Monday, November 28, 2005

Wave watching

It started getting much colder on Friday, with a surprise sleeting in the evening while I was on the AutoBia*. I found I had to start wearing glasses again in class, ‘fortunately’ having an old pair of reading glasses with me. It’s 8 years since I had my eyes lasered, but it seems that my astigmatism is creeping back. It returned 6 months after the initial LASIK (but myopia was held at bay), and I had them redone in 1998. It seems that my eyes are resisting any make-over.

* ‘v’ is pronounced ‘b’ in Spanish, and I have seen signs for both AutoVia and AutoBia. It’s possible that the latter is a Euskera (Basque) transliteration. In this semi-autonomous part of Spain – País Vasco (Basque Country, note the B/V thing again) – signs are sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in Euskera, and sometimes rendered together (as you find for Welsh/English in Wales). I’ve often seen the Spanish terms obliterated on the dual signs. Either way, it’s confusing for the innocent tourist, who is not sure if they’re encountering a new place, or a Euskera traffic instruction. In San Sebastián (aka Donostia), the maps are in Spanish but the street names may only be in Euskera. This compounds the problem of Spanish city street names only being placed on small placards on buildings, so it’s very hard to navigate from a car.

Saturday’s weather was not promising at first, but began to clear and brighten as we walked into town and towards the water. From the aquarium, near the foot of Monte Urgull, I could see a large swell rolling into La Concha, and further on, as the bay met the Atlantic, a small crowd had gathered to watch the sea battering the sea-wall. Frequently, some huge quantity of water would spray upwards as much as 20m above the walkway. I stood near the railing for a short-time, but photographs at that range generally came out as a wall of white.

Retracing my steps, I could look across the wetsuit-clad surfers at La Concha and see snow on the mountains to the west: the first snow I’ve seen since leaving the Pacific Northwet, two and half years ago. Posted by Picasa

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