Bayona and Portugal

12/09/06

 

 

Isla Cies are two spectacular islands in the west of Spain right outside Bayona close to the border. Great beaches and fantastic walks. Here we met up with the Norwegian boats Christiania (old Colin Archer rescue boat from 1893) and Veto (Rival 38). Both crewed by families with three kids. Also meeting up with Wild Alliance ( Formosa 51) with three kids set us up for a great football match on the beach.

The arrival of Adele meant more physical exercise as Jan Eric and Jennifer on Adele loves hiking. Camilla and I joined in for a hike to the light house on the island. Colin and Lesley took it easy on the beach. It was too far for Colin to hike and Lesley's back did not allow any walking. Instead Colin got a chance to play with his new friend on Wild Alliance, Will. They had a whale of a time on the beach running around and doing boys things like filling their swimming trunks with sand. For Camilla and I it was a great hike rewarded with great scenery. An absolute highlight on our trip so far especially as it was lovely and hot as well. It all gave us a taste of what things are going to be like when we get further south and west. It definitely fuel my enthusiasm.

After our hike we got to join Jennifer and Jan Eric for lunch. Colin was well pleased as he got to drive the dinghy.

We spent one night at Isla Cies at anchor. Remarkably our first night at anchor on the whole trip. After leaving Sweden it feels like all opportunities for anchoring disappeared. Only possibility might have been in the rivers in the UK. But cold unstable weather did not encourage exploring rivers, creeks or bays.

The type of yachting life we have in Norway and Sweden is very different from the rest of Europe where it is mostly harbour to harbour sailing. In Scandinavia we anchor out in the "skjærgård" archipelago most of the time. No need to say marina fees do add up.

Adele left us and headed south for the med while we tied up in Bayona as our next stop. Bayona is a delightful Spanish town close to the Portuguese border. It has great beaches and is guarded by a old fort. The local yacht club has excellent facilities and is situated inside the old town. A great setting. We spent a couple of very nice days here.

Going south from Bayona we entered Portugal. The mountainous and green terrain subsided. The land became more dry and flat. The Spanish rias that gave shelter and protection ended. Now there was only a few harbours left for miles of coast line. Many of them with warnings that entry in bad weather was impossible. It was interesting to experience the Portuguese peoples attitude. In a restaurant at a yacht club I was kindly reminded by the waiter that he was Portuguese and not Spanish and that I should talk English to him and not try any of my Spanish words.

Sailing south towards Lisbon we finally arrived at Cascais outside Lisbon. A great town with beautiful buildings, beaches and a great marina. I felt we had arrived. This is how I remember it "used" to be when we where sailing all those years ago. Hot and sunny. Small cafes and restaurants. Infrastructure for yachts and a charming busy town. Cascais also had something to offer the kids in a mini-zoo, great park and beaches. Many of the kids friends where here and we had a busy social life.

 

 

 

 

 

Isla Cies are two spectacular islands in the west of Spain right outside Bayona close to the border. Great beaches and fantastic walks. Here we met up with the Norwegian boats Christiania (old Colin Archer rescue boat from 1893) and Veto (Rival 38). Both crewed by families with three kids. Also meeting up with Wild Alliance ( Formosa 51) with three kids set us up for a great football match on the beach.

The arrival of Adele meant more physical exercise as Jan Eric and Jennifer on Adele loves hiking. Camilla and I joined in for a hike to the light house on the island. Colin and Lesley took it easy on the beach. It was too far for Colin to hike and Lesley's back did not allow any walking. Instead Colin got a chance to play with his new friend on Wild Alliance, Will. They had a whale of a time on the beach running around and doing boys things like filling their swimming trunks with sand. For Camilla and I it was a great hike rewarded with great scenery. An absolute highlight on our trip so far especially as it was lovely and hot as well. It all gave us a taste of what things are going to be like when we get further south and west. It definitely fuel my enthusiasm.

After our hike we got to join Jennifer and Jan Eric for lunch. Colin was well pleased as he got to drive the dinghy.

We spent one night at Isla Cies at anchor. Remarkably our first night at anchor on the whole trip. After leaving Sweden it feels like all opportunities for anchoring disappeared. Only possibility might have been in the rivers in the UK. But cold unstable weather did not encourage exploring rivers, creeks or bays.

The type of yachting life we have in Norway and Sweden is very different from the rest of Europe where it is mostly harbour to harbour sailing. In Scandinavia we anchor out in the "skjærgård" archipelago most of the time. No need to say marina fees do add up.

Adele left us and headed south for the med while we tied up in Bayona as our next stop. Bayona is a delightful Spanish town close to the Portuguese border. It has great beaches and is guarded by a old fort. The local yacht club has excellent facilities and is situated inside the old town. A great setting. We spent a couple of very nice days here.

Going south from Bayona we entered Portugal. The mountainous and green terrain subsided. The land became more dry and flat. The Spanish rias that gave shelter and protection ended. Now there was only a few harbours left for miles of coast line. Many of them with warnings that entry in bad weather was impossible. It was interesting to experience the Portuguese peoples attitude. In a restaurant at a yacht club I was kindly reminded by the waiter that he was Portuguese and not Spanish and that I should talk English to him and not try any of my Spanish words.

Sailing south towards Lisbon we finally arrived at Cascais outside Lisbon. A great town with beautiful buildings, beaches and a great marina. I felt we had arrived. This is how I remember it "used" to be when we where sailing all those years ago. Hot and sunny. Small cafes and restaurants. Infrastructure for yachts and a charming busy town. Cascais also had something to offer the kids in a mini-zoo, great park and beaches. Many of the kids friends where here and we had a busy social life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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