Day 44 – Ourense Jazz Gal

It was Day 44 – I avoided the rain by taking a taxi to Ourense and that night I became a Jazz Gal in a private jazz group, just up the street from my luxe hotel.  Bliss for a cranky solitary pilgrim who’d just been Basil’d!  (see previous post).

Now that taxi-ing of mine in Euros cost a pretty penny.  It was 148 kilometres of taxi dollars.  But when you bucketing your list of Life’s Things to Do Before You Die, a mere bucket of euros just doesn’t matter!

The driver deposited me at the something hotel.  Have just checked my Pilgrim’s Credential and it’s the Carris Hotel!  I have written hardly anything from Sanabria on in my journal.  But I took a stack of pix – I was just too excited to be on the home stretch.

Imagine – I’d been travelling/walking since September 1 – it was now October 16 – I’d been 97% on my own, coping with MY non-linguisity (????) and the balls of my feet still haven’t forgiven me (a year later!) and the prospect of finishing this mother of a trip was just over the horizon, exactly 100 kilometres away!  Imagine how I felt!  (I’d also been missing my dog like you would NOT believe!)

Just to calm down – I’ve reviewed my photos and Ourense stands out for the following epic reasons –

1. there is a statue of Jesus that, it’s claimed, floated in on the cross, on the sea, and was brought to Ourense.  It’s believed to have human hair that grows and it’s the main focus of a cult.  My photo is poor quality but gives an impression of what you will see if you go there.

his long human hair grows, his arms are sinewy, I just wanted them to take him down, let him rest, bury him and let him sleep.
his long human hair grows, his arms are sinewy, I just wanted them to take him down, let him rest, bury him and let him sleep.

In the cathedrals of the Spanish cities, there are signs warning against using flash on your cameras to guard the Art works there, understandably.  And wouldn’t you know it, in the cathedrals of the Spanish cities, there are dickheads, both local and foreign, fe/male both, who use their flashes.

This pic is poor because I should have used the flash!

And wouldn’t you also know it, there was a curate who crankily ushered me away (I was last in the long line) from communing with this icon, because he wanted to lock up the joint.  For Pity’s Sake!

Ourense is also fabbo for this reason:

2. TRUFFLES!!!!!!!!!!!!

After a month and a half of been-there-done-that Menu del Dia for 43 days (ish) I found myself an Italian restaurant (?!) called –

my fave Italian restaurant in Ourense
my fave Italian restaurant in Ourense

AND it had the word “truffles” in more than one item on the menu.  Now I’d never eaten truffles until this moment, but certainly I knew about them and had longed, yearned, coveted them!  Ok – LUSTED!

And here they were!  Naturally I had to eat there twice so I could savour el truffles!

looks like truffle caviar but I would have eaten them in any form just to discover the taste!
looks like truffle caviar but I would have eaten them in any form just to discover the taste!

So the next meal I went back and had their truffle pizza!  As you do!

Ourense’s secret loveliness is this:

3.  the Cafe called Escuelaluna – the manager of which let me in to their private jazz concert for that night.  Do you think that I can locate them on Goggly?  Not a chance.  They are private AS!  If you stay at the Carris Hotel, then just go out the front door and turn left.  It’s a few doors up the street.

el cafe EscuelaLuna - the school of the moon
el cafe EscuelaLuna – the school of the moon

After a bit of a bite to be polite, (remember I’d gorged on truffles at the Italian restaurant for lunch AND their truffle pizza for dinner) I was allowed/invited/welcomed for 5 Euros, to join in on the jazz musica for a couple of hours.  How synchronicity was this?

The “band” was 2 guys, a saxophonist and a drummer, and they played soundscapes (easier to get into after a few vinos).  The drummer was the showman – he licked his drums, he played plastic toys, he WAS percussion!  The sax player was the artiste who wove his notes into the ground we were sitting on and it travelled up our limbs through the blood.

20141017_212801

And me?  I’d just got all my hair cut off – I was sick of it and wanted no bother for the last 100 ks so I looked like Mia Farrow!  Woo hoo!

It was very “YAR!” as Grace tells Bing in that movie. My spirits were soaring, not only because of the loud music scapes and the red wine!

Home stretch-city!

I can still feel the excitement, exhaustion, elation et al – a year later!

Buen Camino,

Nancy

About Nancy Liddle

In 2014 I walked from Seville to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, some 800 ks I walked, aged 56. I learnt that no matter what age we are, our bodies are strong work-horses. Ageing doesn't have to be the nightmare that our culture feeds us. We can be strong and vital and energetic! And meditation exercises our minds. Clearly these discoveries have impacted my life deeply.

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