Village living is distinct, but I'll get more into that in a separate post. For now I want to explore a very cute and ancient tradition of Ourense and the surrounding wine regions: La Vendimia. This is the practice of going out to harvest the grapes used to produce wine. It's usually a full day of family fun, and though it only consists of cutting grape bunches using sharp scissors, it gets to be tiring!
|Eddie and Me|
- Cut the grapes off the vines
- Fill the big black buckets with grapes
- Haul the buckets to the large blue sacks
- Call out helplessly for a stronger person to empty my bucket into the sack
|My couture outfit for the day|
We made our way from grape field to grape field, my endurance crumbling progressively after each one. I will say the experience is particularly cute because it is a good way to get to know the others and makes you feel like part of the family. Of course, everyone was speaking Gallego so I constantly had my eyes squinted in an attempt to better understand, but you know what, by the end of the day I understood it better. Everyone shares anecdotes to pass the time as we're all snipping away, and it's a nice feeling. It's what kept my spirit from disappearing completely.
|I'd never seen such pretty grapes!|
Once we were refueled and buzzed enough to gather the courage to conquer the remaining field, we equipped ourselves with shears and headed back out. This. Field. Took. FOREVER. There were red grapes and white grapes and grapes hanging from fences and grapes hanging from an overhead trellis and grapes on the ground and grapes on trees. It was nuts. It took us a good two hours to complete it and we were absolutely pooped afterward! Once we finished, we washed the grape juice stickiness off ourselves and collapsed into chairs. The host brought us cool glasses of beer as well as rice pudding. Oh, did I ever devour both of them. I'd like to think I deserved it!
The family invited us to stay for dinner, but we declined and opted instead for a couple hours of napping at home. It was an exhausting but very fulfilling day. Here's to hoping that the family remembers us when they are handing out the bottles of wine they make with the grapes we helped pick :D :D :D