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    • Day23


      August 3, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Régal is at the Marina in the lovely town of Muros. We spend a few days here as the weather is inclement. It is much easier to duck in and out of rain showers when you can run instead of row back to the boat. The Marina is in the centre of the town which has lovely old narrow streets to explore. The hills surrounding Muros are covered in Eucalyptus and Pine trees and there is beach 3 minutes walk from the boat. We know now why Liam and Mags Drennan it so much.
      Interestingly the yacht that was the subject of the book ‘Sailing for home’ by Theo Dorga, ‘The Spirit of Oysterhaven’ is in the boatyard here and is for sale. That book inspired us to do the Atlantic crossing 15 years ago.
      In Muros we stock up on food from the nearby shop and market. The fruit and vegetables are so good in Spain; bigger, juicer and way more delicious than any of the perfect looking specimens we get in Ireland. Ruby even says the wild blackberries we pick on our wandering side here are tastier than at home - the sunshine is a magical thing!
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      Beautiful composition

    • Day40

      Day 37 - Good day for a roadtrip

      October 22, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

      “The three great elemental sounds of nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a wood and the sound of the ocean outside on a beach.” – Henry Beston

      Day 37 - Santiago to Finesterre - by bus

      I awoke late as I had no concrete plans for the day. I had loosely decided to go to Finesterre for at least a day, today. When I saw all the rain in the forecast, I decided what the heck. So, I booked a bus to get out of Dodge. Well, out of Santiago at least.

      As the bus wasn’t until after 3pm, I took my time getting ready. Found a cafe bar for a lovely bacon and egg late breakfast and chilled there for a while.

      At noon, I had an appointment for my Camino tattoo at Sargado Corazon. All over and done with before 1pm! It is not exactly what I was hoping for ( I think I wanted it a bit more spread out) but I didn’t speak up, so here we have it. I had the artist design it based around the traditional scallop shell as well as the modern yellow arrows I followed for the duration of my walk.

      The Scallop Shell today is used as a symbol of direction along the Camino, pointing pilgrims towards Santiago. It is also featured in many buildings along the routes, such as churches, in-laid to pavers in the streets, on walls etc. Pilgrims also wear this symbol themselves which further enhances the camaraderie along this great walking trail.

      While today the Scallop Shell is deemed to be purely symbolic and representative, it did have its practical uses in eons gone by. Due to its shape, the shell was used to scoop food and water as this was easily carried along the trail. Food kitchens along the route would also use a Scallop Shell as a measure of one portion. The shape of the scallop shell is also said to represent the different routes of the Camino, all converging in one point: Santiago de Compostela.

      More than just a souvenir, in a way, the Camino shell can be considered the original ‘pilgrim certificate’ even before the Compostela was issued to medieval pilgrims. Unlike modern pilgrims, traditionally Camino pilgrims would have to walk over to Santiago and back. The scallop shell, a common mollusc along the shores of Galicia, was used by returning pilgrims as a badge of honour and proof of having visited the city of Saint James. It was also common for Medieval pilgrims across Europe to be buried with their scallop shell, showing they had completed the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Guess I will be buried with my shell too :-)

      As soon as I was done at the studio, I headed over to the the bus station to hang out until my bus came at 3:20pm. I had read that the views were best in the left side of the bus and I wasn’t disappointed. Most of these buses take the slow, coastal route. Although only an hour + drive in a car, the coastal route means this is a 3hr bus ride to Finisterre. Despite the rain, the views were beautiful and it didn’t feel like a 3hr bus ride.

      I am staying just outside of town but have a private room, use of a full kitchen, and a shared bathroom with real towels! It’s only a 10 min walk to the main town and I can’t wait to explore tomorrow. I also plan on walking to the cape to see the lighthouse.

