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Journey To A Dream

In May 2002 my wife and I journeyed from Huddersfield in England's industrial north to rural Galicia. Join us on our journey and immerse your senses in the sights, sounds, and tastes of this remote and little known region of Spain.

The Some-day Supplement - issue 6
14 September 2017 @ 10:00

Note from the editor – In this week’s Some-day Supplement find out which town we nominate as The Prettiest Town in Spain. This week’s author in the hot seat is Sine Thieme whose bestselling memoir ‘Kilimanjaro Diaries’ will whisk us off to the east coast of Africa. What will this global adventurer make of our probing questions? But first …


Canabal Cuisine presents – Briggs’ Baked Beans


750gms dried white beans
Half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion
1 tablespoon thyme or sage or mixture of both
2 cloves of crushed garlic
5 cups crushed tomatoes (passata) I use a big tin (You can use fresh)
2 cloves
4 tablespoons Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco (I don't use that much)
Half a cup of sugar or to taste


Soak the beans overnight in water
Wash and drain them. Add the bicarb and salt. Cover with cold water. Cook for about an hour, medium heat, until tender.
Drain them.
In a big pan, heat the oil and saute the onion for about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped herbs and crushed garlic. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, Worcester sauce, cloves, sugar and salt.
Simmer for 20 minutes and then puree the sauce.
Add the beans and cook for about 45 minutes. Adjust seasoning.

This is a great recipe if you need to feed 5000 or like us, you can divide them into portions and freeze them.



Puebla de Sanabria – Possibly the prettiest town in Spain

The town of Sanabria (Puebla de Sanabria) is located in the province of Zamora, close to the border with Portugal, Galicia, and Castile and Leon. The town boasts a railway station with journey times from Madrid taking a little under three hours; by car it’s a little over three.

This small town is situated on a natural butte at the confluence of the rivers Tera and Castro. Its strategic location close to the Portuguese border made it the scene of many great battles. The medieval castle dates back to the second half of the 15th century with most of its walls remaining intact. Within the outer defences is an enormous castle keep surrounded by a moat and protected with a draw bridge. Next to the castle is the church of Nuestra Señora del Azogue which dates from the latter part of the 12th century.

The town’s charm is undeniable. Tourism is low key and the visitor experience is all the better for it. Wandering through the narrow streets feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Most village houses are immaculately maintained with architectural wonders hiding around every corner. Granite stonework, slate roofs and hardwood window frames take you back in time to a lost era. Potted plants hang from iron railed Juliet balconies and intricately carved coats of arms are proudly displayed on the façades of ancestral manor houses.

The area around Puebla de Sanabria is one of outstanding natural beauty. There’s a five-kilometre river walk along the banks of the river Tera and nearby you’ll find Lake Sanabria nature park. Formed during the last ice age, the lake covers an area of 368 hectares and reaches a depth of 55 metres making it Spain’s biggest glacial lake.

The area around Puebla de Sanabria is one of outstanding natural beauty. There’s a five-kilometre river walk along the banks of the river Tera and nearby you’ll find Lake Sanabria nature park. Formed during the last ice age, the lake covers an area of 368 hectares and reaches a depth of 55 metres making it Spain’s biggest glacial lake.


Author Interview
Sine Thieme

Sine Thieme's debut travel memoir is equally poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. Part guide book, part travel memoir, and part history lesson, her story will keep you hooked until the last page - whether you're a seasoned hiker nodding your head in recognition, an aspiring Kilimanjaro trekker searching for tips, or an armchair traveller revelling in adventure stories from the comfort of your home.

When expat blogger and mother of four Eva Melusine Thieme first harbours the idea of ringing out her three years in Africa on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, it sounds easy. In fact, it has all the trappings of a dream vacation: no cooking, no fighting kids, and an army of porters to lug everything up the mountain. What can go wrong?

Tag along as Eva takes you on her journey up the slopes of Kilimanjaro together with her teenage son and a group of hilarious South African friends. From planning the trip to shopping for supplies to trudging uphill wishing with all her heart for an ice cold sip of water untainted by chlorination tablets, you will follow her step by step on her quest to scale the world's highest free-standing mountain. But the list of challenges is long: sub-zero temperatures, blistered feet, long drop toilets (of which, you may learn, the drops are not nearly as long as they have once been, if you get the drift), and the ever-threatening altitude sickness no one can quite escape from. Eva's climb turns into the most difficult test she has ever faced, and ultimately she must make a fateful decision on that mountain.

