We have had a fine time over the past few days making our way round to La Coruña. We had two fantastic day sails around from Espasante, both days with great wind from behind us so storming along at 6 or 7 knots- Sailing in a swimming costume, in a force 5- absolutely unheard of! This is a seriously different style of sailing than we have ever experienced, its blissfully warm! Hot even!
We sailed to Cedeira the first day which was about 20 miles, and then on round again the next 25 miles on Monday (the 15th) to where we are anchored now opposite La Coruña, at a place called Mera (for free) . It is a village, and sort of suburb of the city, with a very nice sandy beach stretching along its front. When we arrived we went for a swim, it was about 7pm but still blazing hot. once used to the initial chill of the water, you could stay in for ages quite easily. The beach was very busy with people, swimmers and sunbathers ( we have heard from someone since that this is uncharacteristically good weather here at the mo)
On Tuesday we took the bus round in to A Coruña to have a look at the city, about a half hour trip and very cheap at 1.45 euro.
We loved Coruña. It seems like areally vibrant place, really friendly, beautiful old town, interesting mix of new buildings, lots to look at. Good feel.
We spotted a boat we had met in the Scillies (Swallow of Bristol) with Vicky and Elliot, so we sneaked into the Marina to go and say hello, on our arrival they opened a bottle of bubbly , so we spent some of the afternoon with them before wending our way back through the city to the bus station.
I took the bus in again the next day, to go and try to find some lighter weight clothes. My cupboard is packed with what I would class as ‘scottish spring’ ware, so thought I had better update with something I would ‘t swelter in. I also wanted to get a Spanish / english dictionary. When I got back in the afternoon, Dan and I went for a snorkel, lovely clear water, lots of fish and marine life. A man with a spear gun, swam up beside us, he had caught a big octopus! Pretty gruesome, and unnerving : with it speared and tentaciling around, he spoke to us in spanish, don’t know what he said, but hoped very much he wasn’t offering us any!
We later met Vicky and Elliot, who had now come over to the anchorage , ashore for a drink in a really sweet beach bar. Then we all piled back to Hestur for some late night Pasta.
Thursday (18th) was as hot as ever. We were swimming lots again. tried out the wetsuit for snorkelling ( I had never worn mine before) , very good. Snorkelled round some big rocks, and lots of swimming and jumping from the boat too. We tried out our solar shower for the first time, it was very effective, lovely hot water. I heated up some more to do some clothes washing, and hung it up to dry on the gardwires, it dried in about 36 seconds in the heat and wind. Dan made a ‘biminey’ for some sun shade, by putting some eyelets in a piece of canvas we had aboard and lashing it up. It was very good, but maybe we need a slightly bigger piece of canvas?! All day we could hear loud music coming from the beach direction, we headed ashore in the evening, it was coming from a huge sound system set up in the square, and there was a carnival going on with funfair rides and all.
Yesterday (20th) was a little cloudier, but still very warm, a fog rolled in from the sea, we watched the view of A Coruña across the bay disappear slowly , and it came and went all day. We took the bus in the other direction , about half an hour again, to the end of its line, to a place called Sada. We had a wander round, nice little town, had some lunch, bought a grapnel anchor for the dingy, and went to the supermarket there for some things. We were told there that it was the festival de Carmen going on this weekend in Sada and in Mera where we are anchored. When we got back we saw there was a absolutly massive pile of fire wood at one end of the beach and a stage which had been set up the night before in the square was now on the beach, and a bar. We went back ashore in the evening, with Vicky and Elliot ( from Swallow of Bristol) and walked along the beach to where there were now lots of little individual fires lit and crowds of people. We were walking through the crowds towards the stage, passing all the groups of people who had brought their tables and chairs and cooking grills and baskets of food and drink and had set up their own fires, we were called over by a young guy who had heard us speaking English ( there weren’t really any other tourists there ) , and wondered if we wanted to come over and join him and his grand parents and have some sardines they we cooking! Carlos was studding English in college, and had just finished his last exam of the term, that day. What hospitality! It was so generous of them, we had a really fantastic time being entertained by them. It was the festival of Sardines, people could buy sardines from a stall on the beach, and they came with the fire wood to cook them with. They fed us ( although we had all ready eaten) with the most delicious sardines, a tuna pie (homemade) potatoes, lovely bread, cake, coffee alcohol, and a flaming grappa alcohol, oh and beer!! We are going to have Carlos over to the boats this afternoon.
The party carried on long into the night, Dan and I carried on towards the the stage and got chatting to some other people. It was all so friendly, and a very good atmosphere, it was a lovely thing to be part of, there were kids running and jumping around in the sand doing handstands, and grandparents sitting by fires, all night, all generations enjoying it. We left after 2am but from the boat we could hear the music carrying on. Today is the festival of Pulpo (octopus) !
We will be here till Monday probably or so then will head on round the coast, just downloading the weather just now…