So, Friday night James (one of the instructors) took us to his home village of Competa.
James is a bit of a (sometimes anti-)legend in this village. It was a rare homecoming. Everywhere we went people ran up to him and shook his hand, kissed his cheek and/or gave him big hugs as appropriate. We kinda basked in his glow as we walked around.
His best friend since he was 8 runs a fantastic restaurant. Her husband waits tables, and her brother is the chef. Her parents hang around and supervise.
We had a fantastic meal, and really enjoyed it. They gave us the local sweet red wine, finished off with patcheron after dinner drink, and then Ricardo (the CFI) serenaded us.
After that, we headed to one of the local pubs, and met a *lot* more people. It felt as if 1/2 the village was there.
Somewhere in there we decided to spend the night in the village.
There was a sing along in the bar, and lots of lovely folks. What a great welcome.
After that, we went to a more bar-like pub, and had a second round...as you do.
At some point, we decided enough was enough (3am? Later?) and went back to the hotel and fell asleep almost instantly.
The next morning, we realised that this village was just down the road from Heaven, as this is the panorama from the hotel balcony.
It was a magical night, but to get back down we needed to drive 30 minutes in mountain switchbacks.
Note: we were all feeling rather delicate at this point. I lost most of Saturday sleeping and recouping.