Day 33 – Can we twin Gandalf with Villar del Olmo, Spain please?

Thursday 16th August 2018

Wow! What a day. We are thinking of twinning Gandalf with Villar del Olmo. If that doesn’t work then maybe we could be adopted by the wonderful people of this great little place.

Villar del Olmo

By English standards this is a sleepy little town. Yesterday, when we arrived was a festival day though we couldn’t see much activity. All the restaurants seemed closed. Very few people in the streets.

We found where the action was though when we went down to the swimming pool where the whole town were in residence in one way or another. The bar/restaurant was packed and the pool was being very well utilised by around 40,000 children.

We spent all afternoon eating lovely food and just catching up. By the end of the afternoon we had been invited on a walk by the bar owner, Adrian. This is to take place today – Thursday 16th August. Meet at about 7pm.

However, being English (and Japanese) we set out for our own walk as well. In the late morning. While sensible locals are all avoiding the heat of the day.

We climbed the local hill…

Mr & Mrs P and the GYKS [Pr. Geeks] atop the local hill
… and checked out the local fawna…

Right above a door to someone’s house we saw these young swallows singing for their supper

…and flora…

Unknown thistle like plant amongst equally unknown grassy type stuff

At 7pm we convened in the street and met up with Adrian who was looking remarkably like he was setting out on a serious walk unlike the ragtag assortment from our Anglo-Japanese contingent. No water, no snacks, nada!

Off to the town square where we met up with the rest of our new walking pals.

  • Natalia
  • Luis
  • Carlos

Who also come fully equipped with small rucksacks and water. This is a short walk right?

Team photo in front of the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento)

Anyway, the walk is amazing, taking in the old disused railway line that was built to link Valencia and Madrid during the Spanish civil war in the late 1930’s.

Adrian & Carlos lead the way as we head out of Villa del Olmo

Having Adrian, Natalia, Luis and Carlos along made the walk so much more interesting as they were able to tell us all about our surroundings. For example the smelly purple stuff is thyme.

The Town has a great website that provides details of all the local festivals (for example they have their own version of the running of the bulls). It is only available in Spanish but 4 of our group are able to translate. The site also provides details of local walks. All very nicely done.

The sun begins to set over our happy band of walkers

A HUGE thank you to our hosts for a great walk and fantastic company. We are truly grateful for your kindness in spending time to show 8 itinerant strangers the very best side of Villar del Olmo.

Incidentally, it didn’t end there. Back in town, it’s time for drinks and, being Spain, a delicious dinner at Adrian’s bar served at about 11.30pm. In bed by 2am.

The best bar in town

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