Our stay in A Coruña was short and sweet. We did our errands, we went on a quick tour of the old city (narrow streets with numerous cafes and restaurants), we got accustomed with some local habits and headed off on the ‘Costa de la Muerte’ (‘The Death Coast’) towards Cabo Finisterre.
The frightening name of The Death Coast comes from the fierce winds, big seas (waves of over ten metres) and thick fog during the winter months; this led over the years to a number of shipwrecks along its treacherous rocky shore. In order to sustain their trade in such hostile conditions, fishing vessels are built like floating submarines – completely watertight. They look very different from anything we’ve seen before.
We arrived in A Coruña on a Friday afternoon and we anchored in a busy anchorage spot in the huge Golfo Artabro. One of the beaches was in view from where we were. On Saturday evening Sorin noticed a number of fires on the beach. We are both campers and we love a fire; therefore the view of several fires was a delightful surprise; it inspired us to our little game of star gazing and guessing; I was very pleased to guess the two planets that dominated the sky that evening – Venus and Jupiter (GoSkyWatch app).
The following day we went in a marina. Our rigging seemed a bit loose and it needed to be checked by a specialist. We arranged for Jose Luis to attend to it. He was not only a capable rigger, but a fine human being who likes a chat. He tightened the rigging whilst sharing with Sorin all sorts of tips. We had other riggers on the boat but no one before told us how best to maintain the rigging and how to calibrate it for sailing the high seas.
We also had the opportunity to find out the reason behind the unusual number of fires on the beach. There is a custom in Galicia, Cataluña and other coastal parts of Spain to grill sardines for Saint John, celebrated on 24 June. Traditions and ‘fiestas’ are taken seriously in Spain, so on the streets, beaches and balconies the fires and the fun was on…
We also learned from our newly made friend that the fish caught by the numerous commercial fishing boats in A Coruña is shipped to Madrid to be served for lunch in restaurants the same day. The other big buyer is Japan, but our friend was unable to tell us whether it gets there in time for lunch, dinner or breakfast?!
Mostly satisfied with the nuggets and the work done, we continued towards Camarinas River where we stopped for a day. We went for a long walk along the beautiful river bank (where the fern grows higher than me!), replenished our fuel and food stocks and headed towards Muros River.
Muros is a small and lively harbour town, considered one of the most attractive in the The Galician Rias (estuaries). The old stone houses are flanked by colonnaded covered walkways which gives this little place a distinct character.
Yesterday we walked around the bay and we stumbled upon the ‘Molino de Mareas’ (water mill powered by the tidal stream). Currently a museum, the mill was built in the XlX century and is claimed to have been one of the most important mills in Europe.
From Muros we plan to catch a bus to Santiago de Compostela.