Our Time in A Coruna
We had a week in the marina a Coruna. Unfortunately I had a migraine on day 1, Wednesday 17th, that hung about for couple of days. No surprise really considering stressy nature of thinking about crossing and the end bit. Mind you haven’t had one for ages.
On the 2nd day I’d taken to my bed with meds and a forehead compress and Neil and Jake were supposed to be going up to the bar. There is a lot of swell in this Marina and the ropes and fenders squeak horribly so I’d put earplugs in. Even through the earplugs I could vaguely hear Neil and Jake carousing. After about an hour I could hear Neil shouting and whooping. I stuck my head out to tell them to sod off up to the bar and it turned out Neil was celebrating catching a fish with the child’s rod and reel we had bought in Truro. In less than an hour Neil had caught 2 fish with his kids rod when Jake hadn’t caught a thing trailing 2 lines with expensive lures across the Bay of Biscay. The noise was Neil rubbing it in. Needless to say they soon headed up to the bar.
We’ve taken advantage of showers, electricity, water, laundry, wifi and bar. I have to say that I’m addicted to Lemon Cornettos that they sell in the marina shop. If you haven’t tried them yet and you see them, honestly they are fab.
Friday 19th – On the recommendation of June (not so much Garry) from ‘Friendship’, a catamaran moored in front of us, I dragged Neil and Jake off to the out of town shopping centre. When we eventually found the bus stop (note here that I did a ‘Joey’ and got into the map and said to turn right, Neil disagreed so we went left and about 15mins out of our way!), we had a great bus journey through the city on a bendy bus in tiny streets. The city is a lot larger than we thought and a lot of the buildings are very ornate. Our return journey took us past the beaches. The way we were ooing over the view of the sea, you’d think the sea was a novelty!
In the shopping centre we had KFC for lunch, sometimes you can’t beat junk food, then I didn’t drag them around too much. Got some voiles from Primark to use as mosi nets around the beds and a few other bits. Wish I’d gone there first as nail gadget I paid €6.95 for in Sephora was €1.50 in Primark!
We then went to Decathalon. Don’t know if we have these in UK but essentially a massive sports shop. Better set out than Sports Direct with more space and a greater choice of stock – camping, scuba, diving, sailing, fishing, karate, horse-riding, ballet, dance, yoga, cycles, rock climbing, swimming, Go-Pro, walking, ……. I bought new pair of walking sandals, swim hat, watch and funky scuba mask, see pic.
The mask is designed so you just breathe either through nose or mouth, you have better vision than a regular mask and water can’t get down snorkel. I saw these advertised about 18months ago and had one in my Amazon ‘save for later’ basket at £180.00. €39.95 from Decathalon. I haven’t tried it in the water yet but Neil did and said it was great. I may wait for the Med. Neil also bought a new fishing rod, not a child’s one this time.
However, I thought we were going to be arrested. We went through the till and the bill seemed higher than I expected it to be. On a bench outside the door I checked all my items against he receipt and there was an extra item (the second one) that I hadn’t purchased for €14.95. I went back and explained as best I could that we had not bought that item, turns out it was a knife. The girl looked surprised despite serving us less than 3 minutes before and you’d think she’d remember a knife. Anyhow, she refunded me and we went back out to the bench to pack our stuff into our rucksacks. The security guard then came up and said something in Spanish. We said we didn’t understand. He said ‘you buy knife’, we said no and waved the receipt and opened our bags out for him to check. He paused for a minute, said something else in Spanish, then went off. This is the 3rd time this year a large corporation has charged for an item I didn’t buy or receive. First Asda in Penryn then Marks and Spencer in Truro. I’m convinced it is a ploy to increase their profits and they rely on the fact a lot of people don’t check their receipts.
As I was now headache free, we went for our celebratory meal. Neil and I shared a great paella and a bottle of Rioja. Jake had pork or maybe it was beef, tasty whichever. The English translation of the menu was very limited. We also opened a bottle of champagne I had been saving for after the crossing. Unfortunately Neil and Jake also like champagne so I had to share.
We talked about the value of experiences and I have to say that after the trip across Biscay I can now appreciate the value of experiences over possessions. Previously I baulked at paying a lot of money e.g. a 5* holiday or cruise as to my mind you had nothing to show (physically) for the outlay. Not that I have the funds for such but now I can understand more that, if you can afford to, having the experience, so therefore the memories, is priceless.
Saturday 20th – Neil and I went into the old town to the supermarket following the river. Again fabulous buildings set amongst what looks like 1960 or 70 blocks. The supermarket front looked like an historic building. Again the choice of fresh food here was amazing. Problem was, particularly when it came to the array of cheese, we didn’t know what we were looking at. I bought some posh rose wine. It was twice the price of the cheap one 92cents a litre. Yup that is not a typo. 92cents. They had 5litre boxes for €7. We do get ripped off in UK.
Sunday 21st June – Summer Solstice, first day of summer (northern hemisphere), longest day was hot. It was great. Neil put awning up over the deck and we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner on deck. We had cheese and meats for breakfast, very continental.
We’ve spoken to loads of people. No need to worry Mum about me being isolated. You can’t shut Neil up when he starts talking boats. Lots of them are heading south as we are and no doubt we’ll catch up with some of them again. Seems everyone is blogging too or got a Facebook page. We aren’t so original.
Monday 22nd we went to Santiago de Compestela. I’ll do a separate post.
Tuesday 23rd – rudely awoken by P&O Cruise ship ‘Ventura’ coming in sounding her fog horn every 10 seconds. Yup it was foggy. Even so, heading into port with pilot boats and the fact that she’s enormous, it’s not like anything was not going to see her. She did a 180degree turn not far from us then backed into the port. We can see her from Gleda, she looks like a block of flats/apartments.
Tuesday was also a festival day, San Juan, and their is to be a huge party on the beaches. We headed out about 10pm through the town which was buzzing with bbq’s on the streets grilling sardines and live bands. The town and seafront was heaving. The beach was packed with groups who had all built fires from wood, old pallets, old desks etc. a Health & Safety officers nightmare.
My photo was taken early in the evening (10.30pm) midnight was the time most groups lit their fires. At 11.30 their was a short parade of 3 lit floats with kids on, similar to Carnival queens and attendants (the younger kids were yawning like mad) and marching bands. A fantastic firework display at midnight which is when most lit their fires. Stood up against the seafront wall looking on to the beach, the heat, not to say the smoke, was too much. But the spectacle was amazing. Looked like an encampment about to leave for a battle. Neil and I left about 12.20am leaving Jake their and walked back through a still packed city. There were fireworks going off all around the coast till gone 1am. Apparently Jake got back in daylight which is after 6am here.
This is another ‘experience’ to add to my new collection. I’m really glad we went although going out at 10pm and not to bed is something I haven’t done since my teenage years!
Today, Wednesday, we were planning to leave but visibility is not great. Better than yesterday though. We are debating whether to stay another night in the marina or anchor out. We are planning a 2 stop journey around Finisterre and Jake has his flights booked to go back to Alderney on Monday 29th. He has to get back for work. I’ll miss him particularly as it means I will need to step up from Chief Cook and Bottle Washer to 1st Mate. Not a promotion I was looking for.
Not sure when we will get wifi again as we go around so don’t know when next update may be. Stay tuned though.
Neil has put up his blogpost of the Biscay crossing. www.thegledaproject.com