AFTER 18-months of pandemic that has devastated Spain’s tourist industry you’d be forgiven for thinking authorities would be falling over themselves to welcome back visitors.
Not so in the northern Spanish village of Ribadesella, Asturias, (population 5,600) where urbanites are given short shrift if they complain about the sort of countryside happenings that locals take for granted.
Last week, the local council pinned up posters around the picturesque coastal town, where green pastures roll down to the sea, addressing some recent complaints and calling on visitors to ‘assume all risks’.
“Here we have church bells that peal regularly, roosters that crow early in the morning and livestock that live nearby and even carry cowbells that also make noise,” states the poster.
“We have tractors owned by farmers that toil to feed you and we lanes not motorways (so drive carefully).
“If you can’t handle all this, then you may not be in the right place,” it adds.
The posters come in response to a flurry of complaints made in phone calls to the ayuntamiento.
“It’s a wake-up call to defend our way of life,” Luis Sanchez, Ribadesella’s deputy mayor, told La Voz de Asturias.
“It’s a way to respond to those who seem surprised to hear a rooster crowing at dawn and who call up to complain to the town hall that their sleep is being disturbed,” he said.
He said the council have received calls reporting braying donkeys or complaining about cowpats deposited in the middle of the road by a herd of meandering cattle.
“These things are a normal part of daily life in villages,” Sanchez said.
However the poster ends on a positive note, welcoming those who genuinely seek bucolic pleasures and all the mess and noise that inevitably entails.
“If you’re one of the privileged ones who can bear all this, you’ll enjoy the wonderful surroundings and the excellent products made by our fantastic farmers, ranchers or artisans,” it adds. “Enjoy Ribadesella!”
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