Arrival in Portugal

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Fri 17 Jul 2009 10:46

Started our way down the Portugal coast out of Baiona, we made a big hop of 69 miles luckily all downwind as we had a window in the weather, we tried all the sails out even the Big Blue Cruising Shute for a while until the wind dropped completely for about 2 hours, we lost a winch handle over board when the wind got up in the afternoon,  luckily David has some in stock, but  we put that item on our shopping list of things to get,  we were sailing along going through 10 knots toward Leixoes Porto ( said like Layahoinsh ).  




Holding on tight, a bit rough


The harbour is small but ok and when we arrived it was full, so we anchored in 27 knots of wind outside the harbour wall.  We had very good holding and had lots of swinging room so we were all happy.  The Harbour office just required our passports and a look at our ships papers and took about 5 mins.


We had a windy night at anchor but right on the nose all night, it didn’t ease off until early morning where we ribbed ashore in beautiful sunshine and caught the no 507 bus to the centre of Porto to the Ribeira district which is on the Ria Douro.  The Riberia District is a Unesco world heritage zone of winding lanes, zigzagging staircases and tiles churches peering around every corner.  The city centre is quite dilapidated and has been left to crumble in parts, which is sad.


A bit of history -  Porto put the ‘Portu’ into Portugal, the name dates back to the Roman times, and is where Port wine comes from.


We sat and had lunch at one of the popular street cafes along the riverfront with Robin & John from Panthera, people watching and deciphering the menu, we chose squid and salad, which was excellent washed down with a bottle of Douro white wine.   Later we were walking back up to the bus station when David spotted another tile shop and suggested Robin goes in, so we pilled in, next thing we knew Robin had her arms around a young man exclaiming “My god I don’t believe it”   Well the short story is the young lad is her best friend in NZ son and girlfriend, they are travelling around Europe and they happen to meet up in a tile shop in Porto.  Spooky…..David using his physic skills again….ooh..




                                                                        Another church




River front area


We left them all to reunite and David and I caught the metro back and walked through the small Lexioes town and past the beach to the boat.  Early night was had as we had another 70 miles to sail down to Figueira da Foz




Suzanne & David xxx