Isla Cies, Atlantic Islands National Park to Baiona

Islas Atlanticas, Parque Nacional, Espana

Islas Atlanticas, Parque Nacional, Espana

Off, the three of us went to Cies and anchored in a bay of the larger island,” Isla Del Norte” (bay 4 on the above photo).   By the time we anchored and launched the dinghy it was pitch black.  We landed on the beach, and with the help of mobile phone torch (Flashlight) application made our way up a track following Teresa. She knows the islands very well and is very protective of them!  We thought the island was totally uninhabited but after awhile to our surprise we stumbled on a restaurant!!  There are people who are long time residents before it was made a national park plus campers and some boaters.  It all closes at end of Summer and the birds and see life can have peace from so many tourists!!

The next day we explored the island on foot and later in the day by dinghy to another bay.  Glenda walked to the top of the Light “Faro in the heat and since Teresa had done several times she kept Richard company healing from his bad back.  We occasionally make exception to our Vegetarian diet, like being in an island and only can eat seafood, so we tried fantastic  “ pulpo” (octopus)  salad.  By the time we returned to Elemiah it was pitch black again as no moonlight.  We had not put the anchor light on but could pick out Elemiah from 2 garden solar lights mounted in the winches.  The night was so quiet and beautiful we were one sailing and one motor boat in the whole bay!

Glenda & Teresa

Glenda & Teresa

The next day we decided to visit  the smaller island, Isla Sur (bay 3 on photo).  Teresa contacted a resident  friend of hers and was anxious to share his company with us. Teresa’s friend, Paco has his primary house in the island for many many years before it became protected as a National Park, therefore he and his wife are only one of 3 residents in the island. His wife does not visit much any more due to illness, she stays at Vigo. Paco is the President of the Committe of resident of all the Islands who together help protect the islands. We landed on the beach early in the morning of Sunday and there was Paco out with his dog walking on the beach.

Paco in green shirt and guests.

Paco in green shirt and guests.

From there it was a party and great Galician wine from Paco’s cellar.  Paco gave us a private extraordinary hike to the other side of the island. As all in life Paco and us also bonded as parents who share a special company, we know the pain of loosing a son and daughter!

Hiking with Paco

Hiking with Paco

 

The other end of the Island, an ancient mill

The other end of the Island, an ancient mill

We were able to contribute food for the evening meal as he was not expecting us and brought gluten free supplies for Glenda, brought milk, whatever as his refrigerator was down.  No matter, we were joined by his friends and together we created a feast of a meal.  By the end of the evening we were exhausted and our kind host Paco gave us a bedroom instead of making it back to Elemiah.  In Spanish style we were having dinner at midnight!!

Paco, had not anticipated all the guests and needed more food so whilst we were sleeping Paco and Javier, his young guest took our dinghy and laid a net to catch fish at 2:am!   By the morning Paco had brought in a plentiful supply of fish and gutted them.  Javier cooked a vegetarian paella for us!

Elemiah on Paco's private mooring

Elemiah on Paco’s private mooring

Our host Paco Conde

Our host Paco Conde

By the end of the day, Paco raided his cellar to give us some good Galician wine as a farewell gift!  We asked him to visit us in Rota, and warmly bid Paco goodbye.  We  returned our guest Teresa to Vigo who had her sweet mother and brother picking her up at the harbour.  Galician hospitality is the best we have experienced ever!!!

From Vigo we stayed a couple of nights in the last and beautiful town in Spain Baiona!  To all our fellow sailors, Baiona is a great town to visit the Pinta replica for only 2 euros, enjoy a visit to the sailing club and stock up with Galician food and wine. Next morning we said good bye to Spain and its wonderful hosts for a while!

View from castle wall overlooking charming Biaona Harbour

View from castle wall overlooking charming Biaona Harbour

Replica of Pinta, one of Colon's vessels  that arrived back from the New World to Baiona Harbor.

Replica of Pinta, one of Colon’s vessels that arrived back from the New World to Baiona Harbor.

 

Ria Pontevedra and Vigo, Spain

To our dear followers of our blog we apologize for the delay in writing, it is sometimes hard to get a good internet and then we have to go when there is good wind!  So here is our update for Our next stop in Ria Pontevedra was a small fishing town of Porto Nova.  With an on shore wind we went into this small marina.  As we were berthing,  Elemiah nudged against the wood on the pontoon which would have been no problem except there was a screw protruding that cut an inch through the paint to the steel.   Glenda used here good Spanish and told the harbour office that Richard was Furioso which did the trick as we had 3 free nights!  Luckily we had some epoxy filler on board and all is well.

Our reason to stop at Porto Novo is that it is cheaper than the next town Sanxenxo where the finish of the first leg of La Rueda de Espana (Spain’s equivalent to the Tour de France) was taking place next day.  We set off on our fold up bicycles to Sanxenxo and as the sea front road was closed to traffic we took the race route all the way to the finish line.  We were sure we would be stopped by the police but instead we got ovations from the crowd gathering early to see the race!  We waved back to the crowd in good spirit and famous for a few minutes! J  Glenda grew up coming out with family to watching the cyclists race in the Panamerican Highway in the Andes, so she thoroughly enjoyed seeing the cyclists pass so close.  We chatted with a nice family from a City of spain situated in Africa, Ceuta.

