Vilagarcia de Arousa

Chiscos - Atlantic Cruise
John Simpson
Mon 15 Aug 2011 20:40
42:36.03n 08:46.15w
A Pobra do Caraminal was a pleasant little town with good food shops so we were able to restock our provisions.  Thankfully this was one town where we didn't need to call a mechanic! We didn't do much walking there, but one evening had a stroll along the beachfront to the other end of the bay where there was a little church.  We happened to arrive about 20 minutes after Saturday evening Mass had started and they had left the doors open so we sat on the wall in the churchyard and listened for a while.  Quite unexpectedly, a group of musicians then turned up dressed in national costume.  They were a small group of bagpipers, drummers and tambourine players and they formed up into a circle by the open doorway.  Shortly after the choir inside had finished singing the Sanctus, the band struck up and played for 3-4 minutes from their position by the doorway.  As soon as they'd finished playing, the choir inside began the Agnus Dei and the band walked away again.  We've no idea what it was all about but it made an intriguing spectacle.  I was a bit cross with the man in the blue shirt on the left.  He appeared to be the conductor as he beat time on the shoulder of the lady playing the bass drum all the time they were playing, but if he wanted to take part why didn't he dress up?!
The other intriguing thing about Caraminal was that a man was letting off flares from the beach virtually all the time we were there during daylight hours.  You may be able to see a white van on the quayside in the distance in the next picture.  The man was on the beach below the van, which was just outside the church where the bagpipe band played.  Whether the two things were linked, or whether there was another reason for setting off the flares, we will never know.  Nobody reacted to the flares at all, so we could only assume that this was all to be expected.
On Sunday we moved across the Ria to Vilagarcia de Arousa (another short journey, this time 7 miles).  We had heard that there was to be a festival celebrating the town's patron saint San Roque so we thought we ought to call in.  We were lucky enough to get the last visitor's berth in the Marina, which is apparently full of lots of other people trying to come to the festival.  See here the view from Chiscos - you can see we were literally given the last space by the entrance!
We arrived about 12.30 pm and as soon as we arrived the weather closed in so that we couldn't see past the Marina entrance - not even as far as the crane!  The rain lashed down for the remainder of the day and we spent our time reading and catching up with family on Skype.  In the evening we had a soggy night out in the Cocktail bar alongside the Marina where I enjoyed ordering a Mojito Naranja (Orange Mojito).  The Spanish 'j' is pronounced as the 'ch' in 'loch', so having two of those in a title was very exciting!  Today (Monday) dawned bright and sunny again and the town has begun to work itself into festival mode.  As we walked around the town this morning there were more bagpipers/drummers/tambourine players, this time in a procession stopping to serenade people in the street cafes.
A huge stack of loudspeakers and a stage have been set up by the side of the Marina during the day and we found out that there will be a DJ playing later.  This being Spain, the evening activities are due to start at midnight and, having heard the sound-check, we think there will be little point in going to bed until they're finished!