Wednesday 2nd July 2014

I woke early, around 06:00 early, and in the half-light of the morning decided I might as well get up. I wasn’t rewarded by a spectacular sunrise, unfortunately, but then there are hills to the east. Pete also woke early, before the alarm, so activity was unusually prompt on Whinchat.

First event of the day was the cafetiere (?sp) exploding! I’d sat down with my poached egg on pumpernickel, and plunged the coffee to a whoosh of hot coffee coming over the table. Pete leapt up. I sat there somewhat stupefied. What had happened? Pete whisked the offending cafetiere (it’s on its fifth seasons on board, so not bad going) into the sink as I surveyed the breakfast carnage. There was hot coffee everywhere! And so, before we’d had a mouthful of food, it was mopping up time! The table in the saloon also doubles up as our wine store – there is a kind of trap door in the top, and it houses several bottles of wine – and most of the coffee had found its way in there. There is a ‘well’ at the bottom of this feature, so we were inch deep in coffee. Not to mention the grounds, seeping everywhere. Somehow we’d both pretty much managed to escape the tidal wave – except Pete’s bare feet, and thankfully none found its way to the seat covers. Pete had to dissect the table to make sure that we almost every drop, and when we’d mopped and dried, we sat down to breakfast. One very cold egg, but still runny in the middle. Very pleasing! We have a fall-back on coffee (serious business on board), the Italian percolator, so that was deployed and gave a suitable alternative. I’ve never been convinced of the wisdom of glass on board, so now we might be re-writing how we serve coffee on board.

I’d downloaded the weather in my early morning activities, and wasn’t wholly convinced about the sea – mainly. The wind is in the ‘wrong’ direction, north-easterly (where we need to head towards), but that will be true over the next couple of days. It’s the swelly sea with the north-easterly. I just couldn’t decide. Was I being a woos? There was no rain forecast, so it would be a sunny passage (which always seems better), but I kept on thinking about my passage south, where I was travelling comatose class courtesy of Stugeron. I rather wanted better.

Pete took the decision that we would go in search of the bread shop with the awesome bread – further than we thought – and we took a look at the anchorage in the bay. The north-easterly would have ripped through it, but lots of space, and not putting us onto a lee shore, so all good… except that you’d moor in front of a factory! Not what we’re used to, so that had us both pulling faces at each other. Success at the bread shop, even though it was so much further than either of us had remembered, and we headed back to top up the depleted caffeine levels at a cafe on the harbour. What would we do? I was most certainly in a vacant space, just slightly removed; never that reliable then, so we deferred a decision until we could look at charts and the weather, again. Oh, we’re good at putting off decisions. And the very-slightly deferred decision was to stay where we are! We are in no rush, and tomorrow should be less swelly sea, even if there’s not so much difference in the wind.

That turning point in the day reached, it was time for a walk. Pete had gone up to the marineros to pay, being declared his most best ‘amigo’! Pete had spied a map on his cabin, with different walks marked, so cleverly he took a photo of it on his iPhone, I made a picnic lunch using the awesome bread and jamon (of course), a fat apple to share and a couple of squares of chocolate. The back-pack was full – our Rustler jackets, the picnic, a supply of plasters, double water, phones and money. I’ve become default bag carrier, not through anything other than habit, and I’ve come to be used to the tortoise sensation of something on my back.

Finding the start of the track was the tricky part, which lead from the second church in Camarinas – I wasn’t sure we knew where the first one was, but we had a vague notion of direction. Up, and in the middle. Camarinas is also on a geographic promontory, and we’d walked along both coastal routes, so we knew we had to head up into the hills. Blind faith, despite an absence of signs, worked, as we headed up into the outskirts of the town, with bigger houses, small holdings (and a very cute kid with his ‘an-pa’, who gave us a wave (invited by said ‘an-pa’) and then nothing very much. We had the vague notion of a village in mind, en route, Moulin (perhaps) and couldn’t believe it when we spied a sign. From here we picked up the spray-painted route markers – a white/yellow for us – as we took a road towards the ecological park across a dust road. We were promised a ‘mirador’, and we weren’t disappointed. I wasn’t sure that we’d see the coast, as I thought that Pete had selected a route inland, but from the top, you could see Faro Vilan, the ocean, and the beach with the wrecked boat. We’d walked some distance already!

The majestic turbines
The majestic turbines

My friend Sue is right; the turbines have an elegance despite their size. Their majesty is amazing, and I find myself marvelling at them more than I do anything else. They have a lovely ‘whoop-whoop’ sound, as the blades switch through the air. As we reached the top, we thought it was time for lunch. We’d picked up another trail, a bike trail (green arrows), which we knew connected to the path we’d been on yesterday (the white/yellow trail), so we headed down there. Pete spotted a flat rock, a perfect picnic space, until a horse fly bit me, and that was that. No WAY was I spending another moment there, and off I toddled down the hill. It was some 40 minutes later that we reached the bottom, near the coast, and I deemed it windy enough to stop for lunch. Pete gave me his wonderful half-smile, sympathy with an edge of irritation. There were still flies, but if I kept moving, I could keep them off. Funnily enough, less than half a kilometre away was a bench, overlooking a lovely bay, but hey…..

Before making the return, we decided to go and take a look at the salvage of the wreck that we’d seen from the sea, and from Faro Vilan (photo back there somewhere). In five weeks they’ve made reasonable progress, although I’m not sure what my photo will show in comparison.

Along the Costa da Morte
Along the Costa da Morte

We joined up with the track that we’d walked on yesterday, but a couple of kilometres further along the coast… so we knew we were in for an epic walk back, but fuelled by lunch, it seemed all good. At the decision point of whether we went via the road (more direct), or the track (more scenic), we opted for the scenic… much further, and with about three kilometres to go, I was, I admit, staggering a bit. We’d been walking for almost four hours with barely a break, and it was suddenly very hard work. We wouldn’t make good Carmiño people on that effort! The last downhill to the marina was amazing – nearly there! We were back into the wind (the wind shadow parts were baking hot), and Whinchat was in sight! 20km, enough! There were certainly white ponies across the water, with the wind/water slamming into the outer pontoons. THANK GOODNESS we’d moved from the hammerhead, which would have sent the skipper’s BP through the roof, and as it is we have two boats to windward, and we’re big and chunky, so not that affected. You should see the wee German flimsy thing next to us, inside us, being buffeted around. Even the Norwegian Pocket Rocket is sturdier than that (one along).

And so another day has slipped by. Tonight’s offering from the kitchen was a ‘chiperones stew’ (squid cooked in red wine), with the rest of the awesome centeno loaf in mopping up! The trouble is, it is just the best bread, and now we’ve hogged it, will I want to make the 3km round trip in the morning to replenish stocks? ….. TBC….

Today’s hauiku:

cloud shadow passes –
whoosh; faster than usain bolt.
Best keep feet on land.

One thought on “Camarinas”

  1. I feel quite footsore just reading the blog, when you get back to the uk you’ll be walking into Truro just to keep in trim! Here very busy organising the wimbledon tennis, tho’ Rafa got knocked out yonks ago. And what are you going to do for bread when you get back to the uk? It will take time to acclimatise! Heres to fair weather and lots of love, S

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