Ria de Corcubion

The ancient town of Corcubion

We had sailed down the Rias Baixas in mostly light northerly breezes. Now it was time to head back north to the Ria de Corcubion, our favourite destination in Spain when we visited in 2008. We wondered if our memories were serving us well. We wondered if anything had changed.

Typical stately architecture

We left in light damp air, motoring at first, away from the fog that lingered along the coast. Alex decided to take the inside routes cutting between the islands and the mainland through some very tight passages. I wasn't all that happy. Then when I wanted to hug the rocky coastline to shorten the route to Corcubion, he decided to head out to Finisterre, which took us out into the Atlantic waters. First, the wind died, then it suddenly piped up to 20 knots and higher until I was fighting serious weather helm. We were overpowered but Alex didn't want to reduce sail, so I asked him to take over.  Then the seas kicked up which meant he finally realized it wasn't  just me complaining.

Suddenly, a fishing boat appeared and started setting a net right across our course. Alex tried to bear away but the sails wouldn't let him and I could't let enough out in time. So he heaved to to let the boat pass. Phew! After lots of maneuvering, we got the boat back on track only to find that the wind had shifted and was now dead on the nose and we were still two hours out and it was getting late. We motor sailed the rest of the way, bashing in confused seas for two hours. The coastline was 'interesting' with lots of rocks and islets to avoid.

Beautiful gardens

Once inside the Ria de Corcubion, conditions settled down. We arrived in Corcubion after 8 pm exhausted. It looked nothing like we remembered. When we tried to drop the anchor, the chain was jammed. Alex tried to unjam it but couldn't. I was circling the anchorage slowly forever it seems, until Alex rigged the spare anchor, a Rocna, with the rope rode to deploy. We anchored in 24 feet of water just after high tide. It was gusty and supposed to get worse, but the anchor held. We had dropped anchor near the head of the harbour just outside the mooring field.

I learned that it wasn't just the chain causing a problem. The Anchor Rescue jumped off the bow roller and pulled the chain off the roller. The trip line got caught up in the fray and then only 40 feet of chain came out. Luckily, Alex managed to get it all back in. More stories for our next edition of Happy Hooking and photos of Aleria on a rope rode for the first time. Totally different feel than on chain.

I made spaghetti Irlandaise (lamb mince) while Alex 'sorted things out'. We ate and collapsed exhausted into bed. 

This Ria does not have a marina, nor does it have a lot of mussel rafts. It does have an industrial plant of some sort directly across from the town of Corcubion. There was often a cloud of something belching from the stacks. I didn't remember that, nor did I remember the town correctly, but it didn't matter, because we fell in love all over again.

Attention to detail
Corcubion is on what's called the reverse Camino, where pilgrims walk from Santiago to Finisterre to see the end of the earth. It was also once an important port on the Camino del Mar and there's a ship sculpture in the park to commemorate its role. There are few pilgrims now, but enough that you see the occasional foreigner. They are the only tourists. There are few yachts visiting here, and we were  one of only three boats that week. We became semi-local in Corcubion, saying hello to the men congregating at the top of the pontoon gates daily. 

We did the usual walk around the town to get our bearings. It didn't take long. We found an amazing butcher and bought a lump of what we thought was beef, but turned out to be the most delicious veal we've ever had. Divine home made sausages. Fresh milk from the dairy. We found a tiny supermarket and scored some local albarino and crianza wines, milk, eggs, cheese and iced tea, and vegetables at the produce market. That was lucky as the next day was Sunday and all the shops would be closed. We visited the church on the hill and scouted out the restaurants. We had tapas and wine for lunch, and found free wifi at the tourist centre which also had nice crafts for sale. Then we went home with our loot. It was blowing over 20 and expected to go up into the 30s overnight. Aleria was snug, protected from the North, but the dinghy ride was quite wet. 

We spent Sunday on board doing chores, Alex trying to fix the inverter and I varnishing the coaming. The sun was hot and the air dry, perfect conditions. But Alex was getting frustrated and couldn't find his ohmmeter. He sorted the chain, which took a lot of effort. Then he noticed that our boom vang was hanging limply on deck. The pin holding it in place had sheared, probably in the raucous seas the day before. We'd have to find a pin we could use in its place. The deck was quite scarred, too. Nothing could be done on Sunday as all shops were closed, so we got lots of reading done. 

