Northern Spain Part 1

Ribedesella – Curillero (52 miles / 11 hours)
We were more than happy to finally be alongside, especially in this beautiful little town, we made our way up the pontoon to find the office and take Scumple doodles for a wonder, but realised we needed a key to get off the gated pontoon.  After jumping the gate I left Holly and found the office where I came up against a little old Spanish man as the El Capitan of the port, he knew no words of English and my only Spanish is ‘No Ablo Espanyol’….translated as ‘I don’t speak Spanish’. He still continued to waffle on at me for about 10 minutes as I repeated that I had no Idea what he was saying. In the end it I worked out it was only €15 we decided on 2 nights here so we could chill out and walk up into the mountains and enjoy ourselves. I got the key and as I was off to save Holly from the prison pontoon, I saw she had manage to escape with the help of a local. We wondered into to smaller part of town and found a bakery and went over the top with pastries for brunch. Then I realised I was crashing due to pulling an all night sail and needed a sleep so we headed back to the boat and I ended up passing out for 6 hours. Holly met and chatted with a nice English guy who arrived next to us and gave him the detail on the harbour office, she offered to let him in & out of the gate  and this charmed him well enough as he brought us a baguette later in the evening. She took scrump to the beach that we had almost been washed up onto on our hairy entrance and this was where Scrumpy met his first bit of Spanish fluff, a cute little Yorkie called Nora who stole his tennis ball and teased him like a floozy! While she was gone I got up and cooked us some tea as a break from the norm as Holly is the chef & galley manager but I thought I’d give her the night off.
The next day we decided to tackle a hike up one of the mountains that we could so clearly see from the small harbour……anyway our eyes must be deceiving us as an hour into our walk the mountain was still the same distance away, and due to the fact we had walked within several hundred metres of a cows field Holly did not feel comfortable (incase the killer cows attacked) we about turned and made our way to a park we had passed earlier so that Lord Scrimpleton could have a good run. We spent our time doing our first and only exercise session on the 15 outdoor exercise stations, we barely did anything strenuous but all joking aside we could barely move the next day, think this boat life is making us unfitter than we already were….That evening we thought we would pull the laptop out for the first time on the trip to indulge in a bit of home comfort and watch a film, although we started a TV series called True Detective and remembered how addicted we get to these things. We had planned to leave the following day, but after finally watching episode after episode until about 3:30 am, we decided on a lie in and a morning of more True Detective, followed by a dog walk and more True Detective. We did the whole season in about 20 hours and 10 of those we were asleep. It has been a nice break here but it was time to leave! so we prepped for a morning departure to get some miles under our belt.
We left early after 3 nights here, and it was high tide so slipped out the treacherous harbour entrance quite easily, we were planning to head to Gijon or Heeehon! as the locals tell us, which was 25 miles away. Due to the wind we did have to motor which meant we covered more miles than expected so we pushed on 20 miles past Gijon to Cudillero which was a much smaller and less commercial fishing village. We got in just before dark to the struggle of trying to moor on 2 buoys, one forward and one aft of the boat. I struggled to work out how to safely get us on so we would not swing and hit anyone else, but with the help of an amigo in his dingy we managed to get secured, whilst Holly and Scrample Doodles went ashore…..this is where he met his second bit of Spanish Fluff, these bitches must love the well groomed English accent, she was a sandy coloured short haired dog living in a camper van, Scrumpy is such a stud he didn’t even catch her name, seems like he is getting a bitch in every port these days. We then sat down to my favourite dinner so far with a home made curry…..it was that good that I didn’t even miss the naan bread that is usually a must.
Cudillero – Luarca (22 miles / 3.5 Hours )
Cudillero was beautiful, by far my favourite town/village so far (I always say that) but it was. Although if I had had my way we would have sailed off at 7am and missed it, but Holly insisted. We wondered into town with Doodle Hoosits for his morning walk and found a little market where we tried some cured venison and wild boar, it was amazing but at €25 for about a 500g chunk we cursed it as we walked off empty handed, I kind of wish I’d never tried it. The town was lovely and we walked up a narrow winding mountain road for about a mile, surrounded by little terraced houses with quaint coloured shutters on there windows. It really did feel like a proper authentic local Spanish village, it was a shame we did have longer to explore.
We set off about midday, in the sun, with good winds taking us in the direction we needed to go. We sailed well the whole way so that was a bonus. We had the wind 90 degrees to us, which is the best and most comfortable way we have found to sail, we trudged at our top speed pretty much from door to door, it does leave you a little exposed to the wind so unfortunately no sunbathing today. It was only 20 Miles so by 4 pm we were entering the small once again local fishing village. On entering the harbour, as we expected from reading the Almanac there was no room in the inn, there were hundred of fishing and local peoples boats all over the place with barely any space for us to turn to leave. We moored up on the external harbour, which was still well protected from the wind and sea by a large 8 metre wall. We had to moor bow to a buoy, and take a line from the stern of the boat to this wall. It was about 20 metres away so after tying our ropes together we got well secured for the night. The sun was still out so me and Scrumpy got in the water for an extremely brief swim….I do hope the sea warms up as it was fricken freezing.
