Thursday, 5 June 2014

A Guada to Muxia, Spain

We arrived in Spain on May 22nd and unfortunately rain showers were forecast for the next 10 days :o(
Fortunately the sun came out between the showers and the temperature was like a good Cornish summer! We had lunch at A Guarda and followed the coast as much as we could to an ACSI campsite at Cagnas. The site was on very steep terraces and there wasn't much room, especially as we arrived at the same time as a Belgian motorhome, nice location above a beach and it would be a great spot to canoe out to the Islas Cies in calmer weather.
The first peninsular above Vigo was more urbanised than we'd expected, but as we traveled further north the coastline became more rugged and remote. This coastline is composed of 4 large Rias or inlets, with pine covered mountains between each, much as we imagine Norway to be (next year???)
We stopped off at Combarro for a few hours as it was very picturesque, with very old tiny houses and Hórreo, grain stores, raised on stilts to prevent rats.

We then drove out to O Grove and across the bridge to the luxury resort island of La Toja or A Toxa. Here is a beautiful church covered in scallop shells. We had eyed up a campsite on the way past at Portonovo, and finding nowhere better we went back to it.

The views from the site were magnificent .....

...... And so was the company! 4 of us managed to make this mess .... Though now being an hour forward from UK time, but still being at 9.25 degrees West, the sun is not setting until about 22.15 and it is light until way after 11 ... That's my excuse as to why we sat up chatting 'till 2ish.

The Spring flowers along the coast are amazing, I particularly liked the structure of this yellow Giant Fennel. We stayed 2 nights at the Aire at Boiro, €6 per night, and met some fellow VW campers with a few "dits" to tell. Unfortunately we were unaware of the football and party on on the Friday night, but the location right across from a beach was worth it .... Though it certainly wasn't beach weather while we were there!

We had been recommended an ACSI campsite, A Vouga, at Muros / Louro and we weren't disappointed. The view out to sea was stunning, even in the mist, rain and sun! Ideally located so that you can walk or cycle either way into the towns or the beach at San Francisco. We cycled out around the headland to the lighthouse and the sun shone while we had our lunch, sat on a rock, looking out over an amazing beach.
Unfortunately drizzle set in for the next day and so we cycled to Muros for some tapas or 'pinchos', as recommended by our neighbours...who Tim says to say, had a lovely camper van! Don't listen Libby, we love you!

After 4 days on the campsite we moved on to a lovely wild camping spot at Finisterre. It was such a lovely view and protected from the wind that we stayed 2 nights. This is a great place for people watching as it is the end of one of the trails that pilgrims follow to Santiago De Compostela. Though I can understand people who have walked hundreds of miles to this place, burning their boots and clothes, I find it a bit unsightly. Probably doesn't fit in with the pilgrim image either, that they are defacing this beauty spot. Though the final straw was when we saw a coach load of tourists walk 100 yards and then burn their socks and pay €3 for a scallop shell.

The sunset was worth the wait.....

....and the walk the following morning was superb. This is the start of a coastal walk from Finisterre to Malpica, along the Costa da Morte, the "Coast of the Dead", due to the numerous ship wrecks on this rugged coast, not the number of walkers who have died trying. It would be a lovely walk around the majestic headlands, but we will be driving most of it. After a quick diversion to Cee to empty the loo in an Aire at a Repsol garage....which incidentally had the most fabulous petrol station toilet EVER!!!!!!!

The way of St James or Saint Jacque, depending on where you are from is marked with the shell and routes converge from all over Europe on Santiago.... Too far for us to walk and too far from the coast as well, so we are not visiting this time. This part of the pilgrimage trail is at Muxia, a lovely little village on a peninsular, set out into the sea, reminding us a little of St Ives. Tim discovered Empanadas here, as a fresh baked one was set out on the counter just as we were buying our bread. Tim is suffering a pasty deficiency and so these are now a good substitute!

We drove around the bay and out to the lighthouse at Cabo Vilán where we escaped the wind to look in their art gallery and spent the night on the marina at Cmariñas. This small village is renowned for lace making and wind turbines!

The Ria de Camariñas is a beautiful, enclosed bay, with sandy beaches, so we have found a lovely campsite at Leis (€10 bargain) and spent a few days relaxing on the beach, where we have been the only ones there......Tim even went in the sea, but I was convinced it wasn't warm enough! We will move on tomorrow, but only 10 miles, back around to the marina for the night, before continuing along the coast.