Friday, 22 July 2016

Another day another Ria

Susan and I drove back to Gijon which took  couple of hours on the excellent dual carriageway. A day pottering around town and then hiring a car for the next day to revisit the Picos de Europa's. They are spectacular. We managed on this visit to go on the funicular railway which is carved through about a mile of solid mountain from Poncebos to Bulnes. Bulnes is a remote village with no vehicle access, now though with the railway it has many of the Alpine type houses turned into cafe's which made a grand lunch stop.

I wish we had had time to walk the path down but we had only a day to do the whole range. We headed east then South to Potes and up over two passes over 5000ft with spectacular views. Visibility had greatly improved over the day which made for a memorable as well as long (over 300 mile) journey.

We fuelled up and headed off in pleasant sunshine, slow progress but a pleasant lunch stop anchored in the sun then into San Estaban on the top of the tide, just as well as the previously dredged entrance is now well silted. A pleasant and secure anchorage if a bit noisy with the usual weekend partying!
Next day along to Luarca, a fairly straightforward entry but no room in the inner harbour. 5 moorings are provided in the outer harbour but this does involve running a sternline ashore onto the high quayside.

Just like Eyemouth

A pleasant trip to Ribadeo with the Principado of Asturias behind us were now in Galicia! A lovely Marina made for a quiet night and big shop at the Gadis supermarket, home of the €7.50 Gordon's gin bottle. Oh yes and number 3 check and form issue by the friendly customs guy who had visited the Borders on his motorbike!

We had a lumpy longer trip next day round some rugged headlands to Viveiro a cracking Marina which is not unknown to Corinthians with Paul Taylor overwintering there a few years ago. We toured the sights of the town which did not take too long and decided on a reconnaissance trip by train to Ortigueira where we were headed for the annual Celtic music festival. Ortigueira is a beautiful Ria with a  very taxing ever changing entrance and only a small Marina in the town. A great trip on the cheap and comfortable but slow FEVE train allowed to meet meet the Capitaneria (harbour master) who said he could give us a berth for 4 days.

Rugged headlands

We left Viveiro at 6am to ensure arrival in plenty time for full use of the tide, in fact due to the great sail we were 2 hours too early so a little anchor stop in the sun with Susan napping and me watch the water rising on nearby pier. With a light following wind and a light swell the sums all done it was time to go. We went in without any trouble with clearance between the sand and the keel never below 2m. A big sigh of relief though when we were over the bar. The channel is then marked but challenging in beautiful surroundings for a couple of miles to Ortegueira.

The bar

The Ria 

We arrived at 1.30 and were told he would give us "primo berth" which was on the hammerhead and perfect at €20 per night with power etc!

Primo berth! The square building to our right is the stage at n ear splitting range!

The festival was great but took a bit of getting used to as like so many Spanish festivities they start late. There were a few parades and sessions through the day on Sat but the main events on the big stage did not start till 10.30, about our bedtime!
                                Some odd folk at these parades!!

We were joined by Susan's friend and colleague Sheila with Dave who were kind enough to play some of my favourite fiddle tunes and generally keep us entertained for most of the afternoon. 

Sheila in good tune

Accompanied by Davy

Girls in the sun

We waited on the Friday night for the Peat Bog Faries who came on at 1.45. After an hour we headed off to bed which being only 250 yards from the main stage meant we still heard the music until 5am! We slowly rallied next day taking things very easy planning to spend more time back on the boat than standing waiting for new acts to come on. Sunday saw a major parade of pipes from Galicia, Brittany and band of Scots pipers from London. All very good. We were now acclimatised and thoroughly enjoyed the last "late" band who were Manran who we've enjoyed before in Stornoway. Even though last they absolutely nailed it with great music and interaction with the audience.

Manran also in fine tune

Ria de Ortiguera

Orteguera was a beautiful place but we had to leave so we did on Mondays tide and very settled conditions. We anchored for 7 nights in various places, Espasante, Carino, Cedeira, Port Felipe in Ferrol and Ria de Ares travelling only about 40 miles in that time. The weather was hot so we walked a bit in the morning swam a bit and generally chilled out before heading in to La Coruna which will be journey's end.

A dingy safari!

Port Felipe in Ferrol

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