A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

Names and games

Last night we were out in Yunquera, enjoying a beer or two, and talking to our Spanish friends.

I was talking to Pedro, the chap we rented our flat from when we first moved here. He’s in his late 60’s, and ever such a nice man. Very much a worrier and a giver-of-advice. He can be irritating on occasion, but he’s a lovely guy!

Anyhoo. It’s the custom of the older guys here to stand around the main fountain in the centre of town on a nice evening, and gossip and watch life go by. Sometimes I think it’s mostly to do with their wives kicking them out of the house for a couple of hours, but that’s never been confirmed!

Pedro was talking to a friend of his when we went over to say “hi”. His friend asked where we lived, and Pedro said “los Porqueros, on the land of the Montes”. “Los Porqueros” is the general reference to the mountain where our house is, and “the land of the Montes” refers to the former owners of our finca. (I believe it is called “los Porqueros” because there are lots of wild pigs in our forest, but who knows!) Whew! But now everyone was on the same page as to where we live.

That reminded me of the fact that many pieces of land around here seem to have names or references that all the local farmers know. For example, the spring in our forest is referred to as “fuente de la coleta”, which literally means “source of the pigtail”. Do you find that puzzling? Well, we do! But we’ve found that phrases in Yunquera are not to be translated literally! So who knows what that really means!

Another example. A piece of Manuel’s land on the other side of the village is called “viña en bajo”, meaning “vineyard below”. Vines are no longer grown there (and haven’t been for at least 20 years), but the name will never change. And we all know what he means when he says he is working there!

This whole arrangement is pretty puzzling when you first move here. But once you pick it up, it marks you out as a local, which is pretty nice!

Casa Tyr spring in the forest

Fuente de la coleta (photo by Kenton@imagenary.co.uk)

Author: Ann Larson

One-time IT executive who lives on a 22 acre olive farm in Spain with husband Kenton and 2 boxer dogs. We make Yunquera Gold olive oil, and soap and skincare products from same. We aim to make natural, fresh, and handmade products at affordable prices!

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