Laura and Dave's Spanish wander travel blog

No throwing squirrels

A smelly aisle of Eroski









We had itchy feet and a need for green and exercise. The first green stop was the now infamous café Greens, on the corner of the block of Benita's flat, which we enjoyed a few times. A new favourite beverage (along with the aforementioned fizzy sugar water) is mosto, essentially white wine that you can drink in the morning, which must come accompanied with a slice of orange and an olive. Lovely, refreshing juice for basking in the sun.

Mostos done, green numero dos was calling and so we walked an hour through town to a huge nature reserve and wetland on the outskirts. Stu had promised us flamencos if we went here, by which I assumed he meant flamingoes as I imagined flamenco dancing would be quite challenging in a muddy wetland. Initial impressions were good. We saw a white stork in the sky and a kestrel hunting on the grassland. It felt like lizard territory which for me was very exciting, though in the end a scuttle away through the undergrowth was the most we saw of a reptile. Stu at this point texted concerned that he had led us a merry dance, and that we should expect pelicans not flamencos. Sitting down on a bench for a Spanish snack (which remarkably was not ham), there was a noise in the distance. Like an angry cow, a really angry cow. There was also a 7 foot high fence alongside the path so I began to wonder what predator I should be wary of on the outskirts of Vitoria. In my defence as I am writing this, we are in the land of bears and wolves and not too far away, so it wasn't an unjustified concern. Anyway, along the path we found a bird hide and so we sat down and took in the real wetland view. There were dozens of white storks on an island in front of us and in the trees in the distance, loads of their huge nests. Confirmed that storks do not suffer from vertigo. There were some other birds including the shoveler duck which are entertaining because their bills look like shovels or spoons. And best of all there were red deer, and many stags with huge antlers adorned with grass and other foliage. The biggest one was sat directly ahead of us, roaring away like an angry cow. Mystery solved, alarm of man eating predator over, and very cool to watch. As we wandered slowly back there were butterflies everywhere, a very cute hoglet strolling alongside the path, and on the signs warning of invasive species we noticed there was a picture indicating that people should not be throwing away their squirrels in the park. Duly noted.

The evening was spent with some red wine and reminiscing with Stu which didn't last long enough, and before we knew it it was our last day in Vitoria. We had some more yellow ball time with Aimar then had lunch in an Asturias restaurant to prepare us for the cuisine of our next two weeks. My sea bass was delicious and matched with a cider contraption which was very pleasing and probably tricky to operate if you've drunk a couple of glasses of the local cider. They like to aerate their cider here by squirting it into a glass from as great a height as you dare. Soon enough we were at the bus station (and what a bus station, one of the finest for mine - Dave), ready for our next adventure in the mountains.

We should say a huge thanks to Stu and his lovely family for showing us the city and generally being excellent hosts. Aimar stands out for his love of washing machines and I am very glad I put some washing in the morning he came round. Even though he finished our orange juice and ate my yoghurt he made up for it by sitting in front of the washing machine exclaiming "woah" every few seconds and we are told that even now, 5 days later, he is still talking about "Dave Laura grey wash". The memories.


Here is Dave's not at all bitter contribution describing part of our 5 hour coach journey that evening. I have to say my view was amazing. :

For the bus from Vitoria to Oviedo, the online reseller of the bus tickets mistook the first week of our holiday with the seating requirements of our last week of our three month holiday and placed us in seats on the opposite sides of the bus. So, I spent my time peering over a small nun at the northern coast of Spain that passed by, while Laura on the opposite side enjoyed a perfect view of the craggy coastlines, wetlands and steep hills above the bay of Biscay until dark fell.

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