Andalusian Aventures Part Two
Do you know the classic pub scene in American Werewolf in London where the two American tourists walk into the Slaughtered Lamb pub in the middle of nowhere to be greeted with silence, stares and suspicion and a Satanic sign on the wall?
Well, C and I experienced almost the opposite to that in La Taberna del Zorro in Gaucin yesterday.
Now, I have to admit we are a tad unprepared for this holiday. We dressed for sun and swimming pool and, to our surprise, it has been cold and wet so far, barely struggling to the mid teens (centigrade) in the sun, and it even snowed in parts of Andulucia yesterday – we saw it on the news and could see the snow-capped peaks in the distance.
Nevertheless, mid-morning, we bravely layered up and bemoaned the coats and waterproofs hanging up at home and decided to try the walk into the village, accompanied a fair part of the way by the black and white cat who has befriended us at the villa.
The walk was fine. We are pretty much on a level with the mountain top Pueblos Blancos and in just half an hour or so were at the heart of the village with time to mooch around and orientate ourselves before lunch.
We strolled around the narrow streets being greeted with an “hola!” by almost every local we passed – old men in caps, old ladies with sticks, and disaffected youths alike. We found all of the well-researched restaurants and tavernas on our list (thank you Trip Advisor) and sauntered up to the old Arab fort above the village and took in the spectacular views.
A little too early for lunch we grabbed a coffee and a cigarette outside the police station and bought provisions for the evening before entering into the Taberna del Zorro, to be greeted amiably by our Spanish host and feasting on tapas – croquettes, pancetta (belly pork), chargrilled cuttlefish and a tomato salad all washed down with a couple of glasses of vino tinto.
Sated and satisfied we paid and left only to find that it had begun to rain. We were not correctly attired and did not find the prospect of a soaking walk and sitting in the finca, cold, damp and miserable, very appealing. And so, we turned back into the taverna and attempted to order a taxi.
There was no taxi. And, even if there had been a taxi it would not take us the short distance we were wanting to travel.
But, upon being told this bad news we were at once welcomed into the bosom of the bar and looked after. We discovered that the bar was full of expats, an elderly retired couple from Norway, a bear of a man who was a nut-brown Cockney mechanic cum handyman, and a furtive under-employed painter and decorator, who had been at Durham university at about the same time as C.
All seemed fluent in Spanish and had a tale to tell and a willingness to help. There was a huddle around our map, which they declared out-of-date and subsequently produced biros with which to update it. Our new Cockney friend, upon discovering which villa we were at, popped out to knock on the door of the ubiquitous Chris Barber, our manager, and the guy who had rescued us so gallantly in the gas hob incident of Saturday night. He returned with the joyous news that Chris would be “happy” to give us a lift in forty five minutes.
Even the bar owner who spoke not a word of English had offered to pop us down the hill. And so, another couple of glasses of red and a very unexpected and enjoyable time were had, discovering how the various occupants of the taverna had stumbled upon and settled in this magical village, their backgrounds, and “celebrating” the death of Margaret Thatcher.
It was a moment of spontaneity, camaraderie, and good nature that will live long in our memories.
We love this place.