We arrived back at San Vicente at tea time and it looked much as we had left it.
Beautiful. We tied up and John went off to sort out the paperwork, while the crew convened in front of the Club Nautica bar for liquid refreshment, Large beers all round. We decided this was far enough to walk for one night and had dinner there in the restaurant. The same lady served us as on our previous visits, nodding solemnly at our attempts at Spanish and doing her best to interpret it. Now she was wearing a summer dress. The same chef clattered away in the kitchen. The food was even better than we had remembered.
The following morning we all set off intending to reprise the coastal walk, with the inclusion of sketching and a swim. We set off along the walkway, pointing out the strange rock formations and bizarre statues to the kids. The gorse and heather were still blooming, but many of the wildflowers had already given their all, though new ones were green with bud.
We arrived at the last beach along the walkway, the point at which it gave way to footpath, and called a halt for the swim. Other more seasoned beach goers were equipped with wind breaks and parasols to provide essential shade.
Johnsey and John knocked us up a Heath Robinson arrangement with driftwood and old planks, from which we suspended my sarong and our largest beach towel. Then we all set off to cool down in the sea. The sea was so cold it burned. We edged our way inch by inch into the numbing water, each step forward introduced a fresh tract of hot flesh to tingle and die. One by one we took the plunge; gasped, spluttered, then made grandiose statements of encouragement, as to how nice it was, to those remaining. We all managed to swim before anyone became hypothermic. Some swims were shorter than others. Invigorated we padded up the beach to bask dry and then took turns in the shade, watching the antics of the many dogs and their owners, particularly a poodle, which kept falling over, trying to walk on it’s two front feet, because the back pads were hot and clogged by the gritty sand. We are drawn to poodles having owned one and this one was rather like her.
There was no question of continuing the walk in the heat, so we headed back and stopped off at a beach bar, that had not been open on our previous visit.
That night we ate at El Pirate. They had lifted the big stuffed octopus off the grass and plonked it up on a roof with its bandana was tied under it’s chin like the queen. The food was excellent. Johnsey was served a small barbecue complete with coals on which a variety of meats were sizzling. The pasta primavera was excellent, which was just as well as it was the only veggie main course. There is not a lot of variety for vegetarians here, the waiters look sympathetic and puzzled as though it is an affliction, rather than a choice.
This morning we went a walk the other way around the long arcs of beach, which became increasingly crowded, so we turned back and swam from the beach nearest the marina. The sea seemed less of a challenge, but not much less. John and Johnsey elected to just paddle. A lady with three pugs in tow came down to the sea and carried each in in turn for a bath, to which they seemed resigned rather than enthusiastic. When all had been scrubbed she carried one under each arm to keep them out of the sand, leaving the largest to waddle along behind. By the time we had walked back to Lyra we were dry and after a bit of knitting with the lines we set off for Cambarro at the top of the next ria.
The wind was none existent, so we motored following the waypoints dot to dot through the heat. The banks we passed were peppered by clusters of orange pantile roofs, this seemed a more populous ria. There were a disappointing number of cranes and chimneys facing us at the head. Ten minutes away we set out lines and fenders. Emma, Katie and I sat on the for-deck chatting, Katie bemoaned our lack of dolphin sightings. As we rounded the small island of Isla Ons two large, grey dolphins surfaced right beside us. They turned and passed in front of our bows, followed alongside and crossed us again.
Stop press! I have been interrupted by another dolphin sighting, just outside the harbour here. The dolphins were fishing, we could dee the dark backs arching through the surface and sometimes jumping, with silver showers of escaping fish flying through the air ahead of them. For ages they kept circling a quite small area some distance away. A lucky yacht lingered close by. Then they came towards us herding the fish up against the pontoons. We had front row standing room only views of them dipping and diving. Yes, I did take photographs.
The situation then became a bit daft as all sorts of small motor boats muscled in weaving to and fro trying for even closer sighting and the dolphins slowly retreated.
After this our Irish neighbours cooly informed us that Andy Murray had won Wimbledon. They have a permanent berth here and seemed only moderately interested in the dolphins, so maybe they are a common sight and we will spot them again when we leave. Fingers crossed!