I’ve been internet absent for a while but everything is good over here, all told. Our house search is finally over. A couple weeks ago, we bought a small late 18th-century stone house with some adjacent ruins. They sit on 1,800 square meters of land in a depopulated village close to Monforte de Lemos, a town of around 20,000 and the capital of Ribeira Sacra. The area is filled with oak, chestnut, cork, and other plants native to Galicia, as well as pine for paper pulp.
It’ll be a few months before we’re able to leave our rental in Allariz. So on Wednesdays, our day off, we drive the hour up on truly one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever seen in Spain and do whatever we can.
Yesterday, it was sweeping, fixing the door, and temporarily closing one of the windows so we can start storing tools there.
Bo Nadal, everyone!
I have no sage advice on dealing with what comes tonight and the days ahead. Any potential electoral result, and that includes a Biden blowout, will not be what America actually needs to improve the material conditions of its citizens, eradicate inequality and racism, and stave off climate catastrophe, much less govern in a way that doesn’t alienate half the population.
The change in weather has been a bit sudden. Though I loved wearing shorts, keeping the door open to hear the birds and feel the breeze, autumn has its own benefits. Walks in the monte are more pleasant without the bugs and heat. And of course, there are things to forage like boletus and castañas.
Dani Keral in Traveler.es on what might have been the first democratic territory in Europe (Spanish):
Couto Mixto was something incredible for its time, almost unexplainable. Formed by the towns of Meaus, Santiago and Rubiás [now located in the present-day municipalities of Calvos de Randín and Baltar], the territory of just 30 square kilometers began to be governed independently of both crowns.
In the Couto, no kings of feudal lords ruled, it was the townspeople themselves — the heads of the family — who elected a judge or political chief every three winters, who was assisted by three men from each village, os homes do acordo.
Check out the Wikipedia for more Couto Mixto in English.
I only made it up to Chinguetti once or twice a year. This one of the old town’s mosque is from January 2016 when my mother-in-law came to visit. Our friend, a popular Mauritanian tour guide, organized a camping trip. It was also the first and only time we saw Ouadane. Unfortunately time never allowed us to go as far as Oualata.