The pilot book for Northern Spain lists Bayona (Baiona) as a long time favourite stopover for British yachtsmen and as we sit here at anchor with the panorama of the Ensenada de Baiona all around us it’s easy to see why. I was here once before, over 30 years ago, working as mate on the 35ft steel Junk rigged ‘Abraxis’ the skipper and I were delivering from Falmouth to Tenerife. I remember thinking back then that it’d be cool to sail my own boat here one day, I never dreamed it would take this long but hey here I am.
My recollections of the place are unsurprisingly vague, it was a long time ago and it was November. The castle of Monte Real overlooking the harbour looks the same but the marina is far larger. I remember some of the streets in the old town too but that’s about all. What hasn’t changed though is the atmosphere, it’s welcoming and full of life. We’ve been here a few days now exploring, chilling out and generally enjoying the place. With no timetable there seems little reason to push on while we’re having a good time. This will be our last port of call in Northern Spain and from here down to Cape St Vincent the coast isn’t quite so welcoming.
Last night we were once again disturbed by loud live music and fireworks that went on well into the wee small hours, as I’ve said before the Galicians do like to make a noise but you know what? It’s actually great to see (and hear). There’s something to value in the fact that their traditions and personal freedoms seem to have remained undiluted by rules and regulations. One of the phrases we’ve used most in our time here has been “they’d never allow that back home”. The longer we spend here the more we’ve begun to see how controlled and regulated life back home is. The police over here may carry guns but they wear T-shirts not stab vests, petty ’enforcement officers’ in hi-viz are absent, as are CCTV cameras, some folks wear seabelts and helmets on the road others choose not to, somehow it just seems easier going, more live and let live and I like it.
The photos below should hopefully give a flavour of the place and like I say, we may be here a few days yet.
Jake has been busy back on Alderney and has posted a couple of videos on the Barefoot Boat Bums site you might enjoy.
Next time I post it’ll be fm another country…. Portugal. See you then.