There’s no better place to spend Halloween weekend than in an old, agricultural village way out in Extremadura, called Villanueva de la Vera, with houses dating back to the 1800s. These houses made of stone and wood are so old that the doorways are extremely squat, just enough for someone my height to pass through.
During siesta time the narrow, uneven streets are abandoned and the beaded curtains that hang across every front door seem ominous. There’s even a terrifying-looking house in the outskirts of the village, think typical haunted-looking asylum, with the windows and doors all shuttered.
We stayed in one of the country houses typical of small towns, and after eating some delicious raciones of tapas out in the plaza, exploring the village a bit, and having a never-ending dinner smoke and jam session with the resident musicians, we put on our costumes, painted our faces, and went out among the village to wreak havoc and fear! Mostly, people were like WTF, cuz it wasn’t even Halloween night. But we had fun anyway.
After half of our crowd left the following day, the remaining four of us had a lovely little lunch outside in the garden of the house. The tomatoes and olive oil in Extremadura are excellent, not to mention their marmalade. Cream of chestnut, which I’d never had before, is to die for. And Javi bought about 324989 ecological soaps made of olive oil.
Of course, a vacation isn’t a vacation without making some new friends. This kitty followed me around and waited outside our door for me to pet her. I really think I was a cat in my past life.
Also, no vacation is complete without two intense games of Trivial Pursuit, the first time getting your ass kicked and the second time exacting a just revenge. 🙂
Overall, I got the Halloween that I wanted, minus the haunted hayride and the pumpkin carving contest. We looked everywhere for big orange pumpkins, and the closest thing they had was round butternut squash. Try carving those!