Oh no, the tractor-of-doom is approaching…

We know that was due to arrive, because after all, we ordered it. ¡carallo!
Yes, we have firewood.
One Galician oak tree, chopped up into 40 centimetre-long lumps.
Three hours of hard work and two days of pain and sore knees and thigh muscles that wonder what the hell happened?
However, that’s that for the wood stacking until September/October, depending on the rainfall for the spring and summer.
In 2011, there was little rain. It made life much easier for some projects and activities.
The big dam at Pesqueiras was emptied and the Miño ran as it had done before the twentieth century.
The engineers made a new tunnel and put in two more turbines to generate more electricity and the locals (Los Lucenses) got to see their river as it had been, prior to the 1950s.
The Romans had come here and had planted vines (Cepas) and had enjoyed the red and white wine grown on the banks of the Rio Miño and also the Rio Sil.
We went to see the river and marvelled at the depth of the reservoir, which when full, must be 200 metres deep. We’d had no idea the canyon was so deep.
The old vines could still be seen, but they had been covered with 150 metres of water for sixty years and of course, were dead.
People had lived and farmed and fished and made wine for centuries – there are Neolithic burial chambers near here and you can feel the history.
This is an old, old land. A land of dolmens and oaks and chestnuts and wild boar.

We go fungi hunting in some ancient woods above a popular village in the Ribeira Sacra.
Water damage has taken away an ancient carving, but as the stone is so soft, it is difficult to know how ancient this carving was, but the footpath, which winds up through the oak woods, feels very old indeed.
There was a carving of a goat and a boletus mushroom (either edulis or aereus) and the name Tibor.
I have never met anyone with this name, or read it on death notices, so I’m guessing that poor old Tibor carved this many centuries ago. He probably had to spend all day watching his goats and keeping them safe from wolves. It must have been pretty boring.

The woodland has a wonderful range of fungi (setas in Castellano or gogomillos in Galego) from Boletus Edulis to Death Caps. You have to know your fungi to collect safely, but I’ve been reading and learning and collecting for years. I’m quite safe.
I love fungi – all are fascinating, especially the most poisonous varieties.
The Galician name, Gogomillos is just wonderful. I didn’t know that until this winter, when I saw a festival on the local tv news. I get to see the news roundup when I go to my neighbour’s house to give her father his injection, as she is terrified of needles.
Today’s news item was the ‘Barman of the Year’ competition – with the English word used. The drinks looked wonderful and certainly used some delightfully expensive gins.
I like premium gin. I think I’d like to be a judge at this competition. Imagine, cocktails made with premium gins. Some had dry ice. This was pretty exciting and the winner was from Ourense. It would be nice to try one of those cocktails, but I wonder how much one would cost? Ah well, a preguiceira can dream…
I like dry ice as well. We used to get it free in Jakarta each time we bought expensive ice-cream.
We’d get home and then eat Haagen Dasz and throw the dry ice in the swimming pool. Ah, happy days.

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