Whilst with his cousin in Santiago, FR made contact with some people who lived in a small village in the north of Leon - a place called 'La Urz' - pronounced as in 'urth' (or even 'earth'). Coinciding with meeting them was the realisation that perhaps Galicia wasn't for us. As we had ruled Catalunya out because the children would be taught only in Catalan in the schools - so it seemed that Gallego was the language being spoken more and more in Galicia. Cesar noted that many of the older people spoke to each other in Castillian Spanish but younger people were using the local language - which is fine but not what I want.
From Tuesday to Thursday, he concentrated on looking in Asturias and I heard little from him - usually meaning there was nothing much to say. He said Taramundi was very hilly; Vegadeo was dull and Castropol the same...nothing much for me to get my hopes up that we were on the right track.
On Friday morning, he headed south towards his parents - who, incidentally, have been unable to fly to Majorca to one of their other son's because of the flight ban. They have only just left today - Sunday - over a week late. FR stopped at La Urz on the way and stayed overnight there. We had a long conversation when he returned to his parent's house on Saturday and he had loved the place and the people and there was a house there that was big, habitable and for sale within our price range...
It has a lot of bedrooms and still needs some work doing to it - there is one area that has been used to store hay but which could become another bedroom. The people who live around here are creative, artistic people and they have children too.
FR is so taken with this place and the sort of life it would offer us that I have booked to go and have a look myself after he gets back. I will go with Mateo so that he too can see whether he likes it. The place is surrounded by wild life, mountains, amazing countryside and only a short distance from the Embalse de Luna - where there are all sorts of water activities available. I have taken advantage of Ryanair's amazing offer of cheap tickets and Mateo and I will fly to Valladolid for £6 each! We will stay just 4 days and will be able to borrow FR's parent's car to drive up to La Urz and meet the people there and see the house. And make a decision.
It is not as exciting as a vineyard; it's not as near the sea as I'd hoped; it's not in the heart of any folkloric area and it's pretty isolated. But I am going to see it soon and I will know when I get there if FR is right about it.