Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

Of Light and Lapas

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Early Winter mornings, clear, clear air, images so sharp you could cry over the perfection.  It doesn’t have that magic incandesce of the the light in the South of France, but it does give cause for a slow, appreciative intake of breath, when you have the time to stop and take it in.

This morning I walked down to the sea with Trixy, and it was early enough still to revel in the colors and the tranquility.  The island of La Gomera, which you can see behind the ferry and the harbor wall here, floated distinctly on the horizon, and the desperately blue sea tiptoed to shore in gentle waves.

Heck, I know that on the other side of that ferry it certainly isn’t tranquil, as cars are marshalled off and on, food and drink are restocked, people mumble and children scream as they clamber aboard, and cleaners hurry to complete the turnaround, but here, sitting on the opposite shore, we sat and watched the world drift by……several runners, a couple of dog walkers, a couple with two, small children from the row of motor homes parked on rough land just above the beach, a homeless guy passively watching us watching him, and fishing boats and the police patrol boat puttering into and out of the harbor.  The people below were industriously looking for limpets which, abandoned by the outgoing tide, cling to the rocky shore.  Cooked right they taste like the ocean with a hint of olive oil and garlic, cooked wrong they turn to rubber!  If you get away from the tourist traps you will find them on the menus of most coastal restaurant/bars.

It’s a happy sign that life still goes on in the old way despite the shiny, modern hotel which sits behind this stretch of beach, and despite the gawkers like us and the hundreds of tourists arriving and departing from the harbor opposite.  I like to think that generations of these families have scoured the beach for their lunches this way.

March 12th Postscript to this entry:

I find conflicting information about this.  I was told that these people were looking for lapas, and I did wonder about it, not being an expert on the subject of limpets or anything, but it didn’t sound right somehow.  I knew that they weren’t looking for octopus either, because I’ve often seen people doing that, and they just weren’t going about their search in the same way.  Opinion amongst friends is that they are most likely looking for anything left behind by the tide which could be used as bait for catching the “big fish”.  Who knows?  Next time I will know to ask!


Author: IslandMomma

Exploring island life and the freedoms of Third Age: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

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