(Written at just after midnight last night)
I’m knackered, but blog I must! I’ll keep this brief so I can go and sleep.
Today was the first day for those of us from Plymouth diocese in the beautiful historic town of Toro. Reunited with those from clifton Diocese (who travelled to Toro a day before us), we enjoyed a packed day of activities.
The most immediately striking thing for many of us was that pretty much no-one spoke any English here, and we all spoke fairly minimal Spanish. John McKay and I are being hosted by a lovely family in Villavendimio, a few miles north of Toro. Via an interesting mixture of pausing to look things up in dictionaries and (usually more successfully) miming, I have managed to communicate useful things such as thankfulness, tiredness, and agreement that “yes I would like a beer” (una cervesa).
After waving goodbye to our families we were shepparded around the town by an army of yellow t-shirt wearing volunteers. We’ve been shown some of the many churches (all catholic, despite being within a few hundred metres of each other); the local cheese factory (the second biggest in Europe); were fed by some of the local nuns at a convent; and attended a concert at the biggest church.
The impressive mechanisation of the cheese factory asside, one thing is clear: Toro is BEAUTIFUL. It’s very difficult to look down a street here and not want to take a photo or just admire how very not English it all looks. Certain streets get extra kudos for having shaded seating and waiters who bring you ice cold well priced drinks…
I have so much I could talk about: a siesta in the tranquil garden of a beautiful convent comes to mind, but I think I’ll leave this here for today. Tomorrow morning brings “sports day” which as well as being an excuse to go swimming apparently involves actual strenuous exercise in the 30+ heat (it got to 40 when walking today). So assuming I don’t collapse with heat stroke or dehydration, I’ll post again tomorrow.
(More photos in due course)