«When you walk the backblocks of Spain, you learn to expect the unexpected, but even in my wildest dreams I never envisaged being kidnapped by three flamenco dancers.
»It happed in the sleepy little town of Valencia de Ventosa in Extremadura Province, where my wife and I had stopped for a long drink after a hard day’s hiking.
»At the back of the bar, three middle-aged ladies watched us closely and as we drained our glasses, they pounced.
»“You’re tired pilgrims and we’re taking you to Sunday lunch,” they said, picking up our bags and hustling us, protesting, through a door at the other side of the town square.
»Inside was a delightful dining room belong to Pedro and his wife Pili, and they, with a group of friends, were just settling down for 3pm meal.
»We were sat at the head of the table, and offered, in no particular order, snails, spinach tart, fried eggs, chips and fish, all washed down with a beautiful local wine poured from a straw jar.
»But that was only the start of proceedings. During the conversation, we learned that the three ladies, two Carmens and Dulcie, were all divorced and were re-learning flamenco together at evening classes.
»They then proceeded to get the room clapping to the complicated flamenco beat and began a half-hour of singing and dancing far more authentic that the stuff served up to tourists for 25 euros in Seville.»
la felicidad ronda a estos huevos fritos... sin clasificar en el menú