Two more days in Baiona

Friday 6th & Saturday 7th June 2014

Now I’ve come to sit down and write about our day, the last two have begun to merge into one! At lunch today, Pete and I struggled to work out how many nights we’ve been here, or rather, I did. I had to work it out in terms of the number of showers had!

Yesterday we woke to a lot of rain, banging on the coach roof. It was a wet walk to the showers, and neither of us fancied the walk to buy bread. We didn’t do very much for most of the day, except read, peer out of the companion way at the rain, and…. laundry!! The longest ever wash cycle (1h35m) and dry cycle (1h50m) meant that I almost apologised to the clothes when they were released. All that time in the dryer, and not obviously very dry. Whinchat’s saloon has been again turned into Widow Twanky’s as we try and air the clothes (hard given the humidity levels!). Whatever has been driving this low pressure seems to have done its worst early, so the rain turned more showery, and then gave up. We decided to take a risk and go for a walk around the headland, then visit The Pinta. The wind was more than it had been on Thursday (the Yacht Club having decided it was too windy to fly its flags), and it was a little bit of a battle on the seaward leg. The delight of the day was watching a squadron of swallows out in full acrobatic display catching flies. Presumably the rain in the morning had meant that they’d been grounded too.
The Pinta, a full size replica, lies at the end of a long jetty, and looks quite imposing in the harbour. It’s not until you get on it that you realise quite how small it is to have achieved what it did. A caravel, square-rigged, and reckoned to have a deck length of about 56ft (Whinchat is 42ft), maned by a crew of 26. Where did they all fit, with all the provisions that were needed for the voyage! This was the kind of ‘wow’ about the replica, and worth the €2 entrance fee. The curation was better than anything we’ve seen, with attempts to make it kid-fact friendly (with stuffed parrots, and iguanas). However, it didn’t absorb much of the afternoon, but we were happy enough it wasn’t raining, or really threatening to.

Pete climbs aboard The Pinta
Pete climbs aboard The Pinta

We found a cafe and had some tea, sitting outside. In most places you get a ‘nibble’ to go with the drinks you order, and tea came with a kind of brioche thing. Pete ate one, and the other was on the plate, which became a source of great interest for a greedy seagull, and great distress to me, as it took two swoops in dive bombing the table for the bounty. Pete defended us, but it rather spoiled the occasion for me.

We were going to go out for supper last night, but it was cool, windy, a bit showery, so we opted to stay on board. Actually, by the time we’d made the decision to stay put, the clouds peeled back to put the evening sun into the cockpit, and so we enjoyed a drink feeling the warmth of the sun (so long as you could avoid the wind)! Just about as we were heading to bed, we seemed to be in a time-warp back to Sada – Whinchat started snatching and pulling on her mooring, causing the lines to squeak and complain. Pete did go out to try and do something about it, but to no avail. The low pressure system must’ve been driving the swell up, setting the calm waters of the harbour bouncing. It didn’t make for a great night’s sleep!

Friday’s haiku:

swallows swoop and soar
no acrobatic merit –
just having their lunch

Saturday’s pattern has had many similar elements. Less rain = very good, but what a wind that’s been pummelling the town. The waters in the harbour are very disturbed, which has had all the boats jangling on their warps. It is, at least, very comforting to know that we are not the only ones jerking around. I did go for bread this morning, and bought Pete a couple of rather sticky croissants, which he devoured. And there the morning nearly slipped by – coffee, the iPad version of The Saturday Times (in my view, the best of the whole of the offering by The Times)… But, we had to go and re-provision, and the town shuts down at lunch. We bravely joined a long queue in the butchers, or one of the three butchers in town, and then were stumped looking at great slabs of meat wondering what they were. No labels to guide us!! We decided that pork chops were easy, so had ‘dos chuletas’, and then resorted to pointing to what we think is veal, although what bit of it, we’re not sure. It was from a massive slab, so not filet, but it was so lean. We will see when we come to cook it. The supermarket yielded more serano, chorizo and lomo (this is not a vegetarian boat!), and then the veg shop delivered the rest. Once again, we are stocked up! Not that we are eating much this evening, as we had a massive lunch!

We did classic dithering today over where to eat lunch. A brief chat to Highland’s Daughter and they told us that the best food, with the best view was at the Yacht Club! But there was no one there when we walked past, so we did the swoop of the town. Lots of ‘busy’ but no one eating! Lots of drinking of wine, and munching on the plates to go with the wine. What to do? The little pedestrian back street was buzzing with people, and not just blokes! On Saturdays it must be customary to dress up a little and take your wife, also dressed up. With our boat hair (well, perhaps that’s just me) and high complexion, and more scruffy than tidy, we would have looked out of place, so we decided to go back to the Yacht Club and have a drink….. which then turned into lunch! You knew it would! The views are great….

Wine with a view...
Wine with a view…

… and the service very friendly, and the food… excellent! We split some baby squids and then had a sole between us. The head waiter (he had that air, anyway) insisted we had it fried, rather than grilled, so rather bizarrely, the sole arrived butchered into mini-steaks, which had been individually fried. It was excellent, as mentioned, but a bit random! A coffee and then we were good to go. We decided to again walk around the headland, and were treated to a spectacular show by the wind and the waves. Great rolling seas, crashing on the rocks, wind whipping the manes of the white horses, and sending it scurrying along the water. We watched a cargo ship in the distance pitch and roll, seemingly making little progress. Was it really so bad?

When the wind blows....
When the wind blows….

We were both happy to be on land, and even more so when Pete realised he might get an ice-cream, so that was the next thing to seek out. Somehow we ended up walking east along the harbour, and then around the next bay to a statue. Unconnected, was the ruin of a church, and a plaque explaining that the English Pirate Drake had destroyed the church in retribution for the Spanish trying to defend their land and assets. You can’t argue with that viewpoint!

We ended up walking for a good two hours, mostly in hazy sunshine, but battling against the wind at times. We were both quite worn out when we came back to Whinchat, so it has been reading (and now writing). We should think about supper, and I suspect it will be bread and a bit of a cold meat feast. The winds are set to die down tonight, and already Whinchat is snatching less on her lines, although she is rolling a little. We’re not sure what tomorrow will bring – apparently a lot of rain, and I’m a little concerned how settled the sea will be – so we will obsess about the weather over breakfast and take it from there.

Saturday’s haiku:

fortissimo wind
spume scattered like tumble weed
over empty seas

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