We are sitting here in the Marina at the historic town of Baiona and this is our last stop before we enter Portuguese waters. We left Vilagarcia on May 5 and both felt quite sad as we had spent quite a few weeks there and met some lovely people. Thanks to Marita and Emil for making us welcome on their beautiful boat “Mieli” and for sharing some good laughs.
The weather was a bit overcast when we left Vilagarcia, and the wind was on the nose but we managed to sail once we got out of the Ria and headed south. Our destination was the Isla Cies one of the Islas Atlanticas in the national park. We had applied for permission to anchor there and had the choice of 3 nights. The islands are spectacular and we arrived in the bay to find a tripper boat in, however they took their passengers on soon after and left us totally on our own.
The night was not terribly comfortable as the boat was rocking in the swell quite a lot (nothing between these islands and America!). It was worth it though, as we could explore the island at leisure all day. You can only walk on designated paths and there are many wild flowers, trees and birds. Everything was very green as the islands get a lot of rain. A few people do live on the island (National park rangers and campsite/shop owners), but nothing had really opened yet so it was all very quiet.
The west side of the islands has dramatic cliffs and a few bird hides on the edges of the cliffs. Mostly just seagulls but we did see some shearwaters and a pair of buzzards hunting.
We stayed a second night as it was so lovely and were rewarded with amazing weather. Blue skies and sunshine.
From the island it was a very short sail of 6 miles to Baiona, passing dramatic reefs with waves crashing over them. The entrance to Baiona harbour lies under the ramparts of the old castle (now a swanky Parador hotel).
Waves crashing on the reefs at the entrance to Baiona
Baiona is a nice wee town. Quite a few shops closed/ for rent etc but big city Vigo is not that far away and it draws in the money we suppose. It is meant to get really busy in Baiona in August when people flock here for summer holidays.
On the walk round the headland and fortifications
There are a lot of lovely old buildings and a replica of the Pinta (one of Columbus’s ships) in the bay. For 2 Euros each you could go aboard and clamber around. No one there to supervise or tell you off and no incessant health and safety notices!
The replica of the “Pinta” (it really is pint sized!)