The girls and Johnsey left for home yesterday. John and I were sad to have them leave. The holiday with them was everything we had hoped for, except that it whizzed by too quickly. We are missing them. More subtly, we also miss the anticipation of their coming, which has coloured our experiences so far. The constant references to what they would like and what we could all do together. We took a taxi to the station with them to see them off. It is a taxi ride to most places from here, we are at the Marina Davila Sport in Vigo and although it is a lovely marina it is situated in an industrial wasteland.
To catch up from where I left off four days ago, our journey here was dogged by persistent fog, which rolled into Portonova on Tuesday night. When we woke it was hard to see the harbour entrance and shreds of mist clung to the town for most of the day. It seemed foolhardy to persist with our planned sail to Baionna, so we decide to stay another night and move on straight to Vigo. John and I had a walk round with Emma and Johnsey. On our way past the beach we overtook Ronaldo and Messi, both sporting full kit, including wool socks despite the heat. Ronaldo was the more senior of the two and may have had first choice on the strip. Johnsey reminisced about how he had lived in his Wednesday strip at the same age. We climbed the hill and enjoyed a coffee in a pleasant little square at the top, which would normally have had lovely sea views. We walked back into town, scanning the menu’s trying to decide where to eat that night. A market had opened up its stalls along the main street, so we browsed. Oddly, the beach was clear of fog and busy with holidaymakers. After lunch the young set off for it, but John and I relaxed on the boat. John checked the weather forecast, which was for more of the same for the next few days. Consequently our plan was to set off for Vigo in the middle of Thursday, which had been relatively clear, the early mist having burned off and the evening fog yet to roll in.
We stuck to the plan. At first the fog seemed to close in around us and John contemplated turning back. Then it cleared sufficiently for us to make steady progress under engine, with the kids taking turns to keep watch at the front in pairs. We were glad of their excellent hearing, up away from the noise of our own engine, as well as their eyesight and were able to put ghostly shapes to the various radar blips and avoid the lobster pots. As our journey progressed we could see more and more and our arrival at Vigo posed no problems. The marinera on duty at Davilla Sport came out to us on a rib, gave clear instructions in excellent English and helped us tie up at the longest, highest pontoon yet. A mere step off the side of the boat to the pontoon no need for dramatic jumps down onto a wobbly surface clutching a rope. We went up to the marina restaurant for a drink and felt distinctly scruffy amongst the smart shirt and ties having their business lunches. It is very up market, thronged with people from outside, so essential to book, we booked for Friday night, to celebrate Emma’s birthday together early.
After lunch on the boat the kids set off to explore Bouzas and had a mini adventure. The pilot book had suggested the marina was a twenty minute walk from Vigo, but the staff in the office looked horrified by this and explained Vigo was an hour’s walk, but Bouzas was indeed twenty minutes away. So Johnsey and the girls set off to explore. After walking for about ten minutes, through the docks and industrial buildings with no end in sight, they spotted a taxi and hailed it. “Bouzas” they said. The taxi driver was non-plused. After further “Bouzas”, emphasis on the u and some arm waving, she caught on “Bouzas!” smiles all round. She set off at light speed. Past Bouzas. Past the docks at Vigo, under a couple of tunnels. The drive was taking twenty minutes. Eventually she arrived triumphantly at the bus station. They thanked her, climbed out and had a coffee, so she could pick up another fare, took a photo crammed into a booth to commemorate the event and caught a taxi back. We saw them pull up on our own wander round, still laughing about it all.
Next day we caught two taxis into Vigo, which is huge and has impressively long streets. We explored the old town and had coffee in a square and then came into the main shopping area. By this time everywhere was closed for lunch. Undeterred we climbed up flights of stone steps, following Google maps till we managed to locate a vegetarian restaurant, Katie had researched. It proved excellent. For once Katie and Lara had the choice of the whole menu. The food was delicious and a welcome change from the usual suspects. The atmosphere was lovely and the place very busy. John and I plan to go back. In one corner was a deli and we stocked up on the good bread, we had sampled, and on peanut butter. After that we completed the climb to the park at the top of the hill, which was further than it looked. We sat below a derelict castle and watched a vivid green frog in a pool, before descending back into the centre of Vigo, where the girls enjoyed the shops and John found an Orange store and sorted out our internet.
That was all Friday, Saturday was mainly about them going, though John did take me to a chandlers to cheer me up. Nothing like the smell of neoprene to revive flagging spirits. Today we sort out chores, washing clothes and the boat and, most successfully, mended the hinges on our hatch. The mist still keeps wafting in from the water, which is both melancholic and a bit of a threat. Apparently the Portuguese coast is renown for it. Now he tells me.