9 August The Village Virgin has a day out

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Sun 9 Aug 2009 18:30
Ares is a favourite spot and we've been reacquainting ourselves.  There's been a lot of building and renovation, and whether in the recession all the new build will be sold I'm not sure.  But the shops are the same - the little bread and cake shop  (although now you have to take a ticket to ensure everyone is served in turn;) a little Froiz, a couple of butchers etc.  We walked round, and had an icecream.  On the way we heard native English voices (Irish?) also seeking ice-creams and it felt so unusual!  This whole coast is definitely the Spain of the Spanish.
The town is having a fiesta this weekend.  There are a mass of stalls all along the front selling the usual tat; I could have been tempted by a maxi-dress (shades of yoof!) in a floaty material printed with turquoise peacock feathers but there was no price, and I didn't feel up to bargaining.  Here is a picture of the fireworks being set up.  There have been some really big shells that make such a loud bang that the whole boat shakes.
This morning, after mass, there was a procession (mit fireworks) from the church along the sea front to the harbour.  We could see it from the boat.  First came girls in long white frocks; then the boys in blue and white outfits surrounding a car proceeding slowly, with hazard lights flashing; followed by a long tail of people.  The band played.  Boats of all shapes and sizes, many dressed overall, assembled near us.  Fireworks announced the transfer of the statue of the Virgin to a fishing boat, and she set off.  Immediately all the boats near us rushed accross, pipping their foghorns - even a Brit boat anchored next to us entered into the spirit of the event, although they like us didn't follow.  The Virgin was promenaded round the bay, then across to the other side of the Ria before being brought back home and processed (with fireworks and band) back to the church.  We feel blessed.  Here is a picture of the melee.
The weather is hot and sunny.  The GRIB files are now showing the severe weather coming through later (Wednesday/Thursday?) and less of it.  Maybe it won't come through at all?  Anyway, we have decided to go into Coruna tomorrow to stock up on all the goodies we want to take home from here - ships biscuits, olives, and olive oil for a start - and catch the train to visit S Iago de Compostela.  Then we'll be free to go north again: either across Biscay or via Cedeira and Vivero.
Spoke to Jenny and Bryan this morning who are just back from a week cruising in the Baltic - it sounds great!  They're now off with Gabi and M-UM to walk the Usk Valley - the weather looks as though it will be favourable....Bryan was cleaning the tandem!