La Rueda de Espana

La Rueda de Espana

Our next stop was Ria Vigo and to the main city of Pontevedra Province, Vigo to get permission to visit one of the protected Atlantic Islands Isla Cies.

We tied up at the Real Club Nautica Vigo (Royal Yacht Club).  The club staff were helpful in telling us the only way was to fax our documents to the Park Authority and expect a reply by e-mail.  The club faxed the documents.  However, another English couple we had met earlier in our travels, Paul & Ann told us where the park office was and all we had to do is go there and they will issue a permit.  If you do not have a permit it is a 5,000 euro fine!

We were attended to by Teresa.  We then needed to find the immigration office and Teresa took us to the street to show the way in good Spanish style.  She was so “amable” (amiable), we extended and invitation to visit us on Elemiah and that led to Teresa taking time off work and go with us to Isla Cies! We developed a great friendship!

Glenda, Richard & Teresa

Glenda, Richard & Teresa

Before we left, Teresa introduced us to a friend of her’s who is an acupuncturist (Used to be a banker).  Well Jose hosted us at his house whilst he treated Glenda for sea sickness which she had done before in Vilagarcia.  Richard had pulled a muscle in his back taking our head (toilet, potty) apart to fix a leak.  Yuk!  So Jose did a very successful adjustment!  The next day Jose came to Elemiah for some EMDR from Glenda to overcome the fear of flying as an introduction to the EMDR technique and thanking for helping us heal our little bothers.

View from Jose's house overlooking Ria Vigo

View from Jose’s house overlooking Ria Vigo

Ria De Arousa & Ria Pontevedra

Whilst still in a marina in Vilagarcia de Arousa we met Jose owner of the local chandlery who had his wheel covered in leather by a man in Pontevedra.  It took a struggle to get our wheel off and with the help of a marina personnel (Cecil) who had an extractor, off the wheel came!  We arranged to leave the wheel at a bar in Pontevedra.

Nacho the Barman

Nacho the Barman

Very trusting as the wheel (La Rueda) is the only means to operate Elemiah! 

The short story is that 600,000 plus young Spaniards descended on Vilagarcia for a straight 20 hrs festival with fun electronic music, yet right on our noses. the festival started about 20 yrs ago as asimple religious parade yo the church ofSan Roque and the villagers were asking for some water after they went uphill in the middle of the heat.  Now after the festival, everyone goes tothe church and they get really wet!! like carnaval at the style of Ecuador in February.  Difficult to sleep through all that! as the wheel was not done, we collected it from Nacho the barman and high tailed it out of the Marina to a very quie t anchorage in the bay of Cabo de Cruz for 2 days.  Ashore we met Rosa who entertained us at her house and we in turn had her over to Elemiah in the evening  Rosa had moved 30 yers ago to Paris and became a professional makeup artist for theater and movies.  Her last movie was Troy with Brad Pitt!  She comes down to this beautiful little fishing village every Summer for her connection with family and roots.

We then up anchor and off to the next Ria of  Pontevedra.  After the town of Pontevedra,  our port of call was Combarro arriving 18/8/2013.  Off we went on a short taxi ride to the town of Pontevedra with wheel to Nacho’s bar. Glenda happened to take advantage of local nespaper reading and found it that one ofher favorite Spanish singers is giving a free concert!  Then on to attend the  concert given by Paloma San Basilio who is going around the country giving her last concerts before retiring.

Taking a dip in Cabo de Cruz

Taking a dip in Cabo de Cruz

Richard on Deck

Richard on Deck

Glenda taking a refreshment

Glenda taking a refreshment

Elemiah at anchor

Elemiah at anchor

Glenda got the scissors to her shirt

Glenda got the scissors to her shirt

The man who was putting leather on our wheel is called Compacho although Richard found it easier to refer to him as Gazpacho!  Anyhow, Gazpacho finished the wheel and we met him at another cafe in Pontevedra. In the meantime we visited the beautiful 9th cdntury city of Pontevedra which has beginnings in the Roman days. Here we are with our leathered wheel.

La Rueda

La Rueda at Camino de Santiago

Then we were going to leave Combarro for a bay that had many visiting classic  French and Spanish wooden yachts.  We were near departing and found out that after 4 days we had a free day at the marina, and had to wait for our laundry!  Low and behold the wooden boats turned up at our marina for lunch!.  We were invited for wine and food aboard a Spanish yacht designed by British designer David Hillyard. I fever you can try “pimientos de padron” cooked simple with olive oil!!  The tapas most famous vegetarian dish of Galicia

Fun aboard the Hillyard

Fun aboard the Hillyard with Manuel the chef of the pimientos and a fellow English female sailor, Anne

Hillyard again

Hillyard again shaking an Irish sailor

On the right Javier owner of the Hillyard

Brothers Javier  and Fernando owners of the Hillyard and Fernando a talented sailmaker

Until the next post farewell and us on to Portonovo to see the start of  the” Vuelta de Espana” and Glenda can reminisce her days in the Andes coming out to the highway to watch cyclists’ tours!