Click this link to get your copy of Kilimanjaro Diaries
Or take a look at Sine’s blog about living in South Africa


Question timeour roving reporter asked Sine ten challenging questions.

1. If a movie was made of your life, who would play you and why?

Oh boy, I am so bad at this question! The biggest compliment I’ve ever gotten was when my daughters said my hair looked just like Jennifer Aniston’s. So maybe she could play me, as long as they just shoot her from behind.

If you won a million pounds/dollar/euros etc, what would you buy? 

First, a badass new car. I am SO tired of my minivan after decades practically raising my four kids in one. Second, I’d replace all my furniture. After moving it around the world 6 times, I’m kind of tired of it. I’d probably want a new – but smaller – house to go with it, less to clean. That can be my third wish. I honestly can’t think of another thing, other than every single book I come across since I’ll now have all the time in the world to read them, what with not having to hustle up more money.

What is your least favourite thing about humanity? 

Stupidity. Or wait, hypocrisy? People always want to tell you how to live, because they think they know better. I don’t think animals do that. So there, that’s my least favorite thing about humanity, the urge to control other humans. 

If you were 80 years old and had children, what’s the most important experience you could pass on to them? 

Oh good, that means I’ll get almost 30 more years to figure that out, exactly. From my vantage point now, I’d want to pass on this: Don’t fret about what might happen before it actually has happened. Once it happens, you will have plenty of time to think about it. Don’t make yourself miserable thinking about things that may never even occur. I guess I’m with the guys who played in the band on the Titanic. Plus, the worst stuff that happens makes for the best stories. Just think of how great the telling of it will be one day. You won’t be talking about all the days you’ve had your feet up and relaxed! Oh, and also: Be kind. Oops, I just reread the question and it asked for an experience, not advice. The most important experience? The one you have no idea where it might lead you.

You’re a new addition to my spice rack, what are you and why? 

This is even worse than the actress question. I really have no idea. Does lemon peel count as a spice? I’ve always loved to bake things with the scent of lemon. And I do tend to make lemonade when dealt lemons (see answer above). So I’ll just declare lemon peel a spice and I’ll be that.

In less than 50 words, how does the internet work? 

I have no idea how the internet works, other than with wifi. And boy is it a crisis when the wifi is out. It’s the only time our kids come out of their rooms to talk to us. If yelling “Mom, the wifi isn’t working!” is considered talking.

How can you tell if someone is a nerd? 

I suppose if they won’t stop talking about a single topic that fascinates them but is boring to most of the rest of the world. Oh, and also if they wear Birkenstocks with socks.

If you could add one word to the dictionary, what would it be and what would it mean? 

Is #clusterfuck already in the dictionary? If not, it should be added to describe the current American presidency.
What undiscovered technology will transform the future?  

This is sounding more and more like a college essay. I have no idea if it will transform the future, but I’ll tell you what’s yet undiscovered: A machine that will take my laundry from the dirty laundry bin, through the washer and dryer and folded back onto my shelf without lifting my finger. I have a feeling though that it will remain undiscovered. I mean, we’ve split the atom, and fused it to another atom, we’ve found a plethora of teensy particles much smaller than the atom, we’ve build a hadron collider to accelerate them to ungodly speeds, but we are still standing there over the kitchen sink every night cleaning the dinner plates. Weird.

10. What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t?  

Have I told you yet about my minivan?


And finally - #normalwisdom


This edition of the Canabal Chronicle, Some-day Supplement was brought to you by Craig Briggs, (with a little help from his wife Melanie) author of The Journey series of books.





Like 1


vogensen said:
17 September 2017 @ 19:42

There are so many beautiful towns that it is difficult to choose. I would have never chosen Puebla de Sanabria, but, like movies and music, these things can be very personal. There are many kinds of beauty. Towns that have impressed me for their beauty are Urueña, Albarracín, Maldoñedo, Cudillero, Luarca, Trujillo, la Alberca, Alarcón, Alcalá del Júcar--the list goes on. It is hard to choose one village. Since I live only an hour from Sanabria and have passed it dozens of times on my trips to the Meseta or to France it hasn't really stood out as a gem. Maybe I will have go back.

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