Finisterre on a good day

Sunday 28th August Dawn breaks (Camarinas Anchorage) with thick fog, so we decide to wait until the fog clears, as we will be rounding Finsiterre on route to our next port of call.  By 12 o'clock the visibility had improved enough to make a start, we decided on Muros at the entrance to the Ria de Muros as our next port about 35 miles to the south.  Finisterre (Finis Terrae) the Romans thought was the end of the world and in bad weather it could well be, but today the weather is kind and we motor-sail past 2 miles to seaward of the lighthouse.  We arrive in Muros Bay early evening and anchor in the bay, there is no marina.  For some unknown reason we both have a feeling of relief that we are safely round Finisterre and now heading South.  We will be picking up the Portuguese Trade Winds any day now, wrong!  We get away from Muros with a Northwest wind logging 6 knots ...... well for the first hour, then the wind dies, the fog rolls in and it's cold (for the first time since leaving the UK I had to wear a jacket because of the cold).  Visibility is down to about 50 metres, we are sailing about 5 miles offshore and have another 35 miles to Bayona, great!  The fog persisted until we were 2 miles from Bayona, then suddenly we break through into brilliant sunshine and the temperature shoots back into the seventies.  We make for the marina and book in, followed by a stiff drink in the cockpit, we both feel we deserve it after our arduous last 5 hours. 

Bayona has a place in history as the town Columbus returned to with the news that he had found the New World (1493) and a replica of this boat Pinta sits in the harbour as a visitor attraction.  Having spent a few days at sea and after spending the afternoon visiting his ship you realise just what a great achievement this was.  He was either very brave or stark raving mad, you pays your money and you makes your choice. 


 Anne with friends aboard Pinta






Bayona had lots to offer so we decided to stop here a few days and have our mail sent out from England as we had some important papers to attend to.  While waiting for the mail to arrive we joined in with the tourists and visited the castle and a few other places of interest.  We also sailed about 5 miles offshore to the Islas Cies which is a group of three islands, two of which are joined by a sandy beach creating a large lagoon and giving the appearance of a Caribbean Island.

                    Islas Cies                                                                            The view from the lighthouse

We spent a couple of days here and walked up Monte Agudo (197 metres, highest point on the island) to the lighthouse, that turned out to be quite a climb as some parts are near vertical, plus it was a very hot day.  The views from the top were magnificent and well worth the climb.

Another great thing about this part of the world is with wine at 1 euro a bottle it's great sitting in the cockpit after such a trek, the pain soon disappears while your planning the next adventure.  After a week in Bayona and receiving our mail it's time to move on, next morning we set sail for Viana do Castelo, well not so much sail as switch on the engine and motor as there is no wind (again).

Viana do Castelo will be our first port of call in Portugal, in many ways we are sorry to be leaving Spain as we are now comfortable at finding our way around and knowing what to look and ask for in the various ports of call.  I have been learning to speak Spanish from a book and CD set lent to me by Richard (Bindy Boo) and have been getting on quite well, now it will be all change as Portuguese is very different from Spanish.  Never mind we will be in the med next year.

Viana do Castelo is steeped in history dating from 1258 when it was founded, it has many fine buildings of Renaissance and Baroque architecture and is well worth a visit.  When approaching from the sea the sanctuary of Santa Luzia stands on the top of a hill dominating the town.  The Scacre Cur in Paris inspired the design and like that monument it has a vehicular railway running to the summit, the difference being the one in Paris works.  So here we go again, climbing to the top.  Viana do Castelo has one other amenity to offer we can get our Calor Gas bottle filled here.  This is great as we are now on to our second bottle and the refill should see us into our winter berth.


   The Sanctuary of Santa Luzia


Tomorrow Saturday 10th September we will be again heading South with Oporto as our next port of call.












Goodbye Spain, Hello Portugal