This magnificent Friesian stallion was, for me, the star of the show at the town’s agricultural fair, where local and not so local breeders showed the prime of their stock with the aim of attracting clients.
There were also Falabellas:
There were publicity stands…there was a canteen:
And gentlemen practising their dressage for the parade of horses later in the day with the hope of a winner’s ribbon:
An English County Show it was not…but it was a great day out…we even met a man who had the only herd of Blonde d’Aquitaine cattle in Costa Rica…he had encountered the breed while working in Canada and, despite all the administrative problems, had his herd installed locally.
The Blonde d’Aquitaine is a good beef breed…and can only be better in Costa Rica than on its native soil given that here it will be grass fed all the year round…no pellets.
No wonder the beef here is a revelation after France…fed correctly, hung in cold storage…
At its best it can approach Scots beef…and that is saying something.
All part of the programme of improving the breeds…like seeing the agricultural revolution of the eighteenth century before your eyes in the twenty first…
And, as with all agricultural shows, there was food and music in over abundance.
A good time was had by all.
As if this was not enough there was more fun on Tuesday evening.
The bridge which links us to the main road into town collapsed before Christmas. This means that those few of us who live on the ‘tail’ of the district have to take the back road – unpaved, twisty and three kilometres vertical – to get into town.
All very well at this time of year, but the rainy season will arrive in a month or so and then things will not be so funny. The road will turn into a river during the rainstorms, vast ruts and channels will be gouged out and it is quite possible that the narrow stretch above our finca will collapse into the stream below.
In a stout four wheel drive we will get through – if the narrow stretch doesn’t collapse – but no way will our neighbour’s wife be able to pass in her ordinary car in order to get to work in the local college. Nor will the men working on an orange plantation down the valley be able to get to work…or, come to that, the man who looks after the goats on the farm below ours.
When the bridge collapsed the alcalde (mayor) came down to take a look.
From that day to this the council have resolutely refused to do more.
Set up a project to repair it?
What, are you mad?
National law (underlying message – new government, not the ruling party here) demands that before any infrastructure project is undertaken a proper study must be made to ensure stability of said project.
Years of motorways disappearing downhill and bridges falling into rivers have shown the necessity of having a study made, but, just as in the European Union, ‘studies’ have turned into a very lucrative business indeed.
So the council have said that they cannot afford to pay for a ‘study’ for which they have been quoted (probably by someone not unknown to members of the council) a vast sum.
No ‘study’, no project.
While this has been going on the development committee of the district has been busy. They have been talking to the development agency and to the roads department. They have had promises of aid and locals are prepared to pay towards materials and provide labour.
But only the council can order a ‘study’. And it’s not going to.
Thus the meeting at the town hall.
Not only did the disgruntled of our district attend, so did the disgruntled of two other districts, resulting in a turn out that required more chairs to be provided.
The video below shows an excerpt from the meeting…the interesting bit, but for those who don’t have Spanish here is a quick guide to the highlights:
As the video opens with the council sitting behind what looks like recycled kitchen units, the bald bugger doing all the bawling and arm waving is the council’s lawyer, whose incompetence leading to repeated defeats in court probably accounts for some of the council’s financial problems which he prayed in aid in his attempt to justify the refusal to stir their stumps and do their job.
The man in the pink shirt on his left as you see it – the one who looks as if he tried to tidy up his hair with an electric razor while hungover – is the alcalde.
The man in the mauve shirt on his left is the local deputy (same party as the council).
It gets more exciting at about 4.54 when a man in a blue shirt rises to his feet to refute the claims of bald bugger, haircut man and the deputy.
The police intervene at 5.37 onwards.
The man in the blue shirt, bouncing back, asks the audience to vote to allow him to continue at about 7.29. Hands raised (including mine).
After that it is more bawling, arm waving and shouting.
Democracy in action.