Calypso Capers

Ensenada de Barra and Moaña

Entering Our Favourite Ria

After 5 nights in Aldan we upped anchor and headed South into our favourite ria, Ria de Vigo. There is a great deal of variety here, from beaches to small towns and the city of Vigo. At the entrance is Baiona, with its lovely yacht club and Parador, and at the far end under the bridge is a lagoon-like area and the quiet marina of San Adrian.

Our first stop, after 10 nm and  two and a quarter hours of motoring, was Ensenada de Barra, also known as “Bare Arse Bay” for obvious reasons, and one of Paul’s favourite anchorages.

In the wide bay are 3 beaches, separated by rocky headlands and we anchored off the Westernmost as that is best sheltered from the prevailing North-Westerly swell that enters the ria. There is still a slight swell that enters Barra, which is generally OK when the wind is in the North, but we did encounter short periods when Calypso lay beam on to the incoming swell, which is uncomfortable except in the calmest of conditions.

Val is pictured here at the Eastern-most end of the bay, with Calypso anchored in the far distance.

We only stayed 2 nights here, and on the second day walked along the beach and into the village above its Eastern end.

When we arrived back at the beach we selected a small bar for lunch, set just back from the beach. Inside was the owner and a couple of regulars having a bit of a jam – two guitars and a vocalist giving great atmosphere. We enjoyed that over a beer before heading to the upstairs terrace, where Marta told us that her father had been in a touring band, and we could tell!

Upstairs we met a lovely family from North London, here on a 3 week holiday. It was their first time to Galicia and they were loving it. They were, like us, not beach hugging sun-worshippers and were enjoying the great variety of landscapes, towns, cities, cathedrals etc..

Much as we like interacting with the local community our Spanish is really very limited and not much English is spoken in these parts, so it was good to chat with fellow Englanders – sorry if we bored you Kirk and Sarah!

They gave us a great recommendation for a restaurant in Vigo which was fully booked when they tried – we will report back in due course……

There are more photos of Barra in our 2019 report HERE

After two nights we headed East to Moaña, 7 nm and just over an hour and a half – with no wind it was all motor again!

The marina has only a few visitor berths and for some reason is not particularly popular. We have read an odd report advising to avoid the place, but we really like it, visiting twice in 2019.

At high tide the view across to Vigo is striking, although this all disappears behind the wave break at low tide!

We stayed here for 3 nights at the very fair price of 20e a night (up to 12m). The shower facilities are good enough and the wi-fi ranges from poor at times to very good, enabling us to start catching up with the blog! 

The restaurant at the marina is very good and we had a superb meal here – the half a huge seabass that we shared was even bigger than it looks in the photo, with delightful flavours and a texture very much different to the farmed seabass in the UK supermarkets. This is the wild beast hunted by all those old chaps that we see handlining from rowing boats near the rocks around here.

We had a very long dinner and it was dark when we left, wandering along the seafront where we finished the night with tostadas over ice and the best coffee ice cream ever at an equally good bar/pastelaria somewhere down near the market.

We had originally booked in here for 2 nights but extended to a third and made best advantage of the variety of supermarkets (4, including an excellent Carrefour), the chandlery and a great ferreteria (both almost opposite the marina). We also had a good washing session at the launderette (up the hill between the ferreteria and chandlery, turn left at the roundabout).

Our extra day, a Sunday, dawned grey and damp – and so of course we decide to go for a walk. After passing the rowing gig regatta (they had one last time we were here) we went into the misty hills behind the town and found the Igrexa de San Martiño, a C12th Romanesque church. We stopped outside the open doorway and took in a little of the ongoing service before heading back down the hill.

On Monday we headed just outside the marina and dropped anchor off the beach.

The anchorage seems very well protected and we knew it to be good holding in muddy sand (as we discovered when picking up the anchor).

There is good access to the town via concrete slipways although we left the marina late in the day and didn’t go ashore ourselves.

After a very peaceful night we awoke to find not only fishermen dropping a seine net right next to us (see top photo) but also an army of clammers wading out in the shallows.

At this stage of our trip we had spent an equal amount of time at anchor to in marinas – but high winds were forecast over the next few days and so we wanted to head back in……..

Distance Traveled Since Leaving Xufre – 62 nm

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