More music – and even more wine.

Flamenco in CAM

 We had less than a week to recover from the first musical weekend of the summer, as the Flamenco Festival was starting on Thursday evening.  It is lucky that John and I have a lot of stamina, as it was about to be tested.

After our Spanish class we headed to CAM Cultural, where we were meeting some English friends, John and Lesley, whom we had persuaded to come along.  We had decided to sit near the back as we knew there would be a lot of talking as well as music, so we could slip out discretely if it became too much!  The two major savings bank in town, CAM and Cajamurcia, have exhibition halls and small theatres, and the Flamenco Festival was being sponsored by CAM.  It was fortunate that we were sitting near the back - not that we wanted to leave as it was excellent entertainment, but even at the back the sound was deafening!

After we left the CAM theatre we bumped into a Spanish friend Alejandro, who told us that there was going to be more flamenco in Bodegas Finca Omblancas and did we want to go along?  We decided not to, as we knew we had a couple of late nights ahead of us and the Bodega is a long way out of town.  Shortly afterwards somebody else offered us a lift there, but we stood our ground as by then we had agreed to have a couple of tapas with John and Lesley.  Knowing the Spanish lifestyle we wouldn’t have been home until the early hours of Friday morning and we were meeting Juana María for coffee in the morning.

More Flamenco in CAM

Friday night and we were back at CAM for the second flamenco evening, with John and Lesley plus Juana María and her husband and other Spanish friends. Afterwards we let our Spanish friends talk us into going with them to Restaurante Reyes Católicos for wine and tapas:  the sacrifices we have to make in the interests of international friendships and cultural exchange!

On Friday morning we had gone to the tourist office to put our names down for a guided walk that was due to take place on Saturday, only to find it shut for the fiesta of Santa Rita.  Muttering about the illogical decision to close the tourist office in the middle of the Flamenco Festival, we had then gone to get tickets from Bodegas Alceño for the Flamenco dinner on Saturday night.

When we returned home I discovered an email from Kathy and Tony from San Pedro del Pinatar, who had read about the weekend’s activities on Simply Networking website and who had tried phoning the tourist office earlier to book places on the guided walk, but without success.  We knew why!  I replied to Kathy explaining this, giving them information about hotels in Jumilla, and offered to take them on an unofficial guided tour on Saturday morning if the official one was fully booked.

Church of Santiago - part of the guided walk

As arranged by email, we met Kathy and Tony outside the tourist office on Saturday morning to discover that it hadn’t opened yet, although our friend Alejandro had advised us that the tour would be leaving from outside Teatro Vico.  We headed there, but could see no sign of any tour or of the tourist office guide Ana.  We knew that we couldn’t have missed them – this is Spain after all! – so returned to the tourist office, which by now was open.

“I’m sorry, the tour was cancelled as only five people had booked,” I was told.  (Hmm.  If you had been open yesterday, there would have been nine of us….! )  We did get the helpful information that we could still go to the free lunch in Bodegas Alceño at 2pm, as participants in the Flamenco Festival were all going there too.

We walked Kathy and David round Jumilla, pointing out the main sights, then they took their car up the road to the Castillo, which they both seemed to enjoy.  Finally we headed for the lunch, which we had said would probably be ham, cheese, olives and crisps with maybe some empanadas.  To our surprise we were totally wrong, as a gigantic paella had been cooked outside, which was a welcome treat after all the walking we had done in the morning.  Naturally the paella was washed down with the excellent wines from the bodega.

Paella for lunch, with plenty for everyone

“See you back here at 10 o’clock this evening,”  were our parting words.  More music and wine to be enjoyed in Jumilla!

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