Let’s go climb a mountain, build a fire and drink all day! Sounds like a recipe for great fun, right?
Magosto is the Galician equivalent of tailgating, only substituting football for chestnuts and more alcohol (Okay not always. My school had a Magosto and it was an alcohol-free event, I think).
My roomies and I decided to invade Ourense for the weekend. And invade the house of our friend Sote (well, actually his parents’ house because after all this is Spain).
The weekend started off with my hungover self getting out of bed about 45 minutes before our bus and making the “oh shit” realization that I hadn’t packed.
Which is how I forgot my bathing suit and missed out on a chance to hit up the Ourense hotsprings. Sadly these are not clothing optional; probably has something to do with the springs being in the center of the city.
When we arrived, the mountainside was covered in people, most of them fighting with their tarps and trying to redneck-rig a tent out of rope, sticks, and plastic tarps. Which was working as well as could be expected.
As we set up our tent, a grumpy Galician man appeared and started lecturing us. As near as I could understand, he owned some of the mountain and didn’t want us on his property. Something about leaving empty wine bottles all over the place.
However, WE weren’t on his land, so I don’t really know why he was talking to us. However, the hippies who were trespassing had no intention of packing up and got into a loud argument with the owner. Because Spain is special, the owner called the cops and then spent 2 hours (I’m not exaggerating) standing under his umbrella, glaring at everyone while he waited for the cops to come and throw out the hippies.
Meanwhile, we were getting soaked from the on-again, off-again rain. For some reason the tent wasn’t as waterproof as we’d thought. At some point we started a fire and began eating chestnuts (and drinking, let’s not forget that).
Cooking note: Chestnuts will explode in a shower of hot nut fragments if you leave them in the fire too long.
At sunset, Sote was drunk enough to constantly shout “¡Viva el vino!” and had decided that he was in charge of maintaining the fire. This lasted until he stumbled and ended up summersaulting through the gorse (better than the fire). He was then promoted to tamborine-player.
About 10 pm we decided to give up on the smoky remains of our fire and join the big party on the next ridge. They had a giant tent, a full sound system, and two huge fires. Which means we had an outdoor dance party for the rest of the night.