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Gregor Manson's gripping tales


    I grew up in Queensland, so I’m no stranger to hot weather, but I was suffering on this trip. The coast road on the Mediterranean side of Spain passes through some very dry country, and hitching was a slow way to get around. It was high summer in the dying days of the Franco regime and the mood of the people was as sullen as the climate. I’d nearly been beaten up in a Madrid bar for chatting up a senorita, and fair-haired tourists didn’t seem too popular. The bullet-pocked walls in the villages and abundant half-repaired war damage left over from the thirties served as an obvious reminder of the excitability of the locals. I