10th April 2018
As I mentioned in last week’s post, my weekend was spent once again up in the northern lands of Spain! As part of what is almost becoming a routine, I hopped on a train from Madrid Chamartin station, popped some Netflix on on my iPad, and four hours later I was in a taxi whizzing through Oviedo on my way to Kevin’s flat.
Once the reunion hugs were over, it was straight into the kitchen to boil some water for a cup of tea, and I revealed that I’d brought some homemade Victoria Sponge cake along with me for the occasion. We promptly sat down with our tea and cake and proceeded on one of our extended catch up and deep discussion sessions, and after agreeing not to stay up past midnight, we eventually headed to bed at about 3am. Oops.
The reason we were so keen to get a good night’s kip was because Kevin had a plan for the Saturday which lay ahead, but as we headed to sleep I still really had no idea what said plan actually was.
This was all revealed to me the next day, as we headed into the centre of Oviedo for some quick breakfast, and to catch a bus to a little coastal town called Cudillero. Kevin promised me that it was worth the journey, but even as we arrived, the winding tight streets didn’t give much away as to what was in store.
You can imagine my shock then when, after wandering plenty of streets without even a hint of coastline, we suddenly found ourselves in a picturesque little cove. Little rickety houses clung to the sides of the cove, surrounding a central plaza which led down to the docks and the sea below.
Before speeding off to take in the ambience of the sea – something I miss as I live as far inland as possible – we decided to begin by climbing up the side of the cove to see what kind of views it would offer. We ascended up a labyrinthine web of tiny and often perilous stairwells which weave between the houses on all sides of the village, frequently wondering whether we’d inadvertently stepped into someone’s back garden as the paths crossed behind people’s houses.
Once we’d stopped for some snacks at a spot overlooking the central village plaza, we headed back to the docks, being careful not to slip on the algae-covered steps on the way down. As we headed out towards the sea, we were sure to turn back and take in the views of the village over the water…
Once we’d headed a bit further out, we climbed down to near the waters edge and sat with our feet dangling over the water for a while, chatting and putting the world to rights. In between our chats about the future of language and ideas for pieces of writing that we wanted to do, I spotted that there were some crabs hiding amongst the rocks along the water’s edge, so I was then quite distracted looking at those for a while.
We only eventually moved on when we heard rumbling behind us, and turned in time to witness a sizeable amount of rocks become dislodged and tumble down the cliff behind us. Sensing that this was as good a sign as any to get back on our feet, we headed back into the village centre to grab some lunch at one of the local bars in the plaza.
Once we’d had some lunch and made friends with the owner of one of the dessert bars, we began our way back up another of the treacherous paths which snaked up the other side of the cove. As we ascended we had a destination in sight: a concrete viewing tower which stood atop the hill on the eastern side of the mouth of the cove.
Once we arrived at the structure however, it soon became obvious that we wouldn’t be climbing up it, as the metal steps were badly decayed. In an unexpected act of health and safety awareness on behalf of the Spanish, someone had had the sense to block the access with a plastic barrier: colour me both shocked and impressed.
We weren’t disappointed though, and we carried on further up the hill until we reached a cemetery. We had a snoop around but naturally I didn’t want to take any photos, and eventually we had to head back down to the village bus stop in order to catch the last bus back to Oviedo.
Once we arrived back at Kevin’s flat we decided to squeeze in a quick nap, as we’d been told to arrive in the city centre for the birthday celebrations of our friend Camila. We eventually made it late (naturally), but we were soon scoffing down an insanely delicious selection of Asturian dishes, including the classic cachopo (check out the last time I had a huge one here), all washed down with unlimited drinks.
It goes without saying then that with such an open bar things soon got a little out of hand, and we all ended up out in the city until the early hours of the morning, singing and dancing and generally having a great time. I haven’t had a night out like that since I left university, so it was really nice to let my hair down for the weekend – although naturally I did pay for it the day after!
As we’d arrived home so late we didn’t really have time to do much the next day, except wolf down some delicious orange chicken that Kevin made from scratch. Seemingly before I could even compliment him on his cooking, we were being whisked off to Oviedo train station and then I had to endure a rather unpleasant 4 hours on the train back to Madrid with quite the hangover. Not recommended.
As ever, I feel like I have flown through this blog post and the great quantity of information it contains, but hopefully you guys all managed to keep up. I have another busy week here in
sunny rainy (ugh) Madrid, but I have reason to look forward to the weekend: Kevin is coming down for a few days!
That’s right, I eventually managed to coax the Asturian out of beautiful Oviedo and down to the crazy (and expensive) capital, so I’ll be sure to take plenty of photos of all the shenanigans that we get up to and I’ll be back with an update at some point next week!