We said Goodbye to Coruña, packed up and went home this morning.
It smells smoky here in at the farm. Like we are inside a bbq. Smoke got into the house, even before we left. The windows are now flung wide open to air it out. It rained buckets of unforecasted water overnight, and the sky looks much clearer today. And the birds are chirping. Always a good sign.
The Good News: The fire to just south of the house is contained. Sadly, the mayor announced they believe that this fire, like some of the others over the past week in the Concello of Palas, was intentionally set. Can you imagine doing this amongst the nightmare of high temps and all the other fires in Galicia? Putting the firefighters and villagers lives at risk? Unimaginable. Yesterday, the Xunta added another 4000L helicopter to fight the fire in Ramil. And medical crews are helping from a neighboring town. We can see the light at the end of this particular tunnel. I hope they catch the person who is doing this.
Jeff and I are happy to be home. We love Coruña and the sea. Ordering Thai food and poke bowls to the hotel via Glovo. But there is nothing like your own bed.
On the way home we had to stop in Melide for prescriptions. It is abuzz with activity for this holiday weekend. The Day of Galicia is on Monday, July 25th. The Apostle St. James birthday. The patron saint of Galicia, whose bones are in a crypt in the Cathedral in Santiago. And the reason for all the roads leading to that ancient town tucked so far from anywhere else in Spain, or the world. The populous will pull out all the stops throughout Galicia with carnival rides, music in the square, and processions by the score. In other words, a fiesta in Spain. 😉
We wound through a bulging crowd of Pilgrims, and a population that has doubled since July 1st. Everyone is back for the summer. Teenagers everywhere. The ratio of night clubs to people in Melide is legendary here in northern Galicia. Maybe 1:500 inhabitants. Young or old. And they are all open post-Covid. Let the party begin!
Dropping a Line
Walking back from the farmacia to the car, Jeff spotted an obscure little store. I have walked by it many times and never noticed it before. We decided to take a detour inside. Just for a minute. And what is this random place? A fishing and tackle shop! 😮
I have loved fishing since I was a very little girl. My grandparents had a house at the Oregon coast. From the age of four or five, I learned from my grandfather how to fish for trout in the rivers and streams that feed into the Pacific Ocean. For steelhead. How to catch crawdads, too. And cook them up. I always had the touch. I was a patient fisherman. It was the only time I was ever completely quiet as a little girl, after learning the importance of silence in fishing a stream.
On our honeymoon, Jeff and I went salmon fishing in Alaska. It was just me and a bunch of dudes. I don’t want to blow my own horn but I, personally, caught the limit for the boat. They were all from Los Angeles. I gave them the fish I caught. We lived in Seattle. I could get more.
I became interested in fly fishing a decade ago and took a fly fishing course. We started fly fishing on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie river near our house in the mountains east of Seattle, every Sunday morning. Even Emilie caught the fishing bug one summer. I admired her style. She would fish in a dress.
When we moved to Valencia, our fishing gear was in that shipping container on the boat that crossed the Atlantic. But, when it arrived, there was just one problem. I couldn’t figure out how to get a fishing license. We would walk down the beach watching people fish in the Med, but no matter how many fishing shops I went to, no one would help me get a license. Sometimes, I would just sit on the sand and watch those guys fish. Pretending it was my pole. They probably thought ‘Who is this weird woman in the bikini stalking us?’ I could find a way to get a driving license, but a fishing license? Nope.
Last time I was in the US, I optimistically bought new waders at Orvis in Bellevue. Hoping it might change my luck. But it didn’t. Until today.
We went in the tackle shop in Melide and looked through their gear. Jeff knew I was so excited touching a new dry top, and some felt-bottomed boots. My dream of fly fishing in Scotland flashed through my mind. A fly fishing trip we were slated to take when Jeff had his near fatal motorcycle crash back in September of 2015. We never made it to Scotland the following week. But, standing in that shop today, it all seemed possible, again.
The guy was finishing up with another customer. Then I stepped forward and, in sad español, explained that we live here and are desperate to get fishing licenses. I waited for him to tell me ‘impossible’, as I had been told so many times before. But, this time my least favorite word in Spanish was no where to be found. He asked for our NIE cards. Then our current address. It will cost €25, and we can fish in Galicia, Asturias, and Castillo y Leon. And the licenses will be ready to pick up at 5pm today. I just got the text confirmation :
LICENCIAS DE CAZA/PESCA- Su licencia tipo pesca-IP con número XXXXX ha sido pagada correctamente y es válida desde hoy para el ejercicio de la pesca
HUNTING/FISHING LICENSES- Your fishing-IP type license with XXXXX number has been paid correctly and is valid from today for the exercise of fishing
Just like that! Holy Moly! I almost cried.
I had a Native American shaman who told me once that, personally, my biggest lesson in this life is learning patience. And, funnily enough, I have moved to a foreign country that tries my patience almost daily. Not because Spain is worse than the US. It’s usually because I don’t understand how to do what I need to do. Or to get what I need to get. Or even how to ask the right questions in the right way. But then, there are days I break through something. Something that might seem insignificant to anyone else. I mean, a fishing license? Really? 🙄 But when it happens, it means much more to me than achieving it in the US ever did. Just because it was so hard for me to figure out.
I can close my eyes right now. And almost feel the cold water of the stream outside my waders. Bugs flying around. A grey, overcast fall day. The thrill of a tug on my line. Memories of similar days, all those years ago, come flooding back. The troubles of the past two weeks melt away. Today, is a very good day.