      Met up with Annette again who came here yesterday, and we went for dinner. Took us a while to find a place we agreed on that wasn’t over the top touristy expensive, but we found it! A Lareira was just what we were looking for. Seafood with decent prices and good portions. We shared a bottle of wine and got two free shots each - for a total of 25€ each, including a tip. Annette had clams in sauce and I did the grilled squid - fabulous! We both left a bit tipsy as I had over a km to walk back to my room - and a curfew of 10pm. Felt like a freaking teenager again. And was totally giggling when I made it with 1 minute to spare 😁.

      I have decided to stay an extra night here, and am looking forward to the walk tomorrow to the cape and lighthouse. Will likely time it so I can say a final goodbye to Annette as she starts on the rest of her journey. It’s been great hanging with her for the last week or so.

      Fingers crossed that the weather cooperates tomorrow! I would prefer not to have to walk I the rain….but whatever.
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      Love this! 🥰


      Diane, it's perfect! OMG! 😍😍


      Thanks my friend! ❤️

      27 more comments
    • Day9

      To Santiago

      September 20, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      Since I forgot to take a photo outside my pensión today, I am including a photo of their brochure. The bus 🚌 trip to Santiago was pleasant, stopping at small towns along the coast before turning inland. The Santiago estación de autobús has been updated since last time I was here. Now right beside the estación de tren.

      And just before leaving Finisterre I collected my certificate for walking to the end of the world.
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    • Day41


      July 4, 2016 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      We woke to a warm calm morning. Leaving Tony in his berth, Paddy and I headed ashore in the search of a supermarket to stock up with some provisions for today's breakfast and lunch.
      When we arrived at the supermarket it was still closed so we wandered around and saw people coming down a narrow street carrying bread. We followed the trail until we came to what looked like an ordinary house but turned out to be the bakery. We got ourselves a few ‘Spanish’ sticks, fresh from the oven and for little or nothing, less than a euro each. We wandered back to the supermarket which was now open and got the provisions before heading back to the boat.

      We left the marina at 09.40 and there was little or no wind so we motored slowly down the ria enjoying the scenery which reminded me of West Cork with the rocky outcrops and green fields.
      At the mouth of the ria we hoisted the main and began motorsailing and once out in the open sea we unfurled the genny and with the engine off, peace reigned.
      We first went north between Illa Ons and the mainland before heading north west to pass outside another island, Illa Salvora.
      Unfortunally soon after, the wind changed direction and went on the nose so we had to furl the genny and motorsail.
      At first we kept the main up until it became impossible to keep the sail full so we had to drop it and motor the remainder.

      The wind began to increase but stayed on the nose so we weren’t able to use it. It was blowing 20 knots and increased to 25 knots as we had turned into the Ria de Muros e Noia. Unfortunally the wind also veered around and was blowing straight down the ria against us so we had to keep motoring.

      We followed the north shore of the ria until we reached Muros, just around the first corner..
      Paddy had been there a number of weeks before on his own boat and told us that we needed to call the harbourmaster, Pedro, on the vhf before entering.
      Pedro was waiting for us and directed us to a berth before standing by to take our ropes.

      We were all tied up at 18.15 after a fairly pleasant day even if we didn’t get to sail for long but we didn’t have much time to relax as the Spanish Customs arrived and ‘requested’ an inspection....and if we refused??

      They were polite and professional and two went down below to search while one stayed with me in the cockpit and went through the yacht’s paperwork.
      They seemed more interested in the paperwork than the search but then this was our third port in Spain since re-entering from Portugal and if we were carrying something dodgy, we wouldn’t be hanging around, would we?
      Before they left they gave me a form to show to any other custom personnel that might wish to inspect us a second time.

      I then had to visit Pedro in the harbour office to complete booking in as the customs had pulled rank, getting in first.
      It turned out that the high season rates not surprisingly, began on the 1st of July and while they were reasonable, I would have thought that they would have been lower in order to attract more yachts in. The local authority have built the marina to increase tourism but it was only about 40% full while we were there. A pity as lower rates might improve things. Hopefully in the future more people will discover this part of Galicia as the local economy certainly looked as if it could do boost.

