The C-153, up the dominguero hole


Given that “domingo” means Sunday in Castilian, a “dominguero” pretty much translates to a “Sunday driver” or “weekender” in English. I don’t particularly like using loan words from Castilian when talking in Catalan and have been trying to push for “diumenger” but so far had few takers. The option of “pixapí” or “pine tree pisser” does appeal as an alternative though given that you’ll see most of these weekenders letting it flow behind a tree when they’re out on a romp given that they’ve misjudged the quantity of beer in a bottle and the tinyness of their city boy bladders.

While in English the term “weekender” has little malice and “Sunday driver” infers one who can’t really drive, in Catalonia “dominguero” is said with a great deal of frothy spit and venom as domingueros are generally and universally hated. It should come as no surprise really as while Catalans are universally at odds with Spain (well really, Madrid) an even more centuries-old battle is that of villagers versus city folk wherein the domingueros are most definitely the latter. They come out to the country with these uniform articles of clothing from G-Star Raw or Abercrombie & Fitch, matching one another identically and usually driving Audi SUVs because, they’re fucking worth it. They overrun small villages to have lunch and make such lucid declarations such as “how authentic” and “how pretty” (“que maco” being another nickname) before returning back from whence they came, ie Barcelona or more typically, one of its nefarious suburbs such as Sabadell.

I lay out this introduction as I went to a social media meet up in a small village called, Cantonigròs which oddly appears to mean “the house of big Toni” and makes one wonder what happened to little Toni and his house? Probably a mule accident. While the Toni issue is curious, I should emphasize that these social media things generally spell doom for me. When the editor in chief goes solo, they’re great. When we go together, it’s hit and miss. And when I go, it’s generally a bucket of piss that wasn’t cleaned out well before it was used for said piss.

Here’s the thing though, getting to Cantonigròs is a process unto itself. You head towards the town of Vic (a recommendable destination on its own) and then a road called the C-153. I fully blame this road for the appeal of Cantonigròs to domingueros. It twists, it turns, it double backs on itself and generally mocks you. There are cows, fields, and a general sense of anti-city as you wind your way up it. In short, the difficulty in traversing it builds this illusion that the destination is incredibly worth it.

Then you arrive. I don’t know how many villages I’ve seen in Catalonia at this point, but it’s well in to the hundreds and this Cantonigròs places somewhere near the bottom possible just above Riudecols which I mostly hate for being on the highway to Priorat and having a 50kph speed limit. While not exactly ugly, Cantonigròs has a similar charm to that of a truck stop. There are maybe four or five restaurants that are always full on weekends, a couple of older homes, a municipal swimming pool that is again always full on weekends both of domingueros and undoubtedly their children’s copious amounts of urine, and that’s about it. I’ve seen via social media that there is a small waterfall somewhere but have been uninspired as to discover where. Even the embotits (Catalan cured meats), which are legendary from the comarca of Osona where Cantonigròs is located, are pretty shoddy.

As far as I can understand it, it seems that there was a collective braking of domingueros that caused this massive appeal of the village to them. By this I mean, you’re driving along on the highway and someone taps on their brakes. Three other cars tap on their brakes in reaction and before you know it, there is a collective slow down. It’s a similar thing with village destinations. Some group of four (people in Spain never travel in groups of less than two couples) went to the village one day randomly and decided that they liked it. Then, they went another day with their kids and then other friends and soon, everyone found themselves going to Cantonigròs for no other reason than everyone was going to Cantonigròs. Restaurants popped up to accommodate this and before you knew it, this rather uninteresting village became a “thing”.

So, if visiting Barcelona and some local says, “Let’s go to Cantonigròs today!” you might want to tell them that you are otherwise occupied.