Ria de Pontevedra - Combarro
Sunday 27th & Monday 28 September 2010
After leaving Ria de Arosa we headed south to the next ria, Ria de Pontevedra with the wind gusting 25 knots.
As we sailed through the passage between the rias we unfortunately got a lobster pot marker wrapped around our rudder. The pot markers here are really small and impossible to see, unlike in France and the UK where they have flags on. This one was particularly nasty as it had an extra long rope streaming across the water so by the time we spotted it, it was too late. With full sail we were doing 6 knots but the pots brought us to a fairly quick standstill. Fortunately by this stage the wind had reduced to 10 knots so we to hove to and got the sails down without too much drama. We then managed to hook the rope up with the boat hook and tie it to a cleat. Mary wanted to just cut it but Alan generously cut the rope and attached a spare buoy we had so the fisherman could retrieve his pots. We tied a rope to the other end and managed to locate the buoy but had to cut it free to pull the remaining rope around the rudder to be sure we had removed it all. Fortunately we were not near any rocks at the time and the wind had died or it could have been much worse.
By this stage it had turned into another lovely sunny day so we decided to detour up river only to find a lovely new marina had been built at Combarro which wasn’t in any of the pilot books so we decided to stop. They are very friendly and the marina guy keeps coming to chat to us, although he is probably a bit bored as it is not very busy, and the showers are the best yet.
Nice quiet marina with wide pontoons and a lovely view
Combarro is a lovely old fishing village which is full of very narrow granite streets and lots of little huts stood on granite stilts where they used to store grain.
The old fishing village in Combarro
It is a bit touristy but very nice with lots of little bars and restaurants. We decided to eat out but again didn’t have a great meal. Mary ordered the mussels as so many of them are harvested here. They only come steamed, not with any nice sauce, and are massive so after a few they become a bit much.
We also ordered pimentos which we thought would be nice red peppers but were little green peppers cooked in salt. These were OK until we both suddenly had one which was really hot. We wondered why the waiters were laughing at us and it was not until later reading the pilot book that we realized it is a local tradition to slip in a green chili to catch the unwary!
Can you spot the green chilies? – we didn’t!!!
Taken before we ate the pimentos!
It is so lovely here we decided to stay another night so after wandering around the old village again in the morning we decided to take the dinghy up river to Pontevedra where the bridges are too low for Stella. It was about an hour up river but well worth it as the old city was lovely. A bit like Santiago full of old narrow granite streets and lovely plazas with cafes plus of course lots of churches.
The dinghy back was a bit rougher as it was into the wind and Mary got soaked, still an excuse for another power shower!