By the way do not worry if you have not had a blog and you see bad weather in our area.  We try not to venture out in bad weather.

Glenda & Richard

Journey Progress

Since leaving A Coruna we went to Camarinas then went by Cape Finneterre also known as Costa Del Morte (Coast of Death).  Cape Finisterre was at one point the most westerly point in the known world.  We probably should have stopped and walked out to the end of the cape but the nearby anchorage was too exposed to the northerly winds.  We wanted to go to a sheltered point and then take a taxi but while Glenda is getting used to the sea again and gets a bit seasick, so we elected to press on to Ria Muros.  We anchored off Muros had a cup of tea then decided to go over and anchor off Portosin and use the WIFI at the yacht club there. This area is very busy with Spaniards on holiday in August.

Spent a couple of nights anchored off Portosin then went on to the next Rias de Arousa.  De Arousa is the biggest Ria (Spanish for Estuary) and known to be the nicest.  As we entered in the hot afternoon sun we saw boats anchored off an island beach so made our way there.  The bottom dropped off rapidly so the anchor depth was 20 metres.  Later all the boats left.  At that point knowing the winds were from the north and onshore in relatively deep water we up anchor and went over to a more sheltered bay.  We were the only pleasure yacht there.  During the night the wind did get up so luckily we were nicely tucked in.

The next day we went to a marina in Vilagarcia de Arousa as Glenda wanted to do a 25 kilometre pilgrimage walk along the last part of the Portuguese Camino (Road) to Santiago de Compostela.  I was going to take the Train! so we needed the boat in a marina. Glenda’s walk was in the memory of David and for all Juniper’s wishes to come true.

As much as I tried to discourage Glenda saying it was hot, hilly and she was not fit for a 25 KM walk she did set off and made the journey.  It is unbelievable the number of pilgrims who arrive in Santiago de Compostela each day!  In 2008, 125,141 pilgrims registered. Glenda saw a lot of pilgrims on her stretch and most had walked many days.  The route is centuries old and fascinating.  There are 3 main routes.  The French Camino, The Portuguese Camino originating in Lisbon and The English originating in the port of A Coruna. The Cathedral is the most visited Catholic site after St Peter’s in Rome.  St James is reportedly buried here.  St James was beheaded in Judea and remains were taken up the Ria we are currently in, Ria De Arousa.  Glenda’s walk started at Padron where a church was built around the stone that reportedly was used to tie up the boat carrying St James’ remains. Richard also did a little repair in the dinghy. Tomorrow we are setting of to Ria Pontevedra.

Glenda arriving in front of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Glenda arriving in front of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

End of the Known World

End of the Known World

 

Glenda At The Helm

Elemiah at anchor

Elemiah at anchor

 

Glenda At The Helm

Glenda At The Helm

A Pilgrim and Husband

A Pilgrim and Husband

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glenda on board Elemiah with Richard

We have spent a few days together, resting, finishing loose ends from closing job and apartment in Houston and getting food supplies, including gluten free! Glenda arrived joyful to join Richard and sad to have lost Jazzy our cat of 13 yrs. Fortunately, Jazzy showed up to Juniper 11 days later, a miracle!
We also visited Santiago de Compostela by train and on arrival walked straight to the magnificent Cathedral. We happened to arrive half hour before the Mass in memory of the lost and injured of the tragic train accident. The Cathedral was packed, Glenda found a spot on the floor with a group of students from Virginia and Richard happened to find rest on the cushion of a confessionary. Well, he had his moment of fame! The TV networks had him live on screen for about a minute! Wet as we were, he looked like he had done a pilgrimage from Falmouth! 🙂
We could no longer wait for right direction of wind, so we sailed of on Saturday, August 3rd, with SW winds on our nose, therefore we had to motor our way to Camariños. Not ideal conditions for Glenda’s first sail in 20 months, so she navigated seasick, but at least with warm weather!
Richard installed a digital volt/ammeter brought by Glenda from USA to replace analogue instruments to assist monitoring battery usage.
We are nicely anchoraged in a charming fishing port!

Waiting in La Coruna

Elemiah & I are still moored up in La Coruna waiting for Glenda to arrive from USA on 18th. Our friend and Crew Chris returns by air to the UK tomorrow.

Once Glenda has settled down from closing a home and job in Houston we are off to the Spanish Rias and around Cape Finisterre.

We need some sail repair this week which showed up on our trip. Annoyed at the sail maker who did not do a great job this year on a nearly new main sail we purchased. It took 5 goes back to the sailmaker! Anyhow not a major calamity better now before we get into some heavy weather.