Whilst in Baiona we bought a Portuguese courtesy flag and,
despite thick fog, we set off late and were soon motoring hard with the
automatic fog horn blaring every 2 minutes and the radar sweeping the horizon.
Eventually the wind picked up sufficiently for us to sail and soon after we
crossed the border the fog began to clear. By the time we reached the harbour
mouth the fog had lifted and the wind was up to Force 6, but fortunately from
the North! We should now be into the Portuguese trade winds. There was a
wind/kite surfing competition under way which I sadly failed to get any pictures
of, as we were concentrating on not getting one impaled on our bow which was
threatening as they seemed to play dare across us.
We duly entered the small marina, having established that
the swing bridge opened OUT after the harbour master waved us away furiously!
Then up to the marina office to fill out lots of paperwork before beers with our
new friends Andy and Sue from the yacht Spruce.
The following day was a laundry day, starting in the cool
of the early morning fog before the warm drying winds of the afternoon. We
explored the attractive old town. The Portuguese are much better than the
Spanish at looking after their old buildings. The people too have a
different character, although we are as yet not able to define what it is. They
do seem much more prosperous, which we found surprising.
We took a funicular railway to the top of the hill that
overlooks the town, with these stunning views across the area. The marina is
just beside the bridge (designed by Monsieur Eiffel of Tower fame.)
We were impressed by this family who had taken over a
picnic bench for their Sunday lunch , complete with linen table cloth and
bottles of wine.
On the sea front were some interesting craft stalls
selling a variety of locally made and mostly traditional work, including this
weaving and embroidery stall and this slightly less traditional plant root
The town is now getting ready for a big festa next
weekend. The streets are gloriously decorated, far more elaborately than UK
Christmas decorations and with viewing stands and seating lining the roads. We
have heard band practice all around the town. We also came across some giant
heads which will be used as part of the celebrations. We haven't seen these
since the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostella, they are part of traditional
Gallegos culture that must be being brought up to date because we saw giant
heads of Marge and Homer Simpson amongst the displays made by the local school
of artisan crafts.