      Paddy led us ashore on a tour of Muros (pop 8,700) which is a fairly small town stretching along the shore with high hills behind. A bit like Cobh but unlike Cobh the town doesn't climb up the hills and finishes just as they begin. It’s an old harbour town whose traditional economy is based on fishing and it looked as if it had fallen on hard times.

      Paddy led us up and down every street and lane and I began to think that we'd be drawing maps for him and having an exam at the end of it. We eventually were allowed to think about food and went in search of a restaurant.
      Normally we would look for the ones that locals go to but this time that didn’t work. We were left sitting for at least 10 minutes without anyone coming near us. I know they were busy but they seemed to be ignoring us and we were too hungry to wait any longer and left.
      We headed a bit further along the shore where we found a restaurant that actually wanted customers and we ended up having a nice meal. The only downside is that they had the highlights of the F1 Austrian Grand Prix on a silent tv and the result was not what I wanted. Hamilton won.

      While we were eating, Rohan an ex colleague of Tony and mine, rang to tell me he wouldn’t be joining us on the last leg across Biscay. His son had fallen off a garage roof and was in hospital. Thankfully his son has made a complete recovery in the meantime.
      Rohan Murphy had arrived at my station a short time after me and we pounded the beat many times together. I remember talking to him about my plans to buy a yacht when I retired and of hoping to sail around the world.
      Strange that over thirty years later that Rohan is now the more experienced sailor having a couple of transatlantic's to his credit.

      We were late getting back aboard Eureka. We’re supposed to have an early start for Camarinas, which will be our last port before setting off for Ireland. Great preparation?

      We wind is still blowing twenty two knots according to the instruments at the top of the mast but it's nice and sheltered fifteen meters lower down in the cockpit. Right, better get the head down and the zzzz’s started before tomorrow.

      Leg 16 - 49 mls. Total 1665.
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    • Day7

      Marvellous Muros

      July 8, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      Missed the Islas cies ferry this morning but made up for it at Muros, where the oyster-laden rias meets the Atlantic in Western Galicia. Colourful houses tumble into the salty water and the beaches are heart-stoppingly beautiful with dazzling white sand, feels like Scotland and especially the Isle of Skye. Surprise festival of the sea too, much dancing and merriment on hay bales plus baby scallops and best ever pulpo. Fallen in love with Galicia so much we are staying here longer than planned.Read more

    • Day42

      Windy Muros

      July 5, 2016 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      We had our alarms set for 06.30 for a 07.00 start to make an early start to get up to Camarinas, about forty miles to the north of us.
      I was looking forward to rounding Cape Finisterre and getting to Camarinas where we’ll be spending two nights as we get the boat ready for the last leg of the voyage home. Finisterre means ‘The end of the earth’. Imagine being able to say you sailed around the end of the earth?

      However I was awake long before the alarm and was gloomily listening to the wind whistling in the rigging in between Paddy’s snores. Tony like me had a broken night’s sleep and I later discovered that he too had been listened to the wind.

      It had been windy yesterday but as it's usual for the wind to die down during the night, we had been hoping to take advantage of the lull and get half the journey done before the wind came up again about 11.00. Unfortunally the wind doesn't seem to have eased this time.

      Soon after, Paddy's alarm went off and I stuck my head out of the hatch to check the wind both on my face and on the wind instrument. It was in the low twentys and gusty.
      I had been checking forecasts on the iPad while lying in my berth and the new forecast had increased the wind speeds for today and tomorrow. If we didn’t leave now we were stuck till Thursday but could we leave?
      It was looking like Cascais all over again.

      Following a short crew conference we decided it would be safer to stay put and instead leave for Ireland from Muros when the wind died down on Thursday.
      There was no dissenting voices so we went back to bed and slept for another few hours.
      Even though we were now in Spain, the Portuguese Trades just will not let go!

