Well you might be sitting in Old Blighty thinking it’s all sun, sea and sand. Northern Spain is mountainous and very green. Now there’s a very good reason for that, it rains a lot. The weather along this coast is reminiscent of the SW coast of England, so a bit of everything and very changeable. It can be lovely sunshine one minute then overcast and raining the next.
We’d had a lovely hot sunny day in Santander. We set the alarm for 8 o’clock. I got up to make some tea before our departure and all I could see, well actually I couldn’t see, it was thick fog! The northern coast of Spain is renowned for fog.
We waited an hour when it started to lift and off we went. We headed for Llanes which is about 40 miles along the coast. It was grey, miserable and the wind was on the nose which meant we were bashing into waves again! Just as we arrived at Llanes the wind dropped a bit and the seas became very flat. There was still quite a mist over the land.
The marina had space for just three visiting boats, luckily we were the third boat into the marina. We rafted alongside Bonaire, whose skipper John, is sailing single handed.
Llanes is a lovely village situated beneath the Picos de Europa mountain range. We took a ride a few miles out of town and then came back in for some lunch. Spain is definitely better value than France. Lots of restaurants offering 3 courses for €12 and food in the supermarket is in line with UK.
We spent a couple of days in Llanes and we left on Thursday 20th July for Gijon. It was another overcast day, with the clouds hanging low on the mountains. It was just under 50 miles to Gijon and we arrived at Marina Yates which of the two marinas here was the one further out of town, but we have the bikes and the cycle paths here are great. Plus this marina is half the price of the other one and we can always do with the exercise.
We ventured into the main town and came across a rather unusual statue made of bottles. We were walking along the bay and we heard a loud roar and it was an F16 flying overhead. We then went up to the top of the hill where we found quite a few people with cameras set up. There was obviously something going on. We could then hear the sound of a helicopter which landed just along from us, dropped of five people and then off it went again.
Two of the guys who were in Swiss uniforms walked past us. So Ian decided to have a chat with them. They were part of the Swiss Airforce and they were going to be practicing in 20 minutes time for the Airshow that was being held on the Sunday. The helicopter arrived again and picked up two guys and off it went. The helicopter and nine other planes then put on a display. This was followed by one lone plane, that we did wonder if was local and trying to get in on the act.
The following day we met up with Karen and Ronnie, fellow Mahe owners. We had decided to meet for lunch but we were a bit late so a drink and dinner it was.
Cudillero – Sunday 23rd July 2017
Our next port of call was to Cudillero which had been recommended by Jesus from Marina Yates. He lived at the top of the hill and said it was a traditional Spanish village. Ian had looked at this harbour and thought the entrance looked tricky and so had dismissed it however, Jesus was insistent that it was fine so off we went. It certainly was a beautiful place with the houses hanging on the side of the hill. However, the entrance was quite narrow and there was quite a swell with rocks either side. We had to go through the rush of the water, Ian thought it was great, I wasn’t so keen! Once in though it was lovely.
Moving swiftly on!
The next couple of days we moved on pretty quickly as the weather wasn’t so good, grey and overcast, not something you would expect for Northern Spain. So from Cudillero we went to Ribedao, where we anchored up for the night. We did call into Luarca where there were five mooring buoys. You had to tie up to one of the buoys on the stern and the bow to a ring along the wall. However, one boat had used two mooring buoys, fore and aft (front and back) and one other boat had used one mooring buoy and the only ring, so the other two buoys had nothing to tie on at the wall so we decided to give that a miss and carried on to Ribedao. From Ribedao to Carino, which was a lovely sunny day. John on Bonaire joined us and we had a meal together aboard Cuffysark sitting in the sunshine.
We then moved from Carino to Ares. On the way we finally got to see some dolphins and they were swimming underneath the boat and jumping out the water.
We spent one night at Ares, we had planned two but on getting up on Thursday 27th July, it was just like home can be, raining, grey and foggy, so we left for La Coruna just 6/7 miles away. Hoping to find some sun soon!
27th July 2017