Well, I’ve managed to avoid tripe for eight years in Galicia but finally ate it by accident in Salamanca last night, when it was cunningly disguised as something else. Not content with this, I then moved on – rather more consciously – to deep-fried cow snout, in a place (La Vega) which clearly specialised in bits of various animal heads. My English and German colleagues were rather more constrained, at least until we moved on to my favourite tapas place in the city. I would reveal its name but they were so impressed they swore me to secrecy.
Talking of our four-footed friends . . . Between Zamora and Benavente in Castilla y León, there are several stretches where you’re warned to keep an eye out for ‘Loose animals’. I guess this refers to deer and, perhaps, wild boar but I was regularly troubled by the image of some seductive creature dressed in a basque and fish-net tights, trying to lure me into one of the ‘clubs’ which litter Spain’s highways.
And talking of highways . . . The condition of the road towards Zamora from our lunch spot of Ledesma was initially poor but suddenly improved. At the same time, the name of the road changed and the kilometre posts started counting down, rather than up. This was because we’d crossed the Salamanca-Zamora line and Spain’s localism demanded that the road number now began with ZA, rather than S, and the distance had to be measured not from Salamanca but to Zamora. As I regularly say, I guess this makes sense to someone.
Finally, it amused me this morning that only one of our party of four had been irritated by people noisily returning to their hotel rooms at 7 this morning after a night on the tiles. This was because she was the only Spaniard among us. The foreigners had all thought ahead and brought ear plugs.