Ria de Santa Marta, Orteguera
The next Ria we wanted to
visit is called Santa Marta which was detailed as having a very tricky entrance
with a shallow sand bar and difficult winding passage through shoaling sand
banks ready to trap the unwary. We had no chart for this Ria but managed to look
at a fellow traveller's pilot book which also emphasised it as having stunning
scenery, interesting if difficult to find anchorages and a smart town unspoilt
by development at the head of the Ria. We had to go there!
Armed with vital
navigational information from this pilot book we made the route without going
aground albeit very slowly and cautiously; it was similar to the passage to
Snape from Aldeburgh up the river Alde on the east coast. We are so glad we made
the effort, the scenery is indeed stunning and our reward was the best anchorage
we have had: still as still and only a wet dinghy ride from the excellent
We had hit on market day
and were able to stock up on lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, salad and
bread. The fresh produce in Galicia is first class; lettuce, leeks, onions,
cabbages, aubergines, garlic, carrots, pimentos and courgettes are excellent;
the tomatoes in particular are delicious, we buy their large ones with green and
yellow streaks that are just wonderful for salads and luscious cooked with just
They also had these rather
wonderful pitchforks, we would have loved one but no room on board.
The market in Orteguera was
buzzing until the rain started, it bucketed down – we got our first real soaking
dinghy-ing home to Gryphon II in our peaceful, sheltered anchorage.
There were no visiting
yachts in this Ria but a small local boat followed us out next morning; getting
out again was, of course, a lot easier. As the pilot said "rewarding pilotage to
an elegant town".