ACoruna to Ria de Muros (24th June to 4th July)
We left ACoruna on Wednesday teatime and motored 2 miles across the bay to anchor in a bay. We set off early the next morning to do a leg of about 21miles to our next rest stop in Laxe. We didn’t sail though, it was foggy and no wind until the last 20minutes. Still took hours and as I didn’t like the fog, I spent most of my time reading in our berth. The fog did lift a couple of hours before we got into Laxe and the sun came out and it was bright and sunny. We only stayed overnight to break up the journey to Cariminas, the next stop.
The sail to Cariminas was much better and I stayed up with Jake and Neil and enjoyed the view. We got in to the marina about 4pm, sorted out the boat, went for a shower and then to the restaurant above the marina for a drink before dinner. It is here we needed to find Jake transport to the airport at Santiago de Compestela. Saturday we went into the town which is very close and was well serviced with supermercados, banks (that were shut) and a tourist office (also shut).
Jake used Google translator and help from someone he’d met in a Coruna to get the barman in the marina restaurant to book him a taxi for Monday morning. We ate in the restaurant that night and had a massive plate of pork and mushrooms cooked in cream and garlic with chips along with a bottle of Rioja. It was fab. The staff didn’t speak much English although the owner spoke French and German so Neil used his French to help order our dinner.
We didn’t do much on Sunday although Neil went to get fuel from the next town, the bar owner took him, and I did some washing on deck. Neil had to use his French again to ask the owner chappie to check the taxi booking. We didn’t want Jake to miss his flight.
We were up at just after 5am to say goodbye to Jake. Having Jake with us was not only a pleasure but essential in getting us down and across Biscay. I can’t thank him enough. Jake will be putting up his videos of our trip on his own website www.barefootboatbums.com so keep checking there for our trip videos. I will put them up on here eventually but may have to wait till I’m back with Mums super fast broadband at some point.
After Jake left just before 6 it was still dark so I went to lie back down for half an hour although typically didn’t sleep. Then got up to help Neil prepare the boat for sailing. In my case that meant unplugging the electric cable from the pontoon, plugging our ‘fridge’ back into the 12v supply, making sandwiches and shutting the hatches down. We left at 7.25am and motored out and then Neil hauled up the sails. It was quite clear and we headed west first to get past the most westerly point in mainland Spain. We saw a couple of Dolphins briefly and then the fog came down. Up until then I had been enjoying the sail but I didn’t like it in the fog at all. Completely lost sense of direction, I was convinced that we were heading north despite the GPS and compass saying we were heading West. I was feeling very dispirited about spending hours sailing in fog, although we were sailing at about 6.5knots which is a good speed. Just then more Dolphins turned up which lifted my spirits and shortly after the fog started to lift. Good job as a fishing boat wasn’t too far distant ahead. We passed Cape Finisterre and then turned back towards land. It is all South from here. Although we lost the wind in the lee of the Cape and had to motor. But the sun was now shining in a clear blue sky and we were passing some beautiful red cliffs and pale yellow sandy beaches.
About 2.30pm we reached the entrance to Ria de Muros. Ria means estuary in Spanish and this coastline is renowned to have large beautiful Rias to explore. According to our pilot book (which we bought this year but was published in 2010!) there are about 5 different areas near towns or villages to anchor. We headed for the large town of Muros and anchored away from the marina and harbour just off the beach. Still hot and sunny and we were looking forward to a quiet night on the anchor.
Neil caught 2 good size mackerel with his new rod which I griddled with just some lemon olive oil and served with a Caesar salad and a glass or two of my expensive(!) Rosada (Spanish for Rose) wine. It was great. Freshly caught fish eaten on deck in the sunshine, another experience to add
However not the quiet night we hoped for. There is obviously another fiesta. The beach was packed with families playing and swimming from about 5.30 till 8pm then over on the quay there was a funfair and two stages with live music. I did manage to get to sleep with my earphones in about 10.30ish but then we were woken at midnight by fireworks. We got up and had a great view of them.. The acoustics were great as we are in a curved bay with mountains behind and the bangs from the fireworks echoed in the hills behind us. They also set off about a dozen maroons and with the echo it sounded as though we were under canon attack from the British! The music carried on till about 3am.
We woke to an unusual sight on Tuesday morning. The beach near to us is very shallow for a long way before it drops sharply and we had noticed the night before that people were wading out quiet far before the water reached the tops of their legs. Anyhow, there were about a hundred people stood in the water, dressed, with buckets floating next to them tied to their belts and they seemed to be dredging the water. Don’t know how long they had been there but they left as the tide came in.
