day, the brisk wind blowing in from the Atlantic which kept him cool even in the dry desert heat. His mobile phone had been left in the apartment as he had a long time ago found out that the world got on quite well without him at its beck and call. The walk was about seven miles long and quite challenging in places, stark in its beauty, memories of a volcanic eruption of bygone years all around. Dotted here and there were low white casas with black gardens of cacti, aloe vera, agaves, and high walls embraced with vast swathes of bougainvillea, small dusty roads lined with mimosa and purple flowering jacarandas. Even a small dragon tree grew in one garden.

    El camino de Puerto Calero, his own Spanish Steps of a sort he mused. “Soy
    peregrino aquĆ­“-here I am a pilgrim, he smiled to himself as he gazed down at his sandals and white Adidas socks. Perhaps he should go barefoot like the real pilgrims but didn't Jesus himself wear sandals and perhaps white socks too?

    Maybe, like Tim Moore he should be accompanied by a donkey but at least his wife had a fine ass, lecherous thoughts suddenly crowded his befuddled mind from a sudden burst of solar energy beating down on the white handkerchief neatly knotted on top of his balding pate. But was it not customary for all sins, including lust, to be absolved at the end of a pilgrimage? A plenary indulgence it was called, if he remembered correctly from his cathechismal studies of yesteryear and not even a Confiteor needed. So be it, he thought carefully considering what other sins he might commit before his absolution. Gluttony came to mind and this morning he would not only have a breakfast in Puerto Del Carmen he would also breakfast in Puerto Calero, although strictly speaking one could only breakfast once. Still, it would amount to two fry ups washed down with some local El Grifo; he had had enough of cafe con leche and fresh orange juice too and the salada mixta that his sweet wife favoured.

    He pushed himself harder down the black boirin, pink paunch peeking through strained shirt, arms and legs blushed by the Sahara sun pumping furiously as the small marina in the distance grew ever larger...

    It was Saturday afternoon and Munster was playing Castres. He had tried several "Irish" bars looking for somewhere to watch the match. The day’s matches were generally advertised outside but they were all showing English Premiership matches and were frequented by tattooed skinheads with earrings and Arsenal shirts.

    All but the Irish Times, a little tavern down by the church in the old town. It was run by a Corkman called Liam who was a pleasant enough type but seemingly ill suited to the sun being very fair skinned and freckly. He disclosed that he had been in Lanzarote for years and loved the sun but by the look of him he spent about five minutes of each day under it and the rest in pitch darkness. He reminded him of the tiny pale crabs he had seen on another visit in Jameos del Agua, the only difference being that Liam wasn't tiny by any stretch of the imagination.

    He settled down to some San Miguel and slowly the bar filled to capacity which meant there were about eight altogether, including Liam, watching the match. A faint but disturbing smell seemed to be emanating from the toilet or perhaps from Liam which seemed to unsettle two Corkman who kept looking at one another suspiciously. The sewage system in the Canaries is known to be suspect as can be testified by the little bucket at the side of the toilet bowl. He had been told by a man from Knocklong, he had met a few days ago, that the browner stained stuff was put into the toilet and the lesser stained stuff went to the bucket. He had asked the Limerick man how one would know when the correct shade of brown had been reached and also if a Guinness drinker would require an extra bucket.

    The match was worth watching and O'Gara famously kicked a drop goal in the dying minutes to salvage an amazing victory. He had done the same the previous week at Thomond to deny Northampton. He had been at that match and dining in the Mogul Emperor that evening he had met some very disgruntled Saint fans who seemed to have a bee in their collective bonnet about some Welsh referee.

    After a skillet of pints he met herself and they adjourned to Bodeco’s or Bozena’s as it's now called. Bo is a statuesque Polish woman, perhaps in her late forties, who looks like she stepped out of Hello magazine. Very friendly and helpful and treats everyone like a long lost friend. The food is a mixture of Polish and Irish fare-her partner or former partner is/was Irish- and is generally very good but not as good as in a little restaurant just up the street called TJ's Caribbean Tapas Bar where the portions are sumptuous. He had even eaten curried goat that night and it had been delicious.

    Later they adjourned to a Galician bar about two hundred metres from the post office where a Galician Luke Kelly lookalike sang the sweetest ballads they had heard for some time helped of course by the instant service of Paco, the barman, who never allowed a glass to go empty. Well, one should always drink copiously in the heat, a GP friend of his had told him once
    and he always heeded his doctor's advice.
    Last edited by dipstick; 24th-November-2011, 20:44.

    D, Hope you enjoyed your daily sojourn along the Camino.
    And well done on getting to see RoG's right peg doing the business again.