On Monday morning, BOOM. What on earth?  It was 9 o'clock in the morning and we jumped out of bed.   Someone was setting off fireworks near the harbour. The Spanish really like their fireworks. They reverberated and echoed back from the surrounding hills. It was like in Canada when the redcoats were firing at us in the harbour.

The path from Corcubion to Cee
We rode our bikes into Cee to see what we could see see see. It was much nicer than we remembered. We found the ferreteria we needed and despite a communication barrier, they produced an ohmmeter. They also had a rod Alex could use to replace the pin, but he needed the hacksaw blade as well. We walked the town - more of a city - which was preparing for a fiesta. Big central square and nice park on the waterfront. The market there was vast with lots of stalls with meat, fish, and vegetables. The supermarket in the shopping centre was even bigger - a gigantic Carrefours. We loaded up the panniers on my bike, as well as Alex's rucksack and basket and headed back. 

Tuesday morning, 9 AM, BOOM. Alex decided to go back to Cee to get some light fittings except the ferreteria was closed. He learned somehow that it was a bank holiday and everything was closed. Furthermore, because of the fiesta, the town would be closed for the rest of the week. Hmmmm. At noon, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, more fireworks. We wondered if there would be fireworks at night when we could actually see them. 

At midnight, we heard the booms begin. Out on deck, we brought cameras out and watched in glee. it kept going, and going. More and more. Just at the head of the harbour being shot over the water -- we were glad we'd moved Aleria back a bit toward Corcubion. The air was full of gunpowder and smoke. The sticks from the fireworks were floating down the Ria toward us. The display was spectacular and went on for a long time. I recorded 5 minutes of it and that was when I thought it was going to be the finale. Just great! Best seats in the house. 

Wednesday morning, BOOM. Our time ashore was spent walking the hills and parts of the camino. The area just past the main town was a holiday homes development on a lovely beach. Too bad it overlooked the factory across the way, but it was nice enough. 

Thursday morning, BOOM. After Alex fixed the boom vang, we made plans to have dinner ashore in Corcubion. We spent the daytime aboard reading - bliss. The restaurant we thought we would like had a terrible menu, so we went to the sailing club on the waterfront. It turned out to be excellent. Veal chops for me and fish special for Alex. Busy place, nice specials, good ambiance. Great fun. Back to the boat.

Friday morning, BOOM. We'd had enough fireworks and decided it was time to head on. We made two more stops, one in Ezaro to see the waterfalls and then in Sardiniero for solitude. The crowds in Ezaro were large, but the park was nicely done and the beaches were amazing. Not a place to stay long, but certainly worth a visit. In Sardiniero, we watched the scallop fishermen diving all around us as the fog lifted in the morning. It was interesting to hear them all around and not see them. Our time was now running short and we'd have to be heading back. Where should we visit next? 

A love of cats

Before the wind
In the wind

Approaching Corcubion - red hills

The glass paneled seating area on the waterfront in Corcubion

One of the tapas restaurants in Corcubion

How big was your fish, Alex?

Aleria anchored off Corcubion

Poor dinghy, hung out to dry.

The church in Corcubion

A pilgrim in flip flops
The beach beyond the old town of Corcubion

The good fish lady

The giant Carrefours supermarket in Cee 

Cheese anyone?

The square in Cee

Loading up the bikes at the market

The waterfront park in Cee

Another feast aboard, with hams, bread, and cheese

A fort on Ria de Corcubion

El gato rubio

Gardens in Corcubion

The river in Ezaro

The waterfalls in Ezaro

Aleria anchored off Ezaro

Art in Ezaro

Beaches fringed in rocky hills in Ezaro

Restaurant in Ezaro

Beach in Ezaro

Seating in Corcubion

Lovely Ezaro

Daria at the waterfall

Walking the town of Ezaro

Aleria anchored off Ezaro

Stark red rock hills of Ezaro

The Belgian ketch we kept seeing everywhere

Nessie spotted in Ezaro

Boats in Ezaro

Fog in Sardiniero

Pulling up anchor as fog lifts

It was lifting.

Layers of fog linger

Sand dunes along the coast, not fog
Rias Baixas

By Rias_bajas_ES.svg: *Hidrogalicia_ES_color.svg: *Hidrogalicia_ES.svg: *Hidrogalicia_vertente_costa_da_morte.svg: Iagocasabiellderivative work: Edoarado (talk)derivative work: Edoarado (talk)derivative work: Edoarado (talk)derivative work: Edoarado (talk) - Rias_bajas_ES.svg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11969891

Video of the fireworks display in Cee. 


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