Camariñas – Quite Backwards


John Cleese directs new film - Fierce Creatures II

John Cleese directs new film - Fierce Creatures II

Camarinas should be renamed ‘Retard Town’. Its 2,000 inhabitants appear to all be related, many not legally I’m sure. From the kid who rides his bike round the streets shouting obscenities to the local lace-makers who line the streets outside bars, to the ‘Happy Bus’ day out, to the familiarity of each and every shop assistant, I felt a little wary of Camarinas to start with. It reminded me of a tiny Great Yarmouth, and for those who are familiar with this backwards seaside resort you’ll understand my concern.

Like many of the coastal villages and towns around Galicia Camarinas’s main industry is fishing. However the local council feel it necessary to announce the morning departure, the returning siesta and the late afternoon departure and early evening return of the fishing vessels with an air-raid siren. Instantly the whole town comes rushing out, peering over the harbour wall to see what papa/brother/uncle (probably all three) has brought back from the Atlantic.

ram84Having said all this Camarinas is pretty hilly, has lots of beaches and plenty of secluded bays to check out. As previously suggested this area reminds me of the Italian Lakes, and occasionally the lochs of Scotland (as observed by Lorraine). On one occasion Sam and myself took a very prickly walk up the cliff in an attempt to reach the hermitage, and on our way encountered heather and gorse, reminding me further of seaside places I’ve visited in the UK as a kid. Maize is hugely popular here, with almost every house boasting it’s own personal plantation, and one often comes across the rather religious looking maze storage houses – like a small temple on stone stilts (so as to prevent the rats eating ones crop).

ram85Due to a marked lack of wind we actually found ourselves spending more time than we anticipated in Camarinas. After a couple of days this was starting to feel like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Were we ever going to leave this place? And to make matters worse, I was starting to grow attached to the town and it’s characters (particularly the barmaid in the local tapas bar, who was uncharacteristically stunning). What would we do if every time we left to leave Camarinas, only to find ourselves inexplicably being drawn back to it?

Ramprasad at anchor

Ramprasad at anchor

On Saturday the north easterly picked up and we were able to make our escape.

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