Saturday, August 13, 2016

Vigo, Lexioes & Lisbon

Friday 8th August we booked into the Marina at Vigo for a couple of days to collect some parcels that had been delivered to our Ocean Cruising Club Port Officer and spend a couple of days working on the boat. We choose Marina Davila Sport because of the location to services, however the highlight was the two very glamorous girls in the office who could not do enough to help us – we sadly didn’t get to the bar and restaurant on site but did use their bikes. We were also overwhelmed when Alfredo offered to drop our parts over to save us coming to his office in 30 degrees. The kindness of people when we are travelling through is just such a special part of this experience.

Boat jobs over the two days included oil and filter changes for both engine and generator, installation of the replacement Marco freshwater pump, replacement of the interior of the locker that was subject to water damage before we received the grommets for the light fittings and replacement of a door catch that broke. So the package delivered from Oyster was all put straight to use!

Fun in the engine
Generator service
Smoke over the marina in Vigo
Saturday night we took a cab into Vigo for dinner – we found it a bit dirty compared to other towns but had a nice meal. Then Sunday 10th we had decided that it was time to head to Portugal – it was a tough call as we have loved the Rias and could have happily spent a lot more time here.  However bushfires had been burning in the area for several days and the air quality was awful, Askari was covered in ash and so we decided we should make south.
Vigo - interesting dinner!
 We had a nice sail out of Ria Vigo but as soon as we turned South and came out from behind the islands the swell picked up in what felt like every direction; it was like we were in a washing machine.We did not have enough wind to sail at any speed in these seas, so motor sailing was all we could do until, strangely we crossed into Portuguese waters. Then we managed to sail, however the wind was all over the place, we had the pole up one side and then the other and then sailed without the pole for a bit at 120 degrees before poling out again – gosh what a tiring day and all with hardly any visibility due to smoke. The most frustrating day yet.

We were then approaching the Port of Lexioes when we received a call from the Katherine who could not drop their main sail beyond their second reef, as the halyard was stuck, they asked if we could help and were doing laps of the harbour in 20 plus knots. We considered anchoring but thought we should secure Askari, so whizzed in under full engine and tied up in a very scruffy marina still surrounded by bush fires and big docks, launched our tender and Andrew went to assist.

Up the mast on the Katherine

Smokey Marina at Lexioes
Next morning we took the metro into Porto – half an hour and quite an experience! The trains were really nice and tidy but we met some ‘interesting’ people and saw the suburbs of Porto; which consisted of quite high-density living and a lot of awful graffiti. Porto city was however fabulous and we had a great day exploring, even though it was as hot as hell and the smokey sky was still ever present. We found a lovely local restaurant and had a menu lunch with of course some Port for 9Euros – not bad in such a tourist town.
Metro trip to Vigo
 Exploring Porto.....

Market in Porto

Deli Founded 120 years ago

OMG just love these custard tarts

Smokey bridge over the river Douro

Enough steps??

Back in Lexioes we went out with Lee and Andrew for a wander and found that this sleepy little town comes alive at night, a street of outside bars serving wine and cocktails was our first stop, followed by a Spanish restaurant – yes I know we were struggling to have left Spain but we did learn Portuguese with the staff and try some fab local deserts. The night unravelled slightly when we asked for a digestive and they brought three bottles for us to try and left them with us….. Oh and then when we left we each got given a bottle of wine – this is the sort of service we love – such a fun night!
Fun night in Lexioes

With gifts of wine at Los Ibericos
Next morning – Tuesday 12th August we slipped lines and set sail for Lisbon. This was an overnight trip that started with glassy seas and then a little bit of wind but mostly we motor sailed. We did finally get through the end of the smoke late in the day, had visits from three different groups of dolphins and clocked our first 2000 miles on Askari.

About 8am we turned in towards Lisbon, took a look at Cascais (the posh holiday resort) before making contact with the Marina at Oerias at the entrance to the River into Lisbon who had a berth for us. There’s a beach, a pool and restaurants all in the marina – we may never leave!

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