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Welcoming back the prostitutes

Shocking I know but today we celebrated the return of the prostitutes to the city of Salamanca. A tradition that seems to have spread to our own little town - we did it by going down to the river and having a picnic the main element of which was a local pie stuffed full of bits of pig. Actually we ate our hornazo in the kitchen but we were by the River Águeda in spirit and we did go to stare at the picnicers a little later in the afternoon to show solidarity.

Apparently, back in the 16th Century Philip II (the one who got his beard singed by Drake) decreed that the prostitutes from the town brothel in Salamanca should be shifted across the river Tormes for the whole of Lent to ensure that the menfolk remained chaste. The women were put under the care of a priest, un Padre, who became known as Padre Putas (Father Whores) - it's quite amusing in Spanish but it loses something in the translation I feel. The women were allowed back into the city on the second Monday after Easter Sunday and the students went to meet them as they were rowed back across the river with plenty of food and drink. 

Randy students no longer have to wait for the Lunes de Aguas for sex and as most of the prostitution in Spain is now run by Eastern European and Latin American gangs I suspect the work routine of the prostitutes is pretty much unaffected by Lent. Nonetheless, the feasting still remains, at least symbolically.

The day is called Lunes de Aguas which only seems to translate as Monday of Waters and I can't find out why - maybe it's to do with crossing the water of the River Tormes. 


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Combining my blogs

This blog is now dormant. It records our time in the beautiful city of Ciudad Rodrigo but it's a while since we've lived there. We now spend part of our time in Cartagena, Murcia and a part in Culebrón, Alicante.

If you would like to gave a look at what we're up to now just click on one of the tabs at the top of the page.

That's it

Done. Finished. I'm just about to disconnect the computer and that will be it. We managed to get everything in the cars, tomorrow morning we'll dope up Edu and then all we have to do is to drive across Spain. The Culebrón link below will be in use for the next few weeks before we move on to Cartagena in September. Click on the links below.
So this blog is dead. Ciudad Rodrigo is history. Culebrón for the summer and then Cartagena.
The story continues .......

Missed something else

This morning, as I cleaned my teeth, I heard hooves in the street. I didn't bother to rush out. I took my time, I put on my boots and strolled out to buy fags and a paper. There were signs of horses or mules or donkeys having passed down the street. When I came out of the fag shop I noticed a fair sized crowd by the Fat Tree but the fun was over, the crowd was drifting away and I didn't have my camera anyway.
I've just checked the town web site and it says that The Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Peña de Francia, having been blessed by a local chaplain, set out on a Romeria (a sort of pilgrimage) from the town today heading for one of the highest peaks in the area - the Peña de Francia. They won't get there till Sunday as it's some 50km from here.