10 October 2013
We are now in our last week here in beautiful Galicia and we are preparing Vaila for her winter storage. Andy is busy changing the oil in the engine today and flushing the system with fresh water. We have taken the sails off now and I will clean the dinghy out in the next few days so we can stow it on deck. There is still a long list of stuff to do but it is a lot more relaxed than usual as we have more time and it looks like the dry weather will continue into next week.
We have had 4 visits from various police officers in the last 10 days – we must look suspicious! They are checking on all the boats with foreigners on in the ports and I get the feeling that the various police departments and the marina staff are not sharing information, so everyone that comes has to inspect the same documents again!
We decided to have a day trip to Vigo yesterday as its only 1 hour on the train and we wanted to have a look at the city, as we might not bother to go there next year and just head straight for Bayona and then Portugal. Vigo is the 14th largest city in Spain and a very busy port. The weather was lovely and we enjoyed wandering through the lanes of the old town. It was still very busy with tourists, as the cruise liners regularly stop there. We enjoyed a lovely “Menu del Dia” sitting in the shade and drank some lovely local wine too.
On the Prom at Vigo
Some of the lovely old buildings in Vigo
The views from the hill above the town were beautiful and we could see out to the Islas Atlanticas at the mouth of the Ria. These islands are a national park and you need permission just to go there and another permission to anchor there. We found the national park office by chance while wandering around Vigo and there was a lovely exhibition about the islands. We applied for the initial permission a few weeks ago and got it. It is valid for the whole of 2014, so we will apply for the anchoring permit just before we come back. We are really looking forward to visiting the islands as they are really unspoilt and beautiful, with sea bird colonies and amazing beaches and good snorkelling. The visitor numbers are limited by the National Park authority, hence all the permit requirements.
Looking to the Islas Atlanticas from Vigo
The main marina in Vigo is at the Real Club Nautico, which is currently undergoing refurbishment. When we saw it we were very glad that we are not over wintering there, as it is a bit of a mess and the shops and facilities are not nearly as handy as the ones here in Vilagarcia.
“The old man of the sea with the slightly younger one in front!”
Despite having lots of jobs to do we try to have a walk every day. There is a lovely prom all the way to the fishing village of Carril and the round trip is 4 Km so we try to do that every day. Sometimes we have a cool drink or ice cream half way! The tide was very low a few days ago and it was very interesting to watch whole families out with the rakes for the shellfish. Carril clams are renowned throughout this part of Spain apparently.
Our favorite walk along the Paseo Maritimo to Carril
Having a glass of Alberino wine at Carril
Shellfish beds at low tide
It was warm enough for me to have a swim 2 days ago, but the wind has got up today and it’s not so hot anymore, so that may have been my last swim of this trip. We fly back to the UK on the 17th October. We are not looking forward to the cold and the dark but we are looking forward to seeing our families and friends again.
So this will be the last update to the Blog for this year. We have traveled 1400 miles on Vaila and been away for over 3 months. It has been an amazing time and we are looking forward to more adventures next year. Thanks to everyone who has looked at and followed our blog and we will start writing again when we get back towards the end of April 2014…..