Adios Spain – Hola Portugal

After the botched sail out of Ria de Muros to the entrance to Ria de Arousa, things started to pick up. We were sailing, yes really!! without the engine and averaging 5 to 6 knots, with a plan to head to Isla Toxa Grande and anchor for the night. Bad idea, not enough room to swing a cat! so we sailed straight across the Ria to Reveira, dropping the anchor just off the beach for the night. The following morning the wind was up again as we headed north east to Villagarcia. We entered the marina and were directed to a berth, where we came in beautifully only to end up across the mooring at right angles to where we should have been. After a momentary attack of the Victor Meldrew’s we got the boat the right way around and all securely moored. We were then informed that we needed to move to a spot on the outside of the pontoon. I didn’t believe it.

We had a plan to get the train to Santiago de Compostela, which has a stunning cathedral surrounded by medieval streets and is the destination for many Christian pilgrims. It was a magnificent building and we were amazed by the numbers filling the square in front of the cathedral who’d either walked or cycled huge distances to get there.

Thankfully no incidents that day. No really, everything went to plan, nothing to report. Apart from the water heater incident. Oh, it was a minor thing, I’d just forgotten to turn off the water heart when we left the boat.  Nothing to worry about, unless you let your imagination run away with you and end up interrupting a wedding party trying to find someone Spanish to talk to the marina by phone and ask them to isolate the power to the boat. This is where the first mate played a blinder. Every boat needs someone brazen enough to interrupt wedding guests and sweet talk them into resolving the issue rather than focusing on the wedding. Excellent work first mate!!

We spent a few days relaxing in Villagarcia before heading out to the next Ria. We’d not planned to head into Cangas as we came into Ria de Vigo, but fog engulfed Vigo and Cangas was flooded in sunshine, so no brainer! It is a small fishing port with quite a few shops and a ferry direct to Vigo. While we’re on the subject of shops, they do love a shoe shop in Spain. They’re obsessed with them! Maybe Imelda Marcos hailed from Spain, hence her fixation with footwear. The ferry across to Vigo was great value and it was nice to let someone else take responsibility for the boat. There was a fab old fort overlooking the town with fantastic views across the Ria.

Worth mentioning that the Swedish secret service was still on our tails. Erling and Karin seemed to be tracking our movement and had a canny knack of arriving at the place we’d just left a day or so later. But wait! the next stop was Baiona and as we made the short journey across Ria we were hailed by Erling on Nike (pronounced Knee-kay). It was the first time we’d been contacted via radio since leaving Andrew and Gill at Belle Isle and it was great to have a chat and update.

We moored at Monte Real Club de Yates in Baiona. Best loo’s we’ve seen since leaving the UK, so one for the loo review girls to note. Once we’d got everything sorted we headed into the small Town. We’d only just crossed the road when we saw smoke coming from the engine compartment of a car. The owner discharged an extinguisher onto and around the bonnet. No surprise that it had no impact and the point at which the bonnet could be released was quickly disappearing. A crowd gathered as more smoke started to billow from the vehicle and the traffic in both directions came to a halt. Tension was mounting and the first mate asked if I was going to do anything. I needed no further prompting and sprang into action holding her hand firmly and guiding her through the gathered crowd quickly and purposefully away from the developing fire. A close call but I think you’ll agree, the most appropriate action for an ex firefighter to take.

The northern part of Baiona has medieval walls surrounding the old fort and makes for an enjoyable and interesting walk. What was surprising was the number of Jaguar cars with UK plates parked within the grounds of the hotel. We chatted to one of the owners, who was having a thoroughly enjoyable time trying to sort the brake problem on his E-Type. There was some proper mickey taking and banter from his fellow Jag owners, which left no doubt about their nationality.

Before leaving Baiona we visited the replica ship Pinta. The ship was a copy of the one that arrived at Baoina in 1493 with news of Columbus’s discovery of America. It seemed like such a small ship to undertake such a journey and crew had to sleep directly on the wooden floors as it wasn’t until reaching the new world that hammocks were adopted after seeing the locals using them. One for the next pub quiz I think.

The day of departure arrived and we were looking forward to a glass of port, when we reached port in Porto, Portugal. It was 65 nautical miles, most of which we motor sailed and as we entered the harbour, a huge tanker gave us a blast to let us know he was coming our way. We moved accordingly.

The next day was blisteringly hot as we boarded the metro that would take us to the centre of Porto. The real hub seemed to be focused around the river where many of the most famous Port houses are based. Needless to say, the first mate couldn’t help herself when the offer of tasting 5 different ports for €5 was available. Before I could stamp my authority on proceedings, she’d placed her order and was working through the first glass. I offered to help, which she accepted after tasting each one and deciding which was her least favourite.

There are some fantastic building in Porto and the Moorish influence is very evident. It was a thriving place with a real buzz to it and the musician we stumbled across playing guitar was a real highlight for me.

Here’s a little video the first mate made Adios Spain – Hola Portugal

Right, as usual I’ve reached my boredom threshold, so time to stop this writing nonsense, but next time we’ll be going potty in Portugal and arriving at our winter destination.

Until then Ciao

Captain Mac

9 Replies to “Adios Spain – Hola Portugal”

  1. May have to come and drink port with you in your winter destination, don’t want you two drinking alone, otherwise you’ll be like to wino’s before we know it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re such a hero Trev!! 😂
    Glad you are looking after my lovely sister in law! 😉
    Take care x love you both x


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