Sixteen years ago, we fell in love with La Coruńa. An authentically Spanish town, off the tourist trail and sporting a spectacular beach. Where native English speakers are nearly non-existent. It meant we were a novelty, people had patience with our pathetic Spanish and showered the kids with gifts. (I think Spanish people go about their lives with chuppa chups in their bag for children.) People here put family first and I’ve never seen so many young children cared for by grandparents, or the very elderly cared for by their elderly children. There is something beautiful about this intergenerational bond not prevalent in Australia. We leave with our fond memories reaffirmed and our love affair with La Coruńa continues.
We came to Spain excited about Spanish food and the prospect of eating tapas galore. Then reality hit: sitting in a cervezeria (bar) with a Spanish menu trying to communicate via google translator with a Spanish speaking waiter doesn’t really excite kids. So instead we discovered the numerous playgrounds of this beautiful city and people watched. Not one glass of Sangria consumed. It’s not all bad, we did frequent the Heladeria (Ice cream shop) and the Jamoneria (Ham shop). We also became regulars at the local supermarket.
Grocery shopping meant a two minute pop-around-the-corner, infinitesimally simpler than from a boat. Inside the supermarket we were confronted with aisle upon aisle of Queso (cheese). Pan (bread) always hot and delicious. Vino (no interpretation needed!) delicious and cheaper than bottled water. We indulged. No wonder Justin and I put on a combined 10kg in a month. My pathetic jogging regime (jog tally: 5 / intended: 15) was no match for the onslaught of calories we consumed. So yes, we appreciated the ease of land life, but for us it didn’t feel right.
One day we took a train to the touristic town of Santiago De Compostella. It was beautiful but the hordes of tourists were not.
We missed the challenge, adventure and exploring provided by the boat life. All that time spent doing boat chores left a big hole in our lives. So land travel, as convenient as it is, isn’t for us. This realisation fueled the boat search. We spent many nights trolling through boat classified and researching boat types, Justin especially. We search hopefully for a boat fit for our family and dreams – within a budget. Will we find a perfect match? Who knows… So for this reason, I am not so sad to leave Spain. I am sad, I’ve loved it here and could easily stay another month, but we have a dream and we don’t wish to lose our focus.
And so again we pack up our lives and this time head for Glasgow, Scotland. We will hang out with Justin’s family and let cousins acquaint while we start the arduous process of looking at boats. Fingers crossed our future home awaits.