Galicia and the Portuguese north coast

After rounding Cape Finisterre (in dense fog PHOTO 1) we enjoyed ourselves very much in Galicia. Because of the attractive landscape, but also because life is fairly cheap there. And many beautiful cities, magnificent parcs where the Spanish take their afternoon strolls - though not in miserable weather, such as when we visited Noia PHOTO 2

With Santiago de Compostela it was most unfortunately the same: grey, dreary and drizzly weather. It is one of the most famous grounds for pilgrims. A coastal footpath over the complete Spanish north coast leads to the cathedral. We were rather disappointed that the pilgrims didn't reach the church's portal
PHOTO 4 on bleeding knees to get cured of their diseases. As in most churches, even in this cathedral of cathedrals they operate electric candles instead of real candles with flames. You put 10 cents in the machine and a white light lights up, and for big spenders there is a red light for 50 cents.
Apart from all this bombastic stuff, Galicia has a lot more to offer: the landscape is of extreme beauty PHOTO 3. Idyllic bays where you can anchor all alone in a turquoise sea near a deserted white beach; dolphins entertain you, and they sometimes jump several meters high. On the background to the west the silhouettes of some rough islands that protect us from the swell, some trawling fishing vessels showing small lights and the sky still coloured deep purple from the sunset...

We have come to love Spain because of the many attractive towns, such as Bayona
PHOTO 5A. But Portugal is still the big highlight. Our arrival in Viana do Costelo PHOTO 7 was a silver jubilee as our first (and last) visit was 25 years ago by car and with camping gear. We recognize the same warmth and friendliness in the people, although the country has changed: it is not so poor anymore and prices have gone up as a result of participation in the EEG (however, life here is still cheap).
PHOTO'S 8+9+10 After our visit to Porto we were completely worn out.  And doing port sampling tests is not very refreshing! We were happy to rest a while in the beautiful railway station, and enjoy the cool air and the magnificent azulejo's (paintings on tiles) FOTO 10A  

As circumnavigators to be, we are becoming rather professional, thanks to the many good advices from colleagues who are making the same trip for a second time. Our dinghy now has a custom-made permanent cover (made by P),
PHOTO 11A. It protects the pvc from UV light, which is especially important in the Caribbean because Zodiacs in particular tend to become sticky. Another advantage is that our dinghy now has lost the good looks of a brand new and ready to be stolen gadget! In the Caribbean you even have to lock your oars, we heard.

Previous    Next