Tuesday, November 3, 2015

La Feira dos Santos

On November 1 every year there´s a market in Monterroso, just down the road a piece. They´ve been holding it for 500 years so it´s popular this time of year.

It was an absolutely magnificent fall day, and V just got back from another business trip, so we decided to have a day out.  We really should get out more.

Monterroso is an attractive small town, with a big church, and lots of winding streets and little plazas where the vendors set up.

A central building was where a lot of the food was for sale, but lots of people were selling produce all over. I´ve never seen so many sacks of chestnuts in my life, I think this must be a bumper year. And garlic, oh so much garlic.

Also, artisan crafts and gear.  One of these would suit anyone´s homemade hooch needs.

And poultry.  There were chickens, ducks, geese, songbirds, pea hens, game birds, even a peacock. (and puppies!!) The roosters were giant! I had no idea.

Then we hiked over to the livestock area, about a mile down the road.  Again, a there was a little of everything.  Quite a few cattle, as you would expect from a dairy province, horses, ponies and donkeys.

Sales mostly seem to be run by middle men, who make a living buying and selling animals all around at fairs.  They all look to be between 50 and 70, very weathered, and stand around leaning on the fences smoking, looking canny and wielding big sticks.  Let´s just say I would never, never, ever dare buy a used car from one of them.

On the other side were pigs, goats and sheep.  No unusual breeds, though I can´t identify the black and white sheep.  Someone was getting out of the goat business - there was a big group on offer.  One little goat in particular was just stunning - long eared and long haired, slender like a gazelle and the color of a labrador retriever.  So pretty.  You´ll have to take my word for it since there doesn´t appear to be a picture.

And a huge sow - how anyone got her home, I don´t know.

By this time we were actually sweating, so we stopped for a beer in a terraza. We were planning to get the traditional boiled octopus and potatoes but despite the large areas under tents set up, there were long, long lines of people waiting to get in. So we made our purchases and headed back to Melide and had some local pulpo a feira and were tired but happy after our day out.

Now I really have to figure out our fencing.  Puppies!!  Chickens!!


  1. I used to enjoy the November fair, we came home one day with a young male kid! If you are thing of having chickens go for electric fencing and make sure that wherever they are you have no overhanging trees, the electric fence will protect them from foxes and pine marten but any over hanging branches the pine martens will get into the run.

  2. I need to do a post on fencing, so many questions. I would be completely intimidated trying to buy livestock at a fair, too much pressure. The papers said animal sales were very disappointing. Not surprising as everyone seems to be losing money. I think I´d prefer visiting individual breeders.

  3. Hi Coco,
    Thanks for this, your description was so vivid and the photos so good that it felt as though one was there!
    PS: I wouldn't buy a used car from them either.
    I really enjoy the local agricultural shows too and look forward to them every year, but the produce shown in your photos looked so yummy!
    Cheers. Chris

  4. Thanks Chris! I have pics of giant cheeses and lots of pork products too (none of the cheap, imported tat though), but the post was getting long as it is. I confess I got taken on the garlic - 4€ a kilo and mostly soft and sprouting. Oh well.

    Other people get their hands on livestock, so there must be a way. But infrastructure first.