Month: July 2017

Back to Muros, On to Santiago

Here we are back in Muros. It’s just after 1 o’clock on a warm Saturday 24th June . We went to bed 12 hours ago after Pedro Snr (marina boss) invited us and a few other yachties (French, Irish and English) to a street BBQ last night.

We’ve surfaced. Most of Muros, some of which partied until dawn, has not. it was a good night, there is a distinct air of quietness about…. but from leaving Sanxenxo to here:

Islas Cies

Rapidly departing Sanxenxo we headed 15m across to Isla Ons, the largest of the Islas Cies group off Vigo.

To stay you need to register at the National Parks office and then apply for a permit with date of stay: all done, all done efficiently. In our case at the office in Vigo followed by online permit application.

To ensure the area is not overwhelmed by visiting boats.

We anchored, went ashore, walked up to the lighthouse:

From the lighthouse on Isla O Faro looking SE ish at San Martino. The outskirts of Vigo faintly visible on the left through the haze

it’s a long and winding road to the top

Autonomous Boats

There’s a lot of talk about autonomous cars these days: I can confirm that it has already happened in the boat world

Self driving boats

The dinghy in the foreground had autonomously decided to head to Vigo, away from it’s Irish owners.

The more distant yacht was doing the same.

Out of shot, stage right, are 2 Belgians, previously enjoying the beach until that “oh firkit” moment when the realised their boat was off on its own… now very determinedly paddling as fast as their blow up beach dinghy would allow…..and yet to come was the 45ft Irish yacht at speed…

Both caught their respective runaways.

Soft white sands, turquoise water. Nice.

And finally, our most distant point south:

Taken from our most Southerly point, looking at both of the lighthouses on Isla O Faro . At this point we are 693 miles from home (as the seagull flies)

Beautiful as it was, the Islas were uncomfortable at anchor. Besides the now re-parked Belgian, a Swedish boat came by at night. He dropped hook about 100yds away. By morning he had autonomously dragged his anchor to about 20yds away. We upped and left for Porto Novo.

Porto Novo (Ria Pontevedra)

Not much to say. Nice marina, with nice beach, nice bar overlooking the nice marina and nice beach. Very little left of the old town and much given way to modern buildings with restaurants.

So exciting we didn’t take any photos.

Portosin (Ria Muros y Noia)

Friendly, well run marina spoilt by adjacent fishing port working all hours.  We went for a walk in the town but gave up due to lack of anything interesting and turned back.

More autonomous boats: We stayed 1 night. On the next hammerhead seagulls decided to congregate and were doing well when we crashed out around 11pm.

The next morning an autonomous boat had snuck in and sunk itself. We heard nothing. The seagulls said nothing. The marina night watchman saw nothing.

Inspection of the hull revealed a rectangular hole about 30x45cm. Now how did that get there?

And back to Muros

One night in Portosin was sufficient: 5 miles away lay our final destination – Muros. It was a tough decision but we set off late and arrived before mid day.

Pedro Snr warned us about yet another noisy night to come: Mid Summers night / Festival of the Witches: bonfires everywhere: beach, streets, gardens. A little evidence of religious artillery to be expected…

Invited to a BBQ by Pedro in the small main square starting at 2130 we ate and drank along with a few other crews until 0100.

The knockout blow being the Witches Brew. it goes like this:

  • take one cauldron, apply a load of coffee beans, lemons, oranges and a few other flavourings
  • sling in a flammable spirit and set fire
  • add a few bottles of wine and keep alight
  • serve hot, very hot

All this done on Muro’s genuine celtic / pagan statue

The French are coming…

And still haven’t worked out how to arrive at port: just now a very nice Jeaneau 42  DS arrived, winds gusting to F6. 2 people on board. No lines ready!! Takes 2 attempts to land, crunch neighbour a bit, 3  people ashore to hold them whilst they get lines out and ready attached…Incroyable…

And then a French HR42…expensive boat…medium winds…missed his pontoon despite having bow thruster and a powerful enough engine.

Ah well.

And that’s the end of boating until August.  Filibuster is being looked after by Pedro. I’m back at home.

The rain in Spain falls, quite often on the coast.

Santiago de Compostella

I’m now officially “an old git”. Hooray – I can be grumpy without being guilty. This change of seniority happened whilst in Spain. Family came out to ensure the transition happened smoothly, stayed on the boat and in these 2 incredible locations:

Paradores Hotel des Reis Catholicos (Hotel of the Catholic Kings)

The front door. Note gargoyles gargoyling. It’s raining. Note lack of tourists outside.

Some superlatives to describe this incredible hotel:

  • Built in 1499, claimed to be the oldest hotel in the world (??)
  • On the main square of old Santiago de Compostella, next to the Cathedral and envrions
  • Has a 79 point historic tour inside the building
  • Has sufficient space for a full size church within its’ walls

We stayed for one night to celebrate my birthday. It’s a true 5 star. It’s not cheap. It’s worth it.

More about the hotel on their website. Paradores is a range of superb hotels, largely using old building and is state run. Well run from our experience.

BTW A key reason for choosing Spain to celebrate my 60th was to avoid the problem encountered on my 50th whence it rained cats and dogs and the outdoor events were all cancelled. Spain had to warmer, drier didn’t it? Well no. It rained, as some of the pics above show 🙁

Never mind, Santiago is a great place to visit, Easyjet and Ryanair both fly there, it’s €3 by bus to the airport and you can easily fill a weekend. We filled our boots with a multi course tapas meal for 4, 2 bottles of wine and some beer all for less than €60!

Casa Grande de Bachoa

The only reason we stayed in the hotel was after seeing it in a TV Programme by Alex Polizzi. “Spectacular Spain, Episode 5 on Ch 5”. I had fancied a villa in the mountains with a swimming pool.

My prayers were answered on our last night at Casa Grande de Bachoa . Only half an hour from Santiago airport. Spectacular again.

Our room – just €70

The view from the balcony including mountains and swimming pool

Main building

Panorama showing pools and annex. Our suite up on the right.



And the sailing Martin?

You may have noted that this blog has become a bit of a travelogue. Sailing has not featured much. Neither in the blog or reality. Our log shows 660nm covered. Sailed proper about 60nm. Have consumed about 225l of diesel, which is about the same as the 2 past years combined…. not good.

But that’s it for part 1 in Spain. Let’s hope for better sailing in part 2 starting in August.