So, I’ve been in Galicia a month now, and there’s been a lot going on!
Firstly, after having driven a thousand miles with an 8m boat attached the back of the Jeep, I reversed into the wall outside our new abode, putting a not insignificant gash in the bumper. And for anyone who’s ever driven under their usual insurance in another country, it’s a third-party only kind of deal, unless you pay a couple of hundred quid to extend your cover, which I – of course – didn’t, thinking if anything was in any danger of happening, it was me breaking down on the way, which I had well-covered internationally and which – of course – didn’t happen.
But not to worry, calls to about 20 scrapyards across Spain with some newly-googled vocabulary and numerous registrations with online spare parts sites later, I managed to get a new bumper delivered all the way from Sevilla, had it painted and fitted (thanks go to Raúl at Talleres Pintos) all for a few hundred euros. So – relatively – happy days.
Other than that, it’s been very much ‘plain sailing’. And the much more upbeat story of the month is: dolphins! The boat and I have been out probably 8 or 9 times over the last few weeks since its Galician baptism, with my in-laws, my wife, Laura, my friend Luke (the only English guy I know exists in these parts – so we’ll let him off for being a posh ‘scouser’ – and I also did my first ‘paid’ trip out. OK, actually I only charged them for the cost of the fuel we used, but in the end this was as much an experience for me as for them, so everyone was happy.
And happy they truly were when we spotted the dolphins. This was the second time since I’ve been here out on the boat that I’ve seen them swimming around. The first time was just off the coast near Sanxenxo, where we were treated to a display when one of these beautiful creatures jumped high out of the water and flipped before diving back in. Much like a Seaworld show, but without the need for any incarceration. It was a sight to behold, and just precious to be so close to them in their own environment. There were literally dozens of them, swimming around us, as we slowed down (Luke was with me on this occasion too) and took in the sight.
So, to see them again a week later with a boat full of ‘tourists’ was a real delight and a genuine surprise. I use the word ‘tourists’ quite loosely; the passengers on this occasion were actually Luke’s family, who were visiting from Liverpool, and his girlfriend, Minia, and her parents, who hail from the much more local Dorrón, in the hills near the coast where we saw the dolphins.
All of this and a bunch of trips out on my own, getting to know the coast a little better, and testing myself on some pretty huge waves off the coast by San Vicente on a windy day, plus getting my official residency – ‘Green Card’ – sorted out (I felt a bit like Depardieu in that predictable American flick from the 90s, for those who are unlucky enough to remember it), it’s been another very interesting month!
Now, where were those dolphins…