Text and photos: Javier Prieto Gallego / Translation: Amy Harmon
In the photograph, the boatman Luis Gallego Martín, known in the city as «El Catarro,» is seen on one of the rides he used to take on the pond in Campo Grande -Campo Grande park- with his boat full of children. Boat rides guided by «El Catarro» will be remembered by several generations of Valladolid residents who gazed in fascination as he steered the boat through the pond. Always wearing his captain’s cap, he would stop the boat at the lushest points along the shores to tell wonderful stories of pirates, treasures, and ships. «El Catarro» was an essential part of the park for the 34 years he rowed his boat, La Paloma, from 1976 to 2011, the year he passed away at the age of 85.
Campo Grande in Valladolid is much more than an urban park. It’s a place of gathering, walking, and meditation. It’s a changing space throughout the year and, of course, full of life. Inaugurated in 1879, it occupies an area of 113,379 square meters and, luckily, has managed to retain the romantic garden atmosphere which is an integral part of its essence.