Ria de Vigo and Baiona
|Baiona as seen from the Virgin of the Rock|
This time was a very different story. We had heard that after the economic downturn, most of the yacht clubs had declining membership numbers and revenue, while having sunk significant monies into infrastructure. To survive, they had been forced to open their clubs to visitors. I must say, they did so with great welcome. The staff were genuinely nice and accommodating. There were large signs welcoming us and informing members that the Irish were coming! Many of the local members stayed away while we were there. We returned several weeks later with a friend who is a member and saw a whole different scene. The MRCYB members were back in force.
|MRCYB docks full of ICC boats|
Ensenada de Baiona seen from the Virgen de la Roca
We were on a dock with a finger pier on the inside of the pontoons. Others were med moored to the outside of the main outer pontoon. It was fun watching them come in and tie up. The anchor lines had clearly not been used for some time and came up loaded with seaweed. The marina is vast and it takes a long time to walk from our end to the main building. The facilities include the office, the showers and toilets, a laundry where you bring your laundry in the morning and pick it up at the end of the day (not always done). Wash, dry and fold for €12.50 per load - we had three. The bar was beautiful. There was a members dining room that was off limits to non-members, but the outdoor seating area was open to guests and lovely. The food was pretty good as well.
|Alex takes a break overlooking the barrier islands in Baiona|
For €1, visitors can walk the walls of the fort which we had done the last time. Walking the lower level, which is almost as good was free and we opted for that route. We then rode our bicycles along the bike path around the harbour to the beaches at the end of the Ensenada de Baiona. We stopped at the chandlery and bought new fenders as one of ours was holed, and two others were leaky. We had not had so much time in marinas ever before with Aleria.
The MRCYB had offered ICC members two nights' free berth and a reduced rate for any other nights so we stayed for 3 and paid €50. Great value. The night of the ICC closing event we had a cocktail reception on the terrace of the yacht club then walked up to the Parador for dinner, which was magical. A great way to end the rally.
|The walk around the fortification of Monterreal|
|Scallops and mussels in Baiona|
It was time to move on and we decided to check out Cangas where we had stopped in 2008. There we found several ICC boats and another party. It wasn't going to be easy to find solitude. Cangas is a nice town stretched along the waterfront with the friendly marina in the middle. There's a very good fresh meat, fish and produce market, plenty of restaurants, and a cafe right in the marina. There is also a ferry to Vigo, so one can stay in Cangas and visit Vigo easily.
It was here that we witnessed an anchoring incident. We were watching these two boats nearby and I said to Alex, "That Spanish boat is dragging." Soon, a man came up on deck of the German boat, watching with concern. Alex launched the dinghy and went over to the little German boat. It was a German woman who owned the boat and the man was a Brit who helped her get the boat down to Spain. They had met at the docks in England where he helped fix her generator, and he had just retired. He jumped at the chance to sail, though he'd never done so before. What he didn't tell the young woman was that he was married. But I digress.
|Meeting up with ICC and OCC pals in Cangas|
|Aleria at the RCNV in Vigo|
We then decided to visit Vigo which we had skipped in 2008. From the water it is an industrial looking city. But we discovered that the Real Club Nautico de Vigo (RCNV) is a small marina right in the centre of the old town. We loved it so much we stayed for days. We walked the tree lined streets, ate at the tapas bars and restaurants, and did laundry at the computer controlled laundromat while shopping for groceries. We enjoyed the art and the ambiance.
We rode our bikes out to Bouzas (not recommended as the roads are dangerous and the taxis cheap) which was lovely and visited Astilleros Lagos, the legendary wooden boat building facility. We stopped in to see the giant new marina in the industrial estate and didn't like the vibe or the location.
So we'd seen much of the the Ria de Vigo. Now it was time to head back North and visit the place we had remembered liking the most when last we sailed here...Corcubion.
|Extraordinary merman scupture in Vigo|
|En route to the Ria de Vigo|
|OCC raft-up in Ensenada de Barra|
|Grand Slam, Celtic Spirit, Aleria, Papageno|
|Raft-up party on Celtic Spirit|
|Impossible blues in Barra|
|Beware the fishermen everywhere|
|Scored really good prawns|
|Celtic Spirit and Oystercatcher|
|Baiona waterfront next to the MRCYB; Pinta on the right|
|Fort at Monte Real|
|Path along the waterfront|
|View from the mirador in the Virgen de Roca|
|Atlantic Islands in the background|
|Path along the Ensenada de Baiona|
|Dinner at the Parador with the ICC Rias Baixas Rally|
|The Virgen de Roca|
|Her face in white marble|
|Altar for Mass|
|Ketch preparing to anchor|
|Cangas waterfront across from the market|
|Another Virgen del Carmen|
|Bringing home the groceries in Cangas|
|The small marina in Cangas|
|Moon over Cangas|
|Shop in Vigo|
|RCNV marina in Vigo|
|Park a block from the marina|
|Fresh shrimp from the market|
|Vigo from the water|
|Cruise ship is in town|
|Waiting for oysters in Vigo|
|Lovely architecture in Vigo|
|View from the port of entry|