Our last Spanish ria was Vigo. We headed for the royal yacht club as it sounded just our kind of place! But it wasn't, unfriendly, grotty and ridiculously expensive. We spent a pleasant day exploring Vigo and left that evening. We then headed up to the Ensanada de San Simon which is like a lake at a bend in the rio to anchor for the night. We left Vigo with no wind, didn't even bother to put the sails up but as we approached the bend we suddenly had 20 knots of wind. We headed for what we thought would be the most sheltered area and had 2 attempts at setting the anchor while we swung in the wind. The next thing we knew there was a strange Dutchman standing by the side of us in his dinghy. After a 'Dead Calm' moment (thanks for that DVD Claire-Louise & Jeremy ... we think!) he came aboard for a drink. He lives on a 1930's wooden fishing boat which appeared to be in desperate need of TLC. His jeans had so many patches I think they were holding them together and he proudly announced that he didn't do laundry but bought new when he had to and only filled his water tanks every 6 months! By then we understood why!
The next morning we sailed back down the rio to Cangas. We left our anchorage in the same heavy winds only to round the bend and find next to no wind! I think we'd managed to anchor in the only windy spot in the Ria! We had a good sail with the genoa, accompanied by dolphins to a really friendly, relatively cheap marina - they even had a washing machine! Amazing how the little things in life can excite you when you live on a boat!
Our final stop in the ria Vigo was Baiona and on the way we dropped the anchor in a beautiful bay for lunch. Baiona was very touristy but interesting and nice with a big castle and a reconstruction of the Pinta (Spain's answer to the Matthew) which was one of Columbus' fleet and touched land in Baiona first after 'discovering' the New World'. We picked up a buoy in the royal yacht club as we'd heard lots of bad things about the marina. Amazingly helpful - they even came out in a launch and handed us the mooring lines - lucky we were in control on approach or could've been very nasty! The yacht club was terribly posh with lots of big leather chairs and very cheap drinks!
And now we're in Portugal at Viana do Castelo which is lovely. We've been here for a few days and been on a funicular railway to a church with spectacular views of the Portuguese mountains and Atlantic coast plus the ruins of a 2,000 year old city. A few nights ago we watched a celebration of traditional music, bands and dancing. we were a little afraid that it was laid on for the tourists, but were pleasantly surprised to find that it was for all the local music and dancing clubs, with a range of styles reminiscent of Austrian folk music to Scottish bagpipes and Irish ceilidhs....a good night once it got started. Yesterday we took the bus (we thought we were going on the train and so caused great confusion in the train station before being directed to the bus station!) to Punte do Lima, up river which had decorated the pavements of the old town with flowers for a Corpus Christy. The procession later in day then walked over them which seemed such a shame! The weather is now hot and sunny - the quilts came off today.......
Click here for the map of our travels