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On a summer's day in a sleepy village of 55 uncles and 400 cousins, a dear friend called Isidro introduced us to his dear country called Spain.

This is a land of midnight sunsets, 3pm brunches, mobile discos and clara with everything. Nobody's a stranger in Castile y León's Villamañán and from the moment we arrived... the welcome party began.

After a pint of rum and a 100% pork BBQ we were primed for the night. Earlier, the town's alpha males had played a round of tennis-squash (aka frontón?) at the local court to work up a sweat in anticipation for the festivities.

What followed was one of the world's longest celebrations (second only to the following week's wedding). The night wound a course around jumping over a smoldering fire, music performances from the back of a music-stage version of Optimus Prime, introductions to 35 out 55 uncles and ballroom dancing from people who really should have been in bed hours ago.

Many hours later and after the sun came up we finally made it to bed. Getting tucked in at sunrise was not a life-first, beating the neighbours, their grandparents, grandchildren and pets to bed - was.

We were stirred for lunch around 3pm. Half the town had already been up for, well, minutes after knocking back a shandy or two and was back out on the streets for the San Juan processions.

The town's bachelors worked up a bead in a morris-dance through the deeply golden sunshine. Meanwhile, In Casa Nistal, Mrs Nistal was casually stirring up a Paella of epic proportions.

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