Over the next few days we began to head South again, visiting the Spanish Rias on route. The Rias are a series of four inlets on the North western side of Spain (Galicia). Ria de Muros, Ria de Arousa, Ria de Pontevedra and Ria de Vigo. They are rich in marine life and a large fishing industry runs from here, in fact the city of Vigo is said to be the leading fishing port in Europe. Personally we felt that they were spoilt by the numerous floating mussel beds but understand that this is a major source of income for the area alongside tourism. During our time in this area we enjoyed the company of a number of pods of Dolphin.
Ria de Muros with the floating mussel beds in the background
Our first port of call was Muxia. We arrived and were greeted by a Marinero on the dockside who helped us tie up in the, (almost empty) marina. We were then asked to take our paperwork to the ‘office’. The office turned out to be a Shell petrol station on the side of the road adjoining the Marina. We were then charged an exorbitant amount for the night with no promise of wi fi or decent facilities! Now we knew why the marina was empty! We spent the evening walking out to the headland to the Sanctuary of Virxe Da Barca (The virgin of the boat!). Originally a pre-Christian Celtic shrine and sacred spot which was only converted in the 12th Centrury, it was rebuilt following its destruction by fire in 2013. The ‘A Ferida’ nearby, is a tribute sculpture to the volunteers who helped to clean the Prestige oil spill, when the MV Prestige, carrying 77,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil sank in November 2002. Over a thousand beaches on the Spanish, French & Portuguese coast were affected.
The almost empty marina at Muxia!
Ria de Muros
Our sail from Muxia to Muros was downwind with 15 knots and gusts of 26 knots. We reached up to 10 knots SOG at times and were visited by two separate pods of dolphins.
On arrival at the Marina we were met by Pedro who helped us tie up in the windy conditions and then directed us to the office. The Office, in contrast to Muxia, housed a reading/TV room complete with small library of books, TV and sofas, showers, toilets, and a small kitchen/laundry room. The building was old and a little ‘tired’ but perfectly adequate for our needs. The wifi was free and worked well from our berth & the price per night was half that of Muxia!! Pedro was charming and very helpful.
Whilst in Muros we visited Santiago de Compostela. The capital of the Galicia region of Spain and known as the culmination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, it is also alleged to be the burial site of the biblical apostle St James. We caught the bus to the City and spent the day exploring.
We spent two nights in Muros and then decided to explore further into Ria Muros. We motored as far into the Ria as we could passing hundreds of floating mussel beds and beautiful houses overlooking the water. At the top of the Ria there was a small fishing harbour and just about every boat from the harbour was out on the Ria fishing for razor clams. Apparently they have a limited license in which they are allowed to fish for these clams. They were obviously making the most of it!
We watched the boats returning to the harbour en masse and then headed for Portosin on the opposite side of the river. Portosin was ‘easily forgotten’!!! Apart from being given a free mug by the marina staff, the marina was out of the way of the main town, very quiet and not very pleasant on the eye! We stayed the night and returned the following morning to Pedro in Muros! 5 miles across the Ria.
Ria de Arosa (3/11/17)
On the 3rd November we left Muros and headed the 34 miles out of Ria Muros to Ria de Arosa. We were welcomed in to the Ria by two bottle nosed dolpins. Two nights were spent in this Ria, at Pobra de Caraminal and Vilagarcia. Both towns were virtually closed for the winter although one nightclub had decided to remain open in Vilagarcia, 200 yrds from Money Penny, playing loud music until 6am!!! We moved on!!x
Ria de Vigo (5/11/17)
With no wind, we motored the 34 miles from Vilagarcia to Baiona. There are two marinas on offer here and we chose the right one!!! Real Club Nautica Baiona was in a beautiful setting with an amazing Club House and facilities, underneath the backdrop of Castelo de Monterreal, a castle that sits on a hill at the edge of the town. In the old area of the town there are narrow corridor like streets with typical Galician houses lining them and a number of bars, cafes and restaurants hidden away.
Having arrived at Baiona we had heard that a boat had left Milford approximately one week prior. Onboard were Martin & Pat, heading for Baiona. Judith managed to make contact and we found that they were over in the other marina. We met up for drinks and a catch up on their boat, Legal Tender and then again a day later in the Club house and restaurant for lunch. Exchanging stories, we learnt that they had departed The Haven and headed out for Southern Ireland, with one stop there, they then turned left and sailed directly to Baiona!! They had had an amazing experience. We think we prefer the route we had taken!!!
We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 days in Baiona. We walked around the Castle and headland, through the small streets of the town and took a bus to nearby Vigo. On the 8th November we headed for Portugal!