Luarca – Ria De Ribadeo (25 miles / 4 Hours )
We spent one night In Luarca, it was a nice enough town with mostly just restaurants and bars along the harbour front. We took scramply for a walk on the beach and looked around some shops. We felt we were in need of a treat for ourselves so decided to eat out for tea, we couldn’t have picked a worse port, the one place we did like the look of, turned us away at the goal post due to the dog, if they don’t like dogs then we don’t want to give them our custom anyway….so after 2 or three laps of the harbour front and under pressure due to becoming increasingly HANGRY we settled on a little restaurant which had a nice looking menu, we really wanted a tapas and felt that being in Spain everywhere was a Tapas restaurant. How wrong we were, the waitress tried to warn us as best she could whilst ordering, but we thought being the glutenous hungry greedy bastards we would go with it anyway. The salad came out and we knew we had made a vital error, it was huge, this would be a feast we could never finish….next the Patatas Bravas (chips in sauce), cured meat board, bread….then chicken in garlic with another side order of chips of course, after trying our best to polish it all off, we were still waiting for the Chorizo and the Calamari, by the time they arrived we were out numbered and pretty beaten, we tried our best to polish off what we could, even taking leftovers for a boat snack…if we ever managed to be hungry again. We decanted the jug of sangria into beer bottled and returned to the boat, bloated and grossly unsatisfied we vowed never to settle and just eat out for the sake of it, we had wanted a well deserved nice meal out and had got a Spanish greasy spoon cafe. We finished of the sangria and a few rums sat in the cockpit looking out at the beautiful view of the large 8 metre wall!!! It was covered in fishermen who not so much as had a bite for the 2 hours we watched them, it was a saturday evening and we assumed they were just out here to get away from there wife for a peaceful evening in the moonlight, with a secret Cerveza or 2.
We woke up and after climbing the rusty ladder up the harbour wall with scruples under one arm, Holly took him to the beach whilst I tried to fix the fuel leaking from the Dingy. I managed it and met them on the beach before setting off at 12:30. It was very windy today, all in the right direction so we sailed very well again. Holly took charge for the first shift and did well to battle the strong swell. Unfortunately when the sea is quite rough you can’t use the auto pilot or it turns itself off due to the wave strength. So by hand she fought the waves for about 2 hours. The sun was shining and it was warm out of the wind so it was another good sail all the way. We arrived at Ria De Ribadeo about 4:30 to a small relatively budget marina, not greatly sheltered out of the wind. We tied ourselves up and had planned to spend this marina stop having a good spring clean and getting a few problem ironed out. Unfortunately on plugging into the shore power, we had a warning onboard that there was a problem, and a device onboard will not allow us to use the electricity for safety reasons. This ruined our plans as we need the electric to do all the admin we needed. Fingers crossed it was the Marina and not the boat that was playing up…To top it off we used the extortionately priced washing machines to do the mountain of Dhobi that had built up, only for the machines to stop half cycle for both our loads meaning they wouldn’t dry for 3 days, and when they did they ended up smelling of a stale damp tramp.
Ria De Ribadeo – Ria De Viveiro (30 miles / 5 Hours )
We spent the next day wandering around town, not realising that as well as a 3 hour siesta that these lazy gits needed, that monday as well as sunday was a day that they all decided to sod work and not open their shops. Luckily the pick and mix shop did open its doors to me, allowing a good 400g of jellied sugar…we got a little fishing tackle as Holly is determined to catch us some of the mullet living in every marina we have moored in. We were next to a nice enough Australian women on a fancy boat next to us, she had no clue what she was doing and had been abandoned here by her Italian husband for the last 10 days while he was rushed off to work in the UK, or to his second family we thought, she had had to stay here as they had a cat onboard, so couldn’t leave it, not just any cat she told us, but a mighty bengal that was a homing cat….it just wandered the streets at day and would find its way home from any location on earth at night….cheers love…i don’t think we will be trading in the Scrump Dog any time soon. The other side of us was a nice old french couple who were from a small town near L’Aber Wrac”h where were had arrived from the UK at the start of the trip, we had a nice broken chat telling him and his wife all the places we had visited, strangely it has been so many now that they are all blurring into one. The weather was pretty rough and windy so we had decided to stay a second night to let it pass so we could enjoy the sailing the next Day. We really have found the last week much nicer than the hard long slog sails we have been doing recently. 20 Miles, for 4 hours a day was good enough, and we were getting to see some lush towns….except this one.
We were set to leave at 7 am to get to our next place nice and early, but at 12:30 the night before, the world largest fireworks display had been directed at our boat from about 50 m away. Either is a national holiday or these arseholes just enjoy annoying us, and of course upsetting little scrumpy who is absolutely petrified of bangs. So a well deserved lie in was had by all, and on trying to pay the marina before setting off we couldn’t find the lone worker, so slipped off with another free night. The sun was booming out and about 11:30 we set off, once again we had a great sail and managed to sail perfectly the whole way. We lathered ourselves in our newly purchased carrot tanning oil to make the most of the lush day, and tried to bronze for the entire journey. We arrived into the long beautiful Ria, we were slightly annoyed as there were some really nice anchorages in this entrance but i wanted to get alongside in the marina to ensure the electrics were working. We motored up a narrow river and as we approached the marina there was a perfect English speaking Spaniard on the radio which is always nice, and as we slipping into our berth, we were greated by a Bristol accent from the boat alongside us.
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