Winter Escape part Three

Day Seven, Tuesday 11th January 2011

We got up (too) late but a gorgeous day so Mala and I took bicycles out and about…FUN!!  To the Juderia and the Mezquita;  the Puente Romano.  Fragrances of Cordoba are so intoxicating.  The Mezquita never fails to inspire awe and feelings of spirituality.  Driving home, at 7:30PM,  alas, Mala and I got separated and what followed was a 5 hour search for her all over greater Cordoba.  I realized she had no money, no identification, no address, no idea of the city.   Dani joined me (in his car), I parked the bike and we went (frantically) from place to place, involving the police, the taxistas and everyone else we could induce to help us.  After near nervous breakdowns, recovery, and breaking down again, we got a phone call at 12:30AM saying they’d found her—5 minutes from Dani’s place.  Incredible relief, exuberance, giddiness, all of it.

Day Eight Wednesday

We hung around Dani’s house till 4:30PM when I took his “Ka” (tiny Ford automobile) and began driving the A-4 to Jerez de la Frontera.  75 degree day and sunny, just a beautiful and relaxed drive.  A few hairy moments as we navigated the crowded streets ofJerez.  I finally parked near the bus station and we hiked the kilometer or so to Plaza Plateros and David’s Jerez home.  We intend to stay here a few days.  Chilly inside,  bohemian, incredibly charming in a mix of Jerezano and David style.  We had tapas till late and slept soundly.

Day Nine Thursday 13th

Today we did Jerez:  walked and ate and drank and walked and shopped and went on-line and walked and had a succulent crepe late night:  estilo Noriega with smoked salmon, arugula, cheese and yoghurt sauce.  Played one of David’s guitars for an hour or more.  Nerdie us:  we’re doing Spanish crosswords (crucigramas) and actually solving a few.

Day Ten Friday

We hit the jackpot!  First, I find David’s 1975 Arcangel Fernandez and am practicing (I am somewhere in 7th heaven) for hours.  Then we leave, find Barrio San Miguel (Mala bought a lovely flamenco dress)—this place is so unbelievably, un-real-ly picturesque—set out for Arcos de la Frontera.  It is a dream spot in the Sierras only 30 km from Jerez.  We’d read of a penya flamenca there but found it to be cancelled:  the police(!) came to the rescue and lead us to another penya where the people were so gracioso.  Tapas, manzanilla, patatas fritas:  all for no charge.  Then the singer began:  Jose Mendez.  Great, simply, purely, awesomely great.  Same physical structure as el Pele and a quite similar voice but in the style of his family:  la Paquera.  Just incredible good luck to stumble onto this.  We drove home to Jerez very late, tired but totally euphoric.