Thursday, 1 October
Any way, on with the show. It is time for breakfast and we can see its location from our balcony, it is way down at the bottom of the building. So we traipse up and down stairs to reach it. OK, we sit outside in a patio and the weather is great. Our first stop is a town called Barbate. I have extracted the following discussion of Vejer and Barbate from the net.
Vejer is a walled village perched high on a mountain top overlooking the wetlands and is one of the so-called “Pueblos Blancos” or “white villages” dating back to the time of the Moors. It is about a 20 minute drive from Miramar and has the remains of a castle, a beautiful square and a network of narrow, cobbled, sloping streets which are best explored by foot. Almost everywhere you will see the Moorish influence.
Barbate is closer to Miramar and is the port in to which the fishing boats bring the bi-annual catch (in the spring and autumn) of the tuna (each tuna weighs upwards of 200 kg) before they are sent all over the world. With the method of catching the tuna unchanged over 3000 years it is certainly not to be missed. Barbate also hosts an excellent daily market. Further round the coast it is possible to visit Cape Trafalgar to see where Admiral Lord Nelson in 1805 won the Battle of Trafalgar.
Our first stop in Barbate is the aforementioned daily market where we are joined by a special friend – a charming expatriate local chef,
Annie B, whom I mentioned in yesterday’s Post, with whom we’ll be cooking tonight at her house. Check out her website which is very good.
One of the fish mongers was a very outgoing lady in a pink top, quite a sales person.
We bought a fair bit of our fish for tonight at her shop – a great sales pitch.
As an aside, after a while I found a chair and took a seat, a common theme throughout the trip. The pink Lady went off and came back with her lunch – NOT fish. She came over to me with her Jamon sandwich and told me in Spanish that I really should try Jamon – I did not know how to tell her that we had done that already.
We then leave Annie and go in the bus to a local Tuna factory. We visit one of the last remaining salazon factories in the country where we’ll see how tuna was salted, cured and processed in Roman times.
We are to be given a demonstration of the cutting up of a Blue Fin Tuna. The do Yellow Fin as well, but the Blue Fin is more popular and expensive.
We continue our tour.
We also went near a room where they smoke some of the Tuna, and Mussels too, but were not allowed in. We are then treated to a tasting of some of the Tuna products.
At the end of the tour we are each given a generous present of a Herpac “Lunch pail” which contain several cans and bottles of Tuna products. A very good tour.
We then get on the bus to head not far away for lunch to a restaurant that specialises in – Tuna.
As I look back on this meal I am amazed at how good it was, given there was no meat. It clearly was a highlight and I had forgotten about it almost.
We drive back to Vejer to rest up for our dinner tonight, at least I rested.
The group sets out to walk through the cobblestone lanes of the village to Annie B’s house.
Annie’s house is quite large with multiple levels. We start out at a lower level.
We then proceed to the top of the house which is an outdoor patios where the meal will be served.
Wow, that was the end of that, quite stunning. Thanks to Annie, her staff and Frank of course.
We walk back to the Hotel. Of course we were not smart enough to go to bed. We joined Frank at the bar for a drink.
The bar is only about 10 meters away but we have to walk all the way to the bottom of the building and then all the way up to the top to get there. Of course when we were finished we had to reverse the process. Any way, the end of a monster day!!!