Thursday 18th August It was 17.00 hours when we arrived in the marina at Gijon having motor sailed all the way from Ribadesella, the wind again being on the nose. We booked in for a couple of nights as Gijon being the largest city in the area would be able to offer the various services we required. Gijon is a modern city with nearly all new buildings as most of the old town was destroyed during the Civil War. Having completed what bits and pieces we needed to do we moved on, as Gijon was a bit like any other big town. Our next port of call was to be Ribadeo after rounding Spain's most northerly point and a further 48 miles along the coast. We had a good sail as far as Punta de La Estaca de Bares (Spain's most northerly point), then turning west we were back with the wind on our nose, so on went the engine again. Ribadeo is situated about 2 miles up the Ria de Ribedeo and there is a small marina run by the local Yacht Club. To our surprise on arrival at the marina our ropes were taken by a Scottish couple, who as it turned out were from the Isle of Arran, John and Alison had bought a 44ft Van de Stat in Croatia in May and were sailing her back home where they were going to refit her before setting out to cruise in the Baltic next year. We spent a convivial evening with them exchanging information and reminiscing about times on Arran. Next morning, they set off heading East, the way we had come. As it was the 21st August and the Skipper's birthday we spent the day in harbour and in the evening had a meal out in the town (what a life). Ribedeo was in the middle of a festival and that evening we were entertained with live music and a firework display to round off the day. Next morning we set off for Santa Marta de Ortigueira which is in a Ria of the same name, some forty odd miles along the coast. Another day with very little wind so it was again on with the motor. Anne enjoys these days as the autohelm does the work while she sunbathes ( and cooks the odd meal). Due to the calm conditions we decided to visit Carino instead as it was about 5 miles closer and offered a safe harbour. On arrival we were surprised (and pleased) to find there was a Town Pontoon where you could go alongside and it was free. The town was also holding it's festival, so we decided to stay a couple of nights and join in the fun. We were visited by a Spanish couple (the women originally from York) who had a holiday house here and they were very helpful and gave us information on where to visit and what to see. Carino is surrounded by hills and forest, this reminded us of Scotland (without the midges) and we decided in the afternoon to walk to the lighthouse at Cabo Ortegal through the forest using a path the Spanish couple had told us of. The forest is eucalyptus (not pine as in Scotland) and the smell would clear any sinus problem you have. The path was narrow and at some parts steep but when we emerged into a clearing beside the road near the lighthouse we found a cafe/bar, and as it was very hot and we were dry from the long hard climb, we thought it was time for some refreshment. We never did make it to the lighthouse, never mind we will see it when we sail past it tomorrow!
The forest at Carino as seen from the sea Fancy a beer?
Wednesday 24th August We departed Carino having very much enjoyed our short stay. It was becoming obvious that we were enjoying the smaller towns and villages more than the cities, they were somehow more interesting and enjoyable. We were now heading for La Coruna, the capital city of the province and the favourite port for yachts crossing the Bay of Biscay from the UK. We expected to find a number of British boats here, there had been very few in most of the ports and harbours we had visited so far. On arrival, the harbour was near empty and we were told a large number had departed a couple of days earlier after being held up for about a week due to bad weather. We stayed here only a couple of days to take on stores and do a couple of small repair jobs. We were keen to keep moving as we had heard from a couple (sailing out of Inverkip) we first met in Dublin had been in La Coruna only 9 days in front of us and were heading in the same direction. One thing we wanted to see when in La Coruna was the world's oldest lighthouse Tore de Hercules, originally built by the Romans when they occupied this part of the world and still in working order (although we were told someone has put a new bulb in since). Another highlight of La Coruna was dinner at the Yacht Club, 3 courses with wine, cost 6 euro. Up until now the cost of eating out has been the same as the UK. With a settled forecast for the next few days we departed La Coruna hoping to get round Finnistere after an overnight stop at Camarinas. For about the last week we have had light winds, light winds on the nose or no wind at all. Today we have light wind with a heavy swell, which rolls the boat and knocks the wind out of the sails, so it's engine on again. We arrive in Camarinas and anchor in the bay along with two other boats, we are only stopping overnight and will be away early in the morning! This morning (27th August) it's blowing a hoolie from the Southwest, one of the yachts has dragged it's anchor and the other has run for the marina, so here we are all on our own although it's perfectly comfortable. Tonight we hope to get ashore and add this to the web., Tomorrow, well we'll just have to wait and see, the forecast says it's to back Northeast (so fingers crossed).
Tore de Hercules, the world's oldest working lighthouse