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Sunday, 31 January 2010

All that rugby puts hairs on your chest

Since living in Leicester we have enjoyed watching Rugby Union and we were surprised to see this being played at the sports fields next to the campsite on Saturday afternoon, we didn't associate it with Spain. Further investigation courtesy of Wikipedia revealed that what we saw was the local team, Club de Rugby Atletico Portuense, who play in the Honour Division B, equivalent to the Spanish third division. On the team's website they shorten their name to El Crap!

In Andalucia we have come across Padel courts; Padel is like tennis, always played as doubles and on a smaller court that uses the walls, in a similar way to squash. Padel racquets, or paddle's, are solid wood, not stringed.

On a sunny morning in Cadiz, we were interested to see a group of school children arrive on the beach with a couple of teachers; the children carried footballs and goal posts and were soon being organised into teams and warming up for a match.

There are no excuses for not taking part in some kind of sport in Spain; the weather is good, there is the national obsession with football, there are cycle lanes, long beaches with joggers and if none of these appeal there are always the outdoor gyms. At first glance these look like children's playgrounds, every town has at least one installation of bright yellow and red metal gym equipment. We are unable to pass these gyms by without stopping and playing for a while, but it is never just us and the other campers who use these facilities, the Spanish are always there too; typically the users vary from the serious keep-fit person with an MP3 player and an earphone, to children, who find them more fun than the nearby play area.

The one, so called, sport we have avoided is bull-fighting. We are surprised how prevalent this is, particularly in Andalucia, most towns of any size have a bull-ring. Thankfully, it is in no way as popular as football and some regions are looking to end it.

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