After my watch and a snooze I’m woken to the sight of our first Portuguese destination, Viana do Castelo, which looks dreary and drab. How wrong I was! This town was just