If you've been wondering what's happened to the posts, why they've dried up, well, time just flies, doesn't it? This blogger on bygone boozers hasn't himself become a bygone boozer. It's just that that time has come around once more. That time when Food Providers (FPs) 1 and 2 go off on their travels meaning that Mrs Bygone Boozer and I would be off on ours, acting as FP3 and FP4 once again to Delilah, the cat that you may have come across before. She first made an appearance in this previous post which featured the lost Bars Oba and Marilyn in Jimena de la Frontera. It was time for Mrs BB and me to get in a little pedalling under blue Andalucían skies.
Apart from the 2am rise the journey was pretty uneventful. For a short while I felt that there was a strong possibility that we may have to divert to Málaga because of the howling hooley that Gibraltar was experiencing, but I failed to take into account the competitive nature of airline pilots. "Good morning from the flight deck. It's rather windy around the Rock at the moment, but the easyJet flight from Manchester is a little ahead of us and if he makes it down then we'll have a go." Manchester did make it down and so did we.
FP1 – or was it FP2? I'm nor sure which one is which – met us outside the airport and in no time at all we found ourselves in Casa Delilah. After a quick celebratory brew, with
a turn of an Allen key or three our folding bikes were assembled. Well, mine was. Unfortunately, underestimating my strength, I managed to strip the thread in the seat post clamp on Mrs BB's machine. With the bits and bobs bodge carried out with an assortment of products stocked by the local ironmongers deemed to be a bit iffy at best, and potentially fatal at worst, it was decided that it'd probably be better if we tried to source a replacement part the next day. That did, however, still leave me with an assembled and functioning bike and so a short test ride seemed to be the order of the day. And a pleasant little spin it was, if I ignore the climb back up into Jimena with the blazing afternoon sun giving a temperature of thirty-five degrees in the shade.
The following day, having dropped off FP1 and FP2 in La Línea de la Concepción, near the border with Gibraltar, we headed into the old part of the town to try to find 33 Calle San Pablo, which housed Ciclo Veloz. We found the shop, but it was shut. It was still shut a quarter of an hour after its supposed opening time. Well, actually it wasn't. They have two shops about fifty yards apart and we just happened to be sitting outside their showroom rather than their shop/workshop. Having finally located the correct building a very friendly lady, with limited English, rummaged through two large plastic bags of seat post clamps of various descriptions and dimensions and eventually came up with a pair of the correct size. We bought both for, remembering the experience with ripped tyre sidewalls that we encountered last year, we know than lightning can strike twice in the same place.
Clamp fitted, and tightened tentatively, it was time for a second test ride. The loop around San Martín del Tesorillo was completed without incident so it seemed appropriate to celebrate with a little beer upon return to Chez Delilah. After having furnished the feline fiend with some afternoon biscuits, of course.
In this earlier post I wrote about some of the different brews available in this area of Spain, but a few years have passed since then and in the meantime I've stumbled across a few more. I came across this particular one for the first time on this trip
The Eagle Brewery, established in Madrid in 1900, was swallowed up by the Heineken empire in the mid-1980s, with the brewery being closed and the brand being turned into Amstel in the early 2000s, as the Dutch giant set about unifying some of its brands. But in 2019 this brand re-emerged from some deep recess of the multinational with a number of brews including – El Águila Sin Filtrar (unfiltered), El Águila Dorado (the same stuff but filtered, I believe) along with an alcohol-free version.
This unfiltered version is supposed to be consumed with the sediment that has accumulated in the bottom of the bottle and the instructions on the bottle tell you to invert it, but not shake it. I can just imagine what might occur if it were to be shaken before opening. Memories of pouring a wheat beer in a restaurant in Prague in the presence of FP1 and FP2 spring to mind, and I'm not certain that beer shampoo is particularly in vogue at the moment.
The sediment can be seen responding to gravity on inversion and when poured the brew has an unsurprisingly cloudy appearance. But it tastes pretty good!
At 5.5% it's a pretty standard strength for pale lagers in Spain. It poured with a large white head, but it didn't hang around that long. It had a herby and floral aroma and, whilst I'm pretty sure that it won't have been brewed with any Citra hops, it had hints of citrus about it. In the mouth it tasted fresh with a maltiness quite evident. I have to say it's now my favourite Spanish brew that's produced by the any of the large industrial brewers.
That's bikes covered and beer dealt with. The blog categories for this post also suggest that a bygone boozer should make an appearance and here it is.
On our rides between San Pablo and San Martín, as well as on those between San Martín and San Pablo – there is a limited number of routes with a sealed road surface in the area – we'd quite often stop for a coffee or a beer at the Venta la Fuente, the Inn of the Spring, in...
...who knows? It's not in Jimena, it's not in San Pablo, it's not in Marchenilla and it's certainly not in San Martín. It's on the CA-8200 in the middle of nowhere. And that's probably its problem. It was still operating when we were there in 2019, but it was closed last year with construction work going on. It was still closed last week as we passed by and sadly it looks in this case that the spring has run dry. You never know, it might have reopened next year having had a massive interior make-over, but I won't hold my breath.
The Spanish sojourn is over. Sunshine is a memory as I'm now back in damp, dreary Derbyshire. The next post will feature a British bygone boozer. There are plenty to choose from and a number of posts are in production. This particular spring hasn't run dry.
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