Martín Barreiro, meteorologist: «This summer we plan to walk the Camino de Santiago with the children, going light on luggage and big on adventure»
«Nemiña beach is an incredible, wild place that takes your breath away», proclaims the native from Lugo and TVE weatherman, who is still recovering from surgery for a herniated disc28 ago 2023 . Actualizado a las 19:46 h.
There is certainly no cloud overshadowing his congeniality. Here to guide us through June is Galician physicist and meteorologist Martín Barreiro (Lugo, 1977). Father, surfer and still recovering from a herniated disc surgery, this ponytailed weatherman has already returned to the sets of Televisión Española, but has his sights firmly set on enjoying the summer in Galicia as he shows his children his favourite beaches and towns as they walk the Camino de Santiago together “going light on luggage”. A keen cook and foodie, he adores pulpo á feira octopus and pretty much any seafood, and has promised Pepe Vieira that he will visit his award-winning restaurant in Pontevedra. During the summer months, he and his family escape the city to stay with his in-laws in the small village of Arzúa. From there they head to the coast to surf and enjoy the beaches of Ladeira, Corrubedo, Castro de Baroña and As Furnas, although one of Martín’s personal favourites is the beach at Nemiña. “It is an incredible, wild place that takes your breath away,” exclaims the native from Lugo but who grew up in and around Santiago de Compostela. He is so utterly charming and down to earth that he must be one of most likeable people to have ever come out of Galicia.
—How are you feeling? Have you recovered from your herniated disc surgery?
—I’m getting there, though I still have some more rehabilitation to do. I have to take things easy, though I also need to step up the exercise little by little to strengthen my lower back.
—During your recovery, you have received countless messages of support via social media.
—Yes, it was really quite incredible and touching. I was surprised... I honestly didn’t expect so much fuss or such overwhelming support. You can tell that it’s something that many people suffer from, so there’s a lot of empathy and understanding.
—What are your plans for this summer?
—We’re heading off to Galicia. We’ll be there for most of the summer as it’s a place I really love. We’ll also be going to Portugal, as we do every year. My doctor has told me to exercise, so we’re going to do some walks along the coast and inland. I also want to show the children some places they’ve never seen before. Our little ones spend the whole summer in Galicia.
—A quick weather question for you: What kind of summer do we have in store in Galicia?
—(Laughing). As you well know, long-term forecasts are not all that reliable, though anomaly information suggests that it’s going to be a warmer than average and more humid summer in the Mediterranean. In Galicia it will be relatively normal, perhaps a shade warmer.
—What are your favourite beaches and which do you consider the most spectacular?
—That’s a tough question, because I like so many beaches. I usually spend the summer in a small village near Arzúa and we typically spend several days in and around Ladeira beach and head off to Vilar de Corrubedo, Castro de Baroña and As Furnas. The estuary of Muros e Noia is the estuary I know and love. I used to go surfing there when I lived in Santiago, and to this day I still take my children there to surf. It’s a beautiful area that both my partner and I like very much. Espiñeirido, Seráns, Queiruga... we visit to those beaches all summer long. Sometimes we’ll head off to other beaches such as Nemiña or Soesto or others along the Costa da Morte. We also know of a secret beach. I couldn't tell you its real name, but a friend of mine calls it Do Ceo because it’s like a tongue of sand that licks around the edge of a mountain. Let’s just say it’s close to the so-called Cementario de los Ingleses [a perilous stretch of the Galician coastline off which many a ship has met its end over the years, including several notable English shipwrecks, hence the name].
—What places would you recommend for having a drink outside while taking in the views?
—Although I’m from Lugo, Santiago is a very magical and special city because I used to live there, I still have a house there and many of my childhood friends live there. I love walking around Bonaval and the old town and having a drink or two outside in any bar in Praza da Quintana square. It strikes me as a place where things never seem to change, and I mean that in a good way. Going back there and seeing everything pretty much the same as always gives me that sense of comfort you need after the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We also really like the surfers’ beach bar at Ladeira beach. We sometimes end the day there watching the sunset.
—Any great places to eat?
—I’ve promised Pepe Vieira that I’ll eat at his restaurant this summer. He’s seriously committed to local produce and sustainability and he also happens to be a very creative guy. I’d also like to pay another visit to Fogar de Santiso, in Santiago, because it used to be a very traditional place but underwent a huge transformation. It now serves its own produce, which they grow, nurture and turn into dishes, which is something that really fascinates me.
—What’s your favourite dish?
—I have a lot... I love to cook and eat! I adore pulpo á feira octopus and any seafood, because the product comes first and it is such a simple yet tricky dish to get right. We go a lot to the Esmorga octopus restaurant in Monterroso. In fact, we plan to take the children to the octopus festival, among other popular festivities.
—I was just about to ask you which Galician festivals you try not to miss.
—The octopus festival in O Carballiño, the one in Carril, or the empanada [fried pastries] festival. My friends and I always meet up one weekend in the summer and head off to a local fiesta. We’ve been to the Albariño wine festival, the Malpica fiesta, and the Maruxaina festivities in San Cibrao. I remember it from my childhood, though this time around there were almost too many people. For me the main fiesta I grew up with was the San Froilán held in Lugo. It’s the one I always went to with my family and friends. The plan is now to discover more festivals with our children.
—An unforgettable bolthole for a summer holiday?
—We now spend the summer in that village I was talking about near Arzúa, because my in-laws live there and my wife has a cottage. If we’re talking about places I’ve rediscovered, I love the Ribeira Sacra and have shown it to my children. They loved it and we’ll definitely be heading back there. My grandparents’ village, Folgoso do Courel, is an incredible place though sadly much of it has been consumed by fire. It’s an amazing place and there are villages, such as Froxán, that look like something out of a fairy tale.
—A romantic spot?
—Taking in a sunset on As Furnas beach.
—A place you’d take your non-Galician friends to?
—I’d take them to see the ancient city walls of Lugo, and also Santiago and Nemiña. I still remember the first time I went to Nemiña to surf. A friend told me: I’m going to take you to a beach that will blow you away. It’s a bendy road as you draw close and you can just see this expanse of green countryside stretching into the distance. And then suddenly, from out of all that luscious green you see the sun shining on the sea and a gigantic and spectacular bay comes into view. It’s an incredible, wild place that takes your breath away.
—Where would you like to retire?
—I have always thought about retiring in Galicia. I would like to be able to switch between the beach and more inland, though lately I’ve become very fond of the mountains and the snow. So I’m torn between Galicia and its coastline, or some wild mountain elsewhere in Europe. Whatever happens, there’s no harm in dreaming!
—Have you walked the Camino de Santiago?
—I did it when I was a lad and this summer we’re going to do it with the children. We don’t know which route yet, because the French Way [the most popular route] is going to be heaving with people. We plan to go light on luggage and big on adventure!