There was also a diver along the edge of the shelf with a chap in a small boat feeding him the air line. Near the marina there were two dozen small boats with 2 or 3 people stood in them feeding and pulling nets. We take it must be shellfish of some sort as it is a speciality around here and available in virtually every cafe. It was quite cloudy, although still warm, in the morning but the clouds cleared away about 4 and then stayed sunny until the sun went down. The fair and music started again after dinner although there were no fireworks and it didn’t go on so late.
Can’t believe that the last day of June has gone and that we are already 6months through the year. It is also 12months since the Commonwealth War Graves Commission closed the office in Leamington and dispensed of our services. I’m lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to meet up with my old colleagues a number of times when I have visited home and been able to catch up and chat about old times.
Wednesday 1st July – mmm it was cloudy again and a bit windier but we were up and out and dinghied over to the town of Muros. I have new forks to replace the ones laying at the bottom of the harbour in Sainte Evette!! There were a couple of hardware stores and the larger one which also had some chandlery bits and pieces had the largest paella and terracotta dishes I’ve seen in the shops. There was so much I would of loved if we had a bigger galley, so probably best that we don’t. We had a coffe and it rained. Rain, what’s that? To be fair it was for about 2minutes and barely wet the ground. Neil said its to keep the dust down.
We went to see the old church of Santa Maria deal Campo. It was free to visit the church but for €2 each there were 3 museums (small rooms with treasures and artefacts incl English explanations) and you could climb the bell tower so we did that. It was a beautiful church built so the roof looks like the hull of a ship upturned and very dark in a gothic style. There were many statues of saints and martyrs around the church in very elaborate dress and design and quite a gruesome depiction of the crucifixion. We were also shown the baptismal font which is unique apparently in that it has a stone snake, representing original sin, carved inside the font itself. It was explained to us that it is usual to see a snake carved around the base of a font but not inside under the waters.
Muros is becoming more of a tourist destination with good links to Santiago de Compestela and the main road to a Coruna, Finisterre and Madrid. It is a pretty town with lots of old streets winding and twisting behind the promenade along the front. What we saw all looked very clean and there were plenty of cafes, bars & restaurants. Good job we went early as even the supermercado closed between 1.30 and 3.30.
We did our grocery shop and bought 4litres of wine for under €4 and a bottle of Campo Vejo Rioja (you can get this in UK supermarkets) for €3.29 (much cheaper than UK supermarkets). The cheap stuff won’t win any prizes But that’s fine, that’s why it’s cheap and perfectly drinkable. I know I’ve mentioned this before, I’m not turning into an alky but am still amazed at how cheaply they sell wine, and other drink, and yet do not seem to have the same problems with drink that is reported in the UK and attributed to cheap alcholol available from the supermarkets.
A quieter night with no music or fireworks. Thursday mid morning we sailed 5 miles across the Ria to Portosino marina. To help us onto the pontoon were Jackie and Ian from Rivalady and Roger from Deja Vu. We saw Jackie and Ian in ACoruna and Ian had been an early follower of Neils blog.
The marina was very expensive, the most we have paid yet and more than 3 times what we paid at Caraminas, although we knew that was very good value. However, they have fuel, showers, laundry and wifi and we can restock and recharge and get our blogposts up.
Portosino town is ok but modern and rundown a bit so on Friday we caught the bus for the 15min ride to Noai which is an ancient sea port, although it can no longer be reached by water as the passage has silted up. There was a large square surrounded by cafes and with a stone bandstand. Carmela at the marina office told us it is where people go to chat, people watch and a safe place for children to play. There were plenty of people doing just that and not one “no ball games, no running, no fun” sign to be seen. We had a drink at a cafe and they always bring nibbles of some description so we had a coke, a coffee and a couple of nibbles all for €3. Bargain. Can’t get that at Costa or Starbucks. In the UK I’d think twice about going to a coffee shop due to the cost but at these prices, and being able to sit in the sun, it’s rude not to.
The afternoon turned very windy and cloudy so glad we had been out in the morning when it was warm and sunny. Music on the quay again, but as the weather wasn’t good we ate inside for the first time since Alderney I think.
Today is Saturday and is a day of jobs. I’ve taken two loads of laundry up, need to adjust the mosi net I’ve made for our bed using my sewing machine, update my apps, fill the water tanks, get fuel, download my audiobooks, upload this blogpost and go shopping. Neil is also making a passage plan of the next stage working out mileages, stopping places and checking the wind predictions. Phew all go. It’s warmer this morning and the wind has dropped. Typically the supermarket is up hill.
Our plan is to leave this expensive marina this afternoon, motor across to Ensenada de San Fransisco and anchor there for the night before continuing south tomorrow. Not sure when next wifi access will be but will keep you updated as and when I can.
Neil put up a blog post (from which I pinched some photos) yesterday on www.thegledaproject.com