Calypso Capers

Riveira – Better Than We Remembered!

We paid a flying visit here in 2019, an overnight stop as we headed North to explore Finisterra. We had arrived tired and grumpy on a dull day and were not enamoured with what we found. Our post entitled “Riveira – Useful Not Pretty!” can be found HERE , showing that we were not impressed with the town, even though we liked the marina!

Well, having just spent 8 nights here we do need to set the record straight.

We arrived at Riveira, sitting near the entrance to Ria Arousa, on the North side, after 5.5 nm under motor all the way. Calling up on channel 9 the marinero responded and was waiting to take lines as we arrived. We booked in for 3 nights and said we may stay a little longer – “pay when you leave” he said.

We have seen old reports suggesting that we may have to take lazy lines and that the marina can be bumpy. However, the visitor pontoon is all alongside berthing (as pictured) and a relatively new floating concrete damper has been installed, which we found was pretty effective. Many of the berths inside the outer pontoon are still lazy line moorings so perhaps when busy a visitor may have to take these.

The pontoons do have lockable gates but these are permanently left open as marineros and night time security staff are on duty around the clock. The mooring fee for up to 12m remains the same as 2 years ago at 20 euros a night, but we received a 15% discount courtesy of carrying the ASNAUGA passaporte (available at ASNAUGA member marinas) and paid 17 euros a night. This payment gives access to good, always clean shower and toilet facilities as well as a gymnasium (which we didn’t visit!). Val says that the ladies’ shower never got above “just about warm”, but the gents’ was fine.

There is a bar on the ground floor which has several televisions and during our stay we watched both England and Spain play in the Euro 2021 tournament.

When we went to watch Spain play Switzerland we were the only ones in a busy bar dressed in red, but that went down well. Some wag had put the Swiss flag outside the bar at half mast, and so it was just as well that Spain beat Switzerland on penalties – it was an exciting night! The always generous gin and tonics seemed even more generous, the pinchos arrived with great frequency and we were made to feel very welcome indeed. We’re not sure that it was the red shirts wot’ did it, but they must have helped.

We did have one excellent meal in the bar but had learned that a light meal on Calypso followed by drinks in the bar soon filled us with very generous pinchos (we even had to turn them down more than once – Val recorded in her diary one night that “Paul ate SIX pinchos”. She clearly wasn’t impressed at this miserable diet fail!)

We also had dinner in the upstairs restaurant, which boasts a very nice space with bar area, restaurant and plush seating for after dinner drinks – where we watched the end of another football match.

Our meal was superb. It was one of our more expensive meals out here in Spain, but not surprising for a large fillet steak and John Dory, cooked perfectly. It was still very good value indeed, and definitely worth ironing a shirt for!

As highlighted in our previous post, marine and provisioning facilities are very good here. Directly next to the marina in a row of workshops is a Volvo Penta service agent ( Talleres Miguel Piñeiro). Next door to them is a trade style chandlery, perhaps mainly serving the fishing boats. Our German neighbour for a few days was there to have his Yanmar engine serviced under warranty by a Yanmar agent.

On the opposite side of the main road from the entrance to the marina is a white gabled building housing (down the narrow path to the right) an ancient bakery using a wood fired oven. Go left along the main road and turn first right (just before the large retail chandlery) to reach the large Gadis supermarket. Heading towards town from the Gadis entrance a very good launderette is situated on the busy junction.

We love the supermarkets with their superb fish counters here in Spain. They had them in France as well, putting our seafaring nation to shame!

The town centre is a short walking distance along the main road outside the marina. It is, indeed, not especially pretty, but does have most facilities that the crew is likely to need. The impressive modern market building has numerous fish, meat and veg stalls on the ground floor. On the upper floor is a café where we had lunch with a view. Simple but tasty and good value food. Val was in raptures with her vegetable sandwich; Paul couldn’t finish his huge calamari sandwich in a baguette.

This photo shows part of the extensive port with the third largest fishing fleet in Galicia. This photo was taken on Saturday and part of the large street market can be seen below.

So, we have re-confirmed the findings in our previous blog that Riveira is useful, that the marina is a good place, and can reconfirm that the town is not the prettiest we have visited (there is no characterful old quarter to speak of). However, we were in a better mood (not being as tired) as when we last visited here and enjoyed being in the town.

What made this visit so much better, however, was that we got our folding bikes out and had two days of cycling along the beaches to either side of the town.

We hadn’t had the bikes out at all in 2019 and so were pleasantly surprised when taking them from their carriers that there was almost no rust. We pumped the tires up, dusted them down, applied a lubricant and off we went, first heading East. We didn’t get as far as Palmeira, which we will do another time, but upon returning to the far end of the main town beach stopped for a sit and a soft drink at the bar.

Remarkably our legs and bottoms didn’t suffer at all, and so after a day of rest from cycling we went in the opposite direction to the fishing town of Aguiño. This took us along the cycle path out of town, along board walks and some main (but quiet) road sections to Aguino approximately 4 miles away. On a beautiful day the beaches were populated but certainly not crowded.

We were slightly disappointed that Aguino wasn’t the quaint old fishing village that we had imagined, but the route and the beaches and bars on the way more than made up for that. We stopped at one of the bars on the way back for refreshments – can’t beat a cold diet coke and a sparkling water on a hot day!

We were enjoying ourselves at Riveira far too much to move on quickly. As well as shopping, dining and cycling we took the opportunity to transfer the contents of the laundry basket into clothing lockers via the launderette; we polished up the cockpit (which was dull, even if clean) as well as resolving the problem of the errant reefing line as referred to in the last post. We will not detail the retrieval of that here as it is of no interest whatsoever to anyone other than those scouring the internet to seek a solution to the same problem. And so the next post should be avoided by anyone else!

With a clean boat and a functioning reefing system, after 8 days we headed away from Riveira with a completely different image of the town than when we last visited!


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