an idiot in spain

santiago diaries

Wednesday, 27th September.

And now there is Make-up Woman. (Naturally she's French.) Who in their right mind would get fully made-up to go trekking? As my Mum would say, the mind boggles!

The morning's walk to Leon was punctuated by my frequent toilet stops, to the disbelief of my large-bladdered colleagues.

On the outskirts of Leon we caught up with a trio of Australians: John, Alex and Alex's sister whose name eludes me. (Alex is a sheila, by the way. Or as those crazy nerds on the internet put it, "BTW".) They sound like they're from Sydney. John can speak Spanish. I don't think he's a Carlton supporter. (Not that speaking Spanish and not being a Carlton supporter are related. I'm sure that there are some people who support Carlton who can also speak Spanish.)

Tomorrow is another rest day for us, and tonight we're spoiling ourselves by staying in a hotel. Hotel Paris - in the centre of Leon. Mmmmmmmm, hot showers. We spent the afternoon pottering about the city.

The centre of Leon is largely pedestrianised. The narrow winding streets burst back into life after the end of siesta, women wearing purple chattering about clothes, teenage girls talking about boys, boys talking about soccer, old men walking with dignity, old women wondering why all the fuss about purple. Autumn is with us now, darkness falling earlier and the mercury not approaching the dizzy heights of early September. As the streetlights take over the buzz becomes greater, office workers spilling into the streets, working girls' heels click-clacking on the pavers, men's hair glistening as they all bubble around the bars and the cafes and the boutiques.

After dinner we retreted to the hotel to crash. There was a Champions League soccer match on. One of the players was being called "Flabbio" by the Spanish commentator. "Not Fabio, Flabbio!" I said, "The World's Most Flabbiest Man."

Hmm. I can't believe it's not butter.