Back in the UK?

Andy & Jo
Thu 21 Jul 2022 17:13

“Are we back in the UK?” grumbled Skip as he slid back the hatch this morning to reveal hills shrouded in cloud and the unmistakeable sound of rain on the coachroof!  Viveiro does look very like the Lake District today.  Whilst most of the UK has been melting in temperatures of ~40C, our little corner of northern Spain has been experiencing some very unseasonal weather – I had to put a cardi on for a few minutes earlier in the week and Skip has just appeared wearing long trousers!  I think things are going to get back to normal at the weekend and the Spanish summer should appear again.  Hoorah!



Viveiro itself is a nice place.  The old town to the east of the river is amazing – really ancient buildings with crumbling stonework and timbers, like something out of a Carlos Ruiz Zafón novel.  There are lots of shoe shops (which I have so far resisted as Stargazer has limited stowage for shoes) and plenty of tapas restaurants and bars.  The beach area to the west of the river suggests the area was a popular Spanish holiday resort but, post-Covid, doesn’t look as vibrant as it once was.




We are planning to head to A Coruña tomorrow.  After a couple of long passages involving quite a bit of motor sailing we have been waiting for some good weather to get the sails up and let Stargazer race around Cape Ortegal.  It looks like the wind tomorrow might be a little light to start but should hopefully fill in and we can crack the sheets J  Sadly this means we will miss the local 9th annual Goose barnacle festival, but you can’t have it all!



We have been in Spain for ten days and it has struck me just how different lots of things are.  Here is a short list of ace things about Spain:


·         You can buy a whole bag of just Lamb’s lettuce (no other leaves that you don’t want!)

·         Queso, queso, queso – I am in cheese heaven

·         You can buy ripe fruit in the supermercado

·         Peppers are massive

·         There are so many types of yummy bread

·         The Spanish are into their version of pasties (empanadas) as am I

·         Restaurants are open at sensible times

·         There are so many flavours of ice cream - is this section all about food?!

·         Beer is very drinkable and encouragingly priced

·         Cars (and lorries) stop for you at zebra crossings


Captain’s Brief:


To be honest, I wasn’t going to comment in this blog, as the mate was quite happy with it as it was. However, I must admit to not being in the happiest of states when I looked out of the cabin window this morning. What was this! An English grey sky and drizzle. Hell fire, no!! I thought I was having a nightmare, but looking again revealed the same depressing sight. I know some people like the sort of weather the UK gets, but quite frankly, if I never see a grey sky again it’ll be too soon. OK, I thought, things can only get better. But no! My hopes were dashed when I saw the mate, rucksack on and water bottle in hand – this could only mean one thing, we had to go out in the grim greyness. Even worse, when I saw the mate wobbling around with google maps on her phone and an utterly useless (aren’t they all?) tourist info map in hand, this meant we had to go for a walk. OK, a walk under normal circumstances is a fine thing to do, but I have never seen the mate get the route of any walk right, in fact we could end up anywhere – and often have. This time, we were to walk up one of the steep hills into the Spanish countryside. There are only two hills from the town and yep, you’ve guessed it, we went up the wrong one. Why oh why, I follow along with the mate in charge of directions on these walks I have no idea, but I do. Thank goodness she keeps well away from the navigation table on Stargazer or heaven knows where we’d end up.


Looking down on Viveiro from the ‘wrong’ hill


All’s well that ends well though and as the errors of the mate’s ways were revealed, we headed back down into town and started preparing Stargazer for her trip to A Coruña tomorrow. The day was rewarded even more as the lovely marina assistant gave us a 25% discount for our entire stay in Viveiro, why, we’re not sure – but it was very kind of her.


Our trip to A Coruña is around 60NM, the wind is forecast to be light to start with and then pick up to 20 to 25kts as we round Cabo Ortegal, the most northern tip of Spain [I think]. Once in A Coruña we intend to berth at the Real (Royal) Nautico marina as the rumour is that I get ‘another’ 25% discount there being an Ocean Cruising Club member. This should please the mate as the marina is very close to the old town and she’s got a lot of birthday presents to go out and buy. Otherwise, A Coruña will be a working stopover as all those who know me and who know boats won’t be surprised to know that there are a two or three jobs to deal with onboard before we move on.


‘See’ you in A Coruña…