Glass(ed) Eye and An Encounter with Calamari
Garrucha Travel Blog› entry 6 of 23 › view all entries
Well, we meant to go to the festival today, but this morning I was woken by a crash from the kitchen and Ian calling me - he'd dropped a glass plate which, instead of merely shattering, had exploded upwards like a volcano, sending slivers of glass into his right eye (!!).
José, who lives next door and is President of the block, took Ian to hospital, and I sat alternately reading and snoozing on the balcony! As the hours passed I started getting more and more worried, but when they eventually returned, Ian was okay - his eye had been cut (hence the pools of blood in the bathroom!), but there's no permanent damage. Phew!
So tonight we went to the port of Garrucha, which is apparently renowned for its seafood restaurants.
This was one of the cheaper restaurants, although it had the same features as the more expensive ones - a varied and interesting menu (from shellfish soup and boquerones - anchovies - to mussels and calamari); a large open chiller display cabinet out the front, filled with a dozen or more different types of fish and shellfish, which the waiters fetched for the chefs to cook; and a large glass tank with live lobsters (although the Sellotape holding the large cracks together and the water back was a bit unorthodox!).
Unfortunately, the meal wasn't great (nothing seemed to compare to the meal at Bar Velero!). I had shellfish soup to start (prawns, mussels and clams in an oily, thin, luminescent stock) whilst Ian had pan tostado (toast!) topped with tomato sauce and tuna. It didn't look particularly appetising and from the look on Ian's face it didn't taste it, either! We both ordered calamari and were presented with a mixture of calamari rings and whole baby squid in batter with half a lemon. Although they didn't taste too bad, I had a slightly queasy feeling in my stomach as we left - after paying 25 euros to one of the most miserable-looking waiters I've ever seen!
Garrucha, however, is great - when we went the streets were thronged with people and the pavements were lined with market stalls, not to mention a funfair down on the beach. It was only this busy because of it being August; Spain effectively shuts down in August because everybody's on holiday! Many people head down to the coast, hence Garrucha and San Juan being so busy, and Garrucha is still a working port.
Once again, the weather was almost tropically hot, the temperature being in the 30s - it hasn't dropped much below 30C since we got here! - and driving back to San Juan through the hills (on very winding roads!) was lovely, especially looking out over the sea and beaches. At Villaricos (pronounced Billaricos), you can see chimneys popping up randomly over the mountainsides, along with ruins and rubble of small buildings - relics of the town's mining days. Apparently you can also go down the mines themselves, although it doesn't look like we'll have time to go exploring there this holiday! We did stop off at a harbourside bar for drinks - the town is a lovely little place, and worth a visit!
So this time, hopefully we'll make it to the festival at San Javier tomorrow!