Porto at last

Zahara: The story so far......
Ron Dunn
Thu 27 Aug 2009 16:41
Povoa de Varzim (just near Porto)
I only had two targets when I left Uk (apart from getting a suntan and total self indulgence!), one was to be in the Canaries by the end of October and other, to get to Porto by the 29th August to meet Janine. Well, I arrived in Porto yesterday so at least that's the first one met. I gave myself a month to do it, which sounds like a lot but it is just over 1,000 NM and with only a small boat and either inexperienced crew (or none at all) you have to be a bit careful with the weather. Still we made it thanks to 'Zahara' and Chris, who was a great help. Yes Chris, I have lost at least half a stone since you left!
Things can be fairly relaxed here on in with two weeks to drift down to Lagos or the Guadiana river (border of Spain and Portugal). Having said that, the weather down the Atlantic Portuguese coast can be challenging with a lot of swell, strong northerly winds and fog to consider. Sat here in Povoa today we have all three! 
My first impression of the locals here is very favourable with the Marina staff very helpfull and friendly. A change from the Galician's (no, not from Star Trek!) who I found pretty starchy and unfriendly. English is widely spoken, of course, which helps. especially as my Portuguese consists of Obrigado, Bon Dia! and Vino Verdi! 
I Came here rather than Porto itself because it's getting a very good reputation and it's cheap! the normal charge for a boat of my length is only 10 Euros a night and that includes free Wi Fi, Free electricity and water... And they give 50% discount for ARC entries. So, I can stay for less than a fiver a night. no wonder a lot of people stay here and live aboard.   

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