      When we did get up, the crew were back to their usual good form.
      When they were not bitching about each other, they were bitching about me!
      There were even murmurings about Captain Bligh not being a fictional character and that he mightn't be the last skipper to be set adrift.

      We had a lazy morning preparing for the voyage home and made a list of jobs that had to be done before leaving. Basically, Tony and Paddy were going to do the jobs ashore while I did the ones aboard. Most of the provisioning we were leaving till tomorrow.

      One of the crew made a lovely salad for lunch which we ate in sun in the cockpit.

      Sometime during the day I discovered that Tony had done Spanish to leaving certificate standard while I, with a failed intermediate cert, was the one that was trying to translate as we went along.
      The crew must have being having a good laugh about that! We now have a new translator whether he likes it or not.

      We spent the afternoon wandered around Muros sussing out where we'd be getting things tomorrow.

      After showering we headed to last night’s restaurant for dinner but as often happens a second visit is never as good as the first.
      We chilled out over a few pints and as we were going nowhere tomorrow there were no alarms set.
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    • Day43

      Shipshape in Muros

      July 6, 2016 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      It was a lovely day when we surfaced. If it wasn’t for the forecast, we could have left today but instead we will get everything ship shape for the great voyage tomorrow.

      The ass licking continued. I was now keeping score between the two boyos.
      I got tea served up to me by Paddy while still in my berth in the aft cabin. I might have given Paddy an extra score if he had known that it's coffee I have in the morning.

      Tony and Paddy later headed ashore to do the shopping still giving out to each other about who was the sucking up to the skipper more while I went for diesel.

      I decided it was easier to bring diesel to the boat instead of the boat to the diesel. We hadn’t used much since we filled up in Vigo but it still took two trips with a jerry-can in each hand over to the end of the pier before I had the tank full to the brim. I think my arms have stretched a bit.
      We now had enough to get us to Roches Point even if we have to motor all the way but just to be sure I also refilled the jerry cans.

      The crew brought back an ice cream to me after they had finished the shopping.
      Are they no lengths that this crew will go to keep the skipper happy?
      Long may it continue is all I can say!

      We decided to add to the alcohol store that Norma had started.
      No, nothing was missing from Norma's stock. We had resisted the temptation of even going looking for it, we just wanted some for ourselves.
      While we saved a bit on the wine compared to Irish prices, it was the spirits that had the biggest difference in price.
      Dave Morey had asked me to get him some Jameson Whiskey as he is a bit partial to it but it appeared that the Spanish also like it as I could only find two bottles in the whole town.
      Many of the lockers were now full and the waterline was beginning to disappear.
      Seriously officer; they're for our own use!

      The lads took over the galley to cook dinners for the voyage home.
      We didn’t want to do much cooking on the journey so the lads prepared the meals and we put them in containers before freezing them in the bottom of the fridge.

      Tony made a stew with chilli while Paddy did a chicken curry but it didn’t taste like chicken!
      Paddy had told us all he was going to make a chicken curry but when he went to find some chicken, he couldn’t get any and had to make do with beef.
      The slagging lasted the rest of the voyage about the chicken curry that tasted like beef.

      Once we were satisfied that Eureka was ship shape with everything stowed and water tanks full, we headed for the showers and then in search of another restaurant for our last supper.
      We found one on one of the back streets but the staff had no English and the menus were strangely enough, also in Spanish. We ate outside and some of the owners family sat at another table eating their own dinner. It was all very informal. We had a nice meal more by luck of our choosing than by skill in translation and it was very cheap too.

      The Welsh were playing in the Euros on a tv inside. The family noticed that we were half following it, so once we were finished dinner we were invited in to have a better view. We left a nice tip and as a result the lady of the house insisted in topping up our beers before we were allowed to leave. We went happily back to the boat to sleep it off.
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