Atlantic Spain | Atlantic Islands National Park | Cies Islands |Playa Arena das Rodas
May 31, 2012
Hi everyone, We had a great week at anchor. We anchored off Isla Tambo for 3 nights all alone. The Immigration boat shined a light on us at 4AM and then came back later that night to check our papers. We visited Combarro but didn't feel comfortable with the seagrass anchorage to leave the boat to visit Pontevedre. So we'll do that from Vigo. Cambarro is a cute village with a Medieval old town. Crooked lanes and rock houses with many horroes along the waterfront. Horroes are found through out rural Galicia. They are storage places for grain and other agricultural produce keeping them same from rodents and birds. The basic structure sits upon a series of pillars that end in round or square platforms designed to make it impossible for small animals to climb up to the top. Most are made of stone and often crowned with a cross or some other stone decoration.
Then Monday afternoon we motor/sailed over to Cies Islands which are part of the Atlantic Islands National Park. We anchored off of Playa Arena das Rodas which reminded us a lot of Julian Bay in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior our old cruising grounds. First this mile long sandy beach and lagoon join Isla Faro and Isla del Norte much like Presque Isle and Stockton Islands are joined. Secondly we were always told the singing sands of Julian Bay were unique to that beach. Wrong...the sands of Playa Arena das Rodas also sing when you walk through the dry sand! We had the anchorage to ourselves Monday and Tuesday. Then 5 other boats arrived on Wednesday.
Spain | Ceis Islands | Isla Faro | great views hiking on the island
Tuesday we hiked for 4 hours doing all the trails on Isla Faro. We were constantly on the lookout for nesting seagulls as they were everywhere even on the trails. Mama didn't care for visitors and she'd squawk and others would dive bomb our heads. Had a nice picnic lunch at Monte Faro and then hiked to the light house overlooking the western side of the island. We walked back on a trail from the small light house along the beach. Wed. we did some boat chores. I cleaned the stainless and Al rebuilt the "head". Neither job was pleasant but I preferred mine:-)
Thursday morning we hiked the trails on Isla del Norte for three hours and had a picnic lunch. We liked getting an early start before the ferryboats arrived with the school groups. Today we decided to go to Real Club Nautica dos Vigo Marina where we'll be leaving Artemis while we come home. Its a nice marina right downtown Vigo, Spain so things are very accessible. The management is very helpful and the price is right. Only 350 Euro to be here for 5 weeks and they have a van to take us to the airport (included) Also swimming pool, sauna, turkish bath, gym, wifi with no extra charges. This is definitely NOT the Med. After lunch Al and I went exploring Vigo for 4 hours and especially enjoyed the views from the lovely gardens of the castle overlooking the bay and city. There is a huge fishing fleet in Vigo Bay some are 200ft long and here are many huge seafood storage facilities. We look forward to seeing more of Vigo and the surrounding area before we fly home on Wednesday. Happy Weekend. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Portugal | Figureira Do Foz | Artemis in marina on river Figueira Do Foz
May 25, 2012
Hi everyone, Happy Memorial Day Weekend! We left Figureira Do Foz, Portugal on Monday. We had already paid for 3 days at 21.50 E daily rate but the new man on duty said it was a mistake and would we pay for Sunday at the correct High Season Rate of 37.50 Euro. We decided to go 77nm to PovoaVarzim, Portugal. Glad we did. Puff our Dutch friends were there and here we thought we had said Good-bye last Friday. So we went out for a nice fish dinner. Al had sole and I had Turbot. Excellent meal and wonderful company. Complimentary rabinadas (dessert) and Tawny Port. Tuesday we said good-by to Yvonne and Dico again and then walked about to reacquaint ourselves with Povoa Varzim (6 days in 2006). We decided to go back to the same restaurant for fish again. This time we ordered a rock bass and turbot. Another great meal. Wednesday we motor-sailed to another port we visited in 2006 Viana Castelo, Portugal. cute town and fun to walk about but no Jazz Festival this time.
Yesterday we went about 52 nm to the port we landed in after crossing the Bay of Biscay in 2006, Baiona (Bayona), Spain. Yes we are back in Spain and good internet! We anchored out but didn't go ashore. This morning we decided to sail by Ria Vigo and visit Ria Pontevedra the next ria. We are anchored all alone off Isla Tambo near Combarro, Spain. We've inflated our dingy for the first time this season. We'll move half mile closer to the town tomorrow for a visit and take a bus trip to Pontevedra. We have a National Park permit to visit the Ceis Islands off of Ria Vigo Mon-Fri. Then we'll have to move into Vigo marina on the weekend to prepare for out flight home. Happy 3rd birthday Maddie and Happy Baptism Day Sara! Safe travels over the holiday. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Portugal | Fatima
May 20, 2012
Hi Everyone, We had good winds for a longer passage on Thursday so we skipped Nazare (visited 2006) and went 52nm to Figureira da Foz a marina in the mouth of the Mondego River. So glad we did as our Dutch friends Yvonne and Dico on Puff the Magic Dragon were there. It was fun catching up since Barcelona. They are on passage to Holland to prepare their boat for Atlantic crossing to the Caribbean this winter. We also met an American couple Marty and Paul Rogers on s/y "Canty" from Camden Maine. They're heading south after many years Summer cruising Norway, Finland, Baltic, Scotland, Ireland.... It was fun looking at some pictures and hearing about some of our future anchorages and ports.
Portugal | Coimbra | Monastery of Holy Cross
Friday we took a train to Coimbra one of the oldest university towns in Europe and once capital of Portugal back in 12 and 13th centuries. Fun, fun excursion. Coimbra is located on a steep hill above the Mondego River. We visited the Velha Universidade, Se Velha, Se Nova, but most fun was Monastery of Holy Cross. We enjoyed wandering the narrow pedestrian only streets, people watching and taking pictures of the ornate buildings and churches.