The English version of Wikipedia, and google in general, is of bugger-all use to you regarding this town which is 25 miles north of Madrid. I was staying with friends, and generous hosts, but I’m still none the wiser about the place. I’m a man that likes to know where he is going and what there is to see when you get there. I’m very anal like that. Things are different when I’m leaving my destination as I’m usually so hungover I don’t give a rat’s cock about where I am, how I get home, or indeed the state of my anus.

English Wikipedia briefly describes it as ‘a town in Spain’ with ‘an unclear history’.

Welcoming trees that imply you should F*** Right Off.

Being ‘unclear’ I thought there might be some clues in the name so I googled San Agustin, or ‘Saint Augustine of Hippo’ to give him his full title as specified in the Vatican’s ‘I-Spy Book of Saints’ (there’s a bonus point for spotting his hippopotamus). However, he appeared to have lived and died in fifth-century Algeria. So, unless Easyjet were doing day-trips to Northern Madrid back then, he would appear to have no connection with the place.

The word ‘Guadalix’ is equally as mystifying as the word has no Spanish translation. Hence, I will just have to revert to my original theory that Guadalix was a gourd-seller in the cartoon adventures of Asterix the Gaul.

The one thing that Wikipedia does tell you is that the population has trebled over recent years bringing with it a lot of new housing, thus it has really become a commuter town for those working in Madrid. At this point it would be a tad unkind of me to describe it as Madrid’s Crawley, but it does have commuting and new-town similarities. San Agustin, a lovely little place, doesn’t appear to have a twin-town as yet. Maybe I can strike a spark of interest there for some Anglo-Spanish local councillor fact-finding missions on the jolly expenses.

IMG_0420Should the Mayor of Crawley make it to San Agustin for a bit of town-twinning, there are plenty of excellent tapas bars for him to enjoy. Even though the tapas is free, I’m sure they’d fudge up a receipt for him.

Apart from consuming several belly’s worth of Spanish booze and fine food in San Agustin I did manage to raise myself from my pit to go for a run. I’ve always found that sweating profusely in the heat for 5 kilometres is an excellent antidote to a cataclysmic hangover, either that or it all comes up and is out of your system anyway. As it is only a small town (with an unclear history) I ran out of ‘small town’ fairly quickly and found myself pounding up a white-chalk country track towards the hills.

I passed several farmhouses with automatic dogs. I do like dogs, but these are dogs that do nothing all day but doze in the sunshine with their ears programmed to detect the faraway oncoming sound of any approaching car/bike/runner. Thus the hungover runner can start twitching his pooper at the sound of these manically barking dogs from at least 1km away. Dogs are the runner’s Nemesis, as any runner will testify, and the sound of a bark that gets fiercer and louder as you approach is enough to make you wish you’d evacuated your bowels long before leaving home.

This terror culminates as you actually pass the property and see the salivating hound of hell desperately gnawing at thin chicken wire. This being the only barrier between it and what it perceives to be fine piece of juicy ass-meat that’s been marinated in alcohol. It keeps on barking and drooling as you pass by, but gradually the noise lessens the further away you get.

A sense of relief passes over your sweating brow until you realise there is no circuit to be had here, and you’re going to have to go back the way you came and run the gauntlet once more. Consequently the return leg of my run was more of a high-speed tiptoe, with me looking a bit like a cartoon cat scuttling past a sleeping bulldog.

Indeed, like Guadalix the gourd-seller, I could have been another unlikely candidate for the Asterix the Gaul cartoons, ‘Shittinghispantsarix’.

UPDATE: I have since been informed that the mysterious ‘Guadalix’ is not a purveyor of hard-skinned fruits, it is in fact a river (click here). Maybe that’s how Saint Augustine got there, riding on his hippo.

See my other learned discourses on all things Spanish here.