14th June 2008 - Trip to Coimbra

Bali Hai
Neal Stow
Sat 14 Jun 2008 16:38
Last night's sardine grill turned out to be an excellent event.  Plates of sardines with a simple salad and potatoes washed down with copious amounts of local red plonk. We also got to know some of the other crews a bit better.  Sitting next to Carrig Hannah we got chatting to Wendy and Bob, who had only recently got married - having met on "pot luck" sailing holiday.  We also met the crew of Lollipop who had joined the fleet in Bayona.  They turned out to be a very sprightly retired couple who, after a couple of glasses of the local grappa like fire water, managed to debag Andrew and raise his trousers up a nearby flagpole.  He was left with only a grass skirt to cover his modesty.
John and I returned to the boat at the relatively early hour of midnight, where John proceeded to devour half an enormous bar of milk chocolate.  The next morning he claimed it was this and not the wine, grappa and port, which left him too poorly to make it on the tour to Coimbra.  So it was left to just Rob, Andy and me to fly the Bali Hai flag.
Coimbra is a wonderful medieval town, the highlight of which is the ancient university where a tour of the library is a must.  I think everyone was a bit doubtful when asked whether we wanted to do the library tour but the ornate building with walls line with old books looked like something straight out of Hogwarts.  After the university we wandered into town where a medieval fair was being held.  Very authentic it was certainly not something that would have passed muster with the health and safety inspectors in the UK - spit roasted rabbit, meat barbequed on the pavement and served wrapped in leaves....
Back now on the boat, everyone is resting before an evening at the Hot Legs cabaret at the local casino.