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Date: 20 Jun 2012 21:25:00
Title: Mooching around in Galicia

We left Villa Garcia, having had poor weather the entire time we were there.
We decided to go into the next river along the coast which is the Ria de
PonteVedra. We managed to put the sails up for part of the way, but as the
mist and rain descended we had to put on our full wet weather gear. We
navigated our way through the Bateas, and small islands and went in towards
Porto Nova. It was a welcome sight and even better the pontoon was easy to
dock at. I guess I'm getting used to handling the lines a little better and
of course more confident. We dried out and as the evening went on the
weather improved.
This is a very picturesque little town, with some fabulous beaches and some
quaint winding, and hilly streets. We stretched our legs by taking an
evening stroll. I may have said this before, but it's still sunny and light
here at 10.00 in the evening.
When on a boat, one of the entertainments aboard is watching other boats
arriving in the marina and trying to dock It's always fun, when you are
sitting with a gin & tonic in hand, seeing a flustered captain and an even
more flustered crew member desperately trying to tie up without being blown
into the dock or missing the dock altogether. We did just that this
evening, when a 50ft catamaran from Australia came into dock just in front
of us. They were certainly in a bit of a pickle. Actually to be fair we
would have helped but we couldn't get to them as they were on a different
pontoon. The staff from the marina did eventually show up and give them a
helping hand.
The next day we woke to sunshine and blue skies, so running shoes on again,
and we set out on what was to prove one of the most beautiful runs we have
ever done, along the ocean front, to the neighbouring town of Sanxenxo. The
sun was shining and we really felt free and energised.
As the place is so pretty and quiet, we decided to stay another night and
walked into the town which is rather quiet and sleepy, but this morning had
a busy market. We bought some wonderful fruit and veg and then wondered the
streets for a while and spent the rest of the day doing some maintenance
work on the boat. As the evening approached we were reminded by our
children via text messages, that England were playing their first game in
the European championship against France this evening so found a bar that
was showing the game, and sat down to watch what proved to be a mediocre
game of football which ended in a draw.
We left the next morning and headed further up river towards Cambarro. We
anchored off the small island of la Tambo and took the dingy in. The water
was quite rough and we had a bouncy trip in and back again. This is one of
the most scenic villages in Galicia, set right on the water's edge. There is
a close-knit network of stone houses that line the narrow streets, and it
has been transformed through conservation and tourism. There are around 30
horreos that line the shoreline . These small stone structures built on
stone 'mushrooms' were used to store food and grain in the past to keep the
food dry and away from rodents rather similar to those we see around the
Cotswolds . Many are still used and are becoming so popular that people are
building new ones.
We cooked a bucket full of mussels which we had purchased in the market at
Portonova for dinner tonight. These took a while to clean and Andrew created
a wonderful sauce to go with them.
We left later in the afternoon and sailed back down river to Isla Ons. This
is a pretty deserted island just at the mouth of the river, and we were not
disappointed when we arrived. The sun was shining and I could even see the
anchor hit the bottom the water was so clear. A wonderful sunset and meal
eaten on deck was a perfect end to the day.
What a difference a few hours makes.......
We woke up to what felt like a raging storm at 2:30 in the morning. The
wind was howling and the boat tossing and swaying like crazy. Andrew was up
a couple of times checking that the anchor wasn't dragging. Neither of us
slept much and at the first sign of light we got up and battled our way out.
The winds were gusting up to 30 knots and pushing us towards land which is
never ideal. We pulled the 40 meters of anchor chain, and headed back into
deeper waters. This was a rough sea, and the boat was bouncing around. The
rain and the wind were not easing at all, and the prospect of heading for
Baiona which provides good shelter, was rather daunting and would be a long
4 hours so we headed into Ria de Aldan which is a remote part of the main
land peninsula providing shelter form the southerly wind. Actually it was
the best decision we made. As we headed into the bay, dodging the numerous
Bateos, the protection of the land, eased the swell and waves and the wind
dropped. We were rewarded with the sight of the most beautiful and peaceful
spot. We dropped anchor and sat out the beating rain and strong winds for a
few hours. We read a lot and played scrabble, which I won twice! ( The
foreigner always seems to win against the Englishman!) We were going to stay
here for the night, but the weather forecast suggested that tomorrow was
going to be even worse than today, so around 3 in the afternoon we pulled
anchor and set back out into the open water and headed towards Baiona. The
winds were easier, and the swell was smaller, but it was still rough. Still
couldn't sail as we had the wind right on the nose again.
We approached Baiona around 5pm and found a place in the marina which was a
relief.

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