Roaming the random header image

Con amegos Conway en Golfo Artabro

August 27th, 2008 · No Comments

Mary: Having left David in Kinsale, well not left him, left him. I spend a few days with friends in the Midlands then travelled north to play the game of who can spot me in Scotland. So I’m waiting on your replies on that one!

Katrina was waiting on the platform in Edinburgh to escort me out of the country. 03_Dinghy2Betanzos.jpg (click on image for a better version of image, back arrow to get back to story)

We had an interesting trip on the train with gourmet food and drink. No not British Rail it was Conway cuisine and we were not driving. Flight from Liverpool worked well, a direct flight to Santiago de la Compostela, but the booked taxi, booked in my best Spanish, didn’t turn up, no problem to us we took another and found it was cheaper anyway. When I say my best Spanish it was actually their best English with the chico who habla English.

I was sorry to have missed David L. as he had left earlier I think/hope he must have had a calming influence on the others because the leg pulling started as soon as we arrived on board. The banter was however good and I felt very comfortable back on board.

Tony left early in the morning for home.

We had a lazy morning so lazy that when we did get up the town the shops were closing for siesta time and because it was festival would not be open again later as normal. So we make our way to Sada, with a fishing line attached to the stern, we caught 4 but one got away (the really big one) enough for lunch the next day. So the record for the largest fish still stands with Rebecca, Camy and Peden.

Sada was alive and bustling, fiesta in full swing, children, middle aged, old and young folk like myself, dancing in the square. 08_Fiesta_Dancing.jpg

Now we are told that there is another fiesta in the next village but the locals didn’t rate it very highly, but we thought we would take a look. We couldn’t take Giselle up the river because of the depth of water, but we could go by dinghy. Towards Betanzos we go, four in the dinghy, five miles up the Rio Mandeo, only one got a wet bottom! And it wasnae me! Now this was a fiesta, 07_Bride_Groom_Betanzos.jpg

Everyone was out either dressed for a part or dressed in their best watching gear. It’s so good to see such family spirit and everyone being involved, and relaxed.

The next night we’re out looking for tapas bars, the ones off the main streets with locals are usually the best, the one we found one that certainly had locals, off the main street, but a big TV screen, not sure. Taberna A Perla. We sat at the bar first, then a table for some superb food almejas, very similar to the French patagos we bought in ile d’yeu and cooked in les sables d’olonne one year. That journey between the two French harbours was exciting with 10 knots down nearly every wave, not in Giselle but a previous boat a trailer sailer, a 22 foot Foxterrier, we also had three children on board 8, 5 and 4 years old! Back to our table in Sada, so we had almejas or clams, setas – mushrooms, pimientos – peppers, and jurelos – sardines. Yes it was delicious!

Next day and time to move on, we set off, the wind increased, the swell got bigger and the froth on the top slapped onto the deck, no wet bottoms this time but decided to make for harbour. More on this weather later.

Into Mugardos in Ria del El Ferrol, the pilot book is not very complimentary to this area, but I have to disagree, we had a fantastic time here Anchored off sandy shore, lots of activities going on all around, felt very snug and secure.12_Our_Beach.jpg

So this is what we did! First day ashore, walk into town (before closing) bought a few bits, while in the butcher/cheese shop, a gentleman took my arm and said something miles too fast for me to understand, I thought he wanted me to move so I did, but no he wanted a conversation, he spoke slower this time and said in Spanish he could speak a little French, I replied saying that I could also speak a little French and that I was from Scotland, ah Scotland then he smiled, hesitated and said that I had very good English! Off he went but returned a few minutes later with a couple of sweeties! Now I can hear Rebecca and Kirsty saying What I took sweeties from a strange man yes, but I didn’t tell you his age! Or that our minders were outside!

We thought the La Isla, bar was inviting so went for lunch. Now the food in Sada was good but this was even better, freshly cooked, simple and delicious. 10_La_Isla.jpg

Gambas (prawns) grilled, pulpo a la gallega (octopus, with paprika and olive oil), all washed down with Ribeiro wine, served in the traditional bowl, like the cider in France.

I wish food in Scottish pubs was always this good!

While in the taberna, we saw the news where, the day before, when we were out, people were being rescued off rocks because of the enormous swell and harbours further south in Portugal were closed. So Katrina when we say it was a big swell it really was.

We took a leisurely walk back to the shore and had a snooze, well, we rested our eyes from the sun, then had a swim. Perfect, you might think, it got better, BBQ on beach for supper using wood from the shore, burnt down to ashes, we then used that to cook the food. 14_BBQ.jpg

It was a late when we got back to the boat.

All day the locals were fishing around the boat. Little boats with their lines out, boats with a the fisherman handling a long rod with what looked like a rake and a bucket on the end, and people on the shore collecting shells of some sort just as we would collect cockles, in fact they were collecting the almejas. One group of ladies sang as they collected, and worked their way up or down with the tide line. The Spanish eat more seafood then any other European country except Portugal. The little rakes were available in the town, we bought one and used it to collect a few almejas for our BBQ nothing like fresh food!

Our second day at the same anchorage, David and Stuart were sent off to explore Ferrol itself, and get the shopping for another BBQ. The second BBQ was just as good. And for a second night we watched a small fishing boat lay his net, between us and the Giselle, no lights at all! Not even a torch.

Morning again and now we’re going back to Sada, the day starts with very heavy rain, no wind, little swell but not cold.

After an hour or so the rain stops and we’re making five and a half to six knots to windward in force three. That’s good going!

Sada, showers, then taxi and train to Santiago de la Compostela, in the middle ages it was the third most important place of pilgrims after Jerusalem and Rome 17_Santiago_Cathedral.jpg

Now although full of wonderful old buildings and of course the cathedral, it is also home to every type of street seller, selling the most awful cheap junk. There are still a few angels, and still lots of pilgrims.19_angels.jpg


After a few rations, we say goodbye to Katrina and Stuart.

We return to Giselle.

Golfo Artabro is the collection of Rias including Coruna, El Ferrol, Betanos and Ares

Tags: Atlantic Leg · Friends & Family