Preparations are continuing apace ahead of my two month trip to Galicia, to work on the big house and to keep an eye on the builders finally starting the renovation of the barn. Ferry tickets are now booked, the Land Rover is in the garage having all its 'oily bits' serviced, and my accommodation is all sorted thanks to my good friend Ramon of Spanish Country Cottages.
But I now have a bit of a dilemma.
Towards the end of November Amanda is travelling to Galicia for a very brief visit and bringing my brother (Ian) and sister-in-law (Karen) for their first ever visit. They are flying in to Santiago de Compostela on a Friday lunchtime and back from Asturias airport on the Sunday afternoon. Their sole visual exposure to 'our little Spanish paradise' has been the Rick Stein cookery programme, which left them a little 'underwhelmed', and a little fearful that they may go hungry.
Amanda and I now have a smidgen over forty-eight hours to show them why we have chosen this part of the world as our future home. We need to show them the depth of the culture, the beauty of the countryside, the friendliness of the people, and that eating in Galicia doesn't necessarily involve being presented with a stewed pigs face on a plate.
We've spent days planning the itinerary to ensure that the maximum is achievable, in the minimum time. From the airport we'll travel into Santiago and have booked a night in the superb San Francisco Monumental hotel, a stones throw from the Cathedral, and easy walking distance from the many great restaurants where we'll 'woo' them with superb fresh seafood and chilled Albariño.
The Saturday morning will see a drive through the beautiful countryside to Lugo and a walk around the Roman walls before a bite of lunch and the hour drive to the house. After a good inspection of the house works so far, and discussions of the task ahead, it will be to Taramundi to check-in at Casa Paulino. If we still have any light, perhaps a little drive around before settling down for a meal (probably involving cabrales, scorpion fish and fabes) at Consuelas' hotel.
Sunday will be a trip up to the coast and As Catedrais before the picturesque motorway journey through Asturias to the Airport, stopping somewhere for a bite of lunch on the way.
I hope that will do the trick. All we'll need is the sun to shine, and the rain to stay away. But perhaps that is just too much to ask of Galicia in November.
Any other, or better ideas to convert sceptics into evangelists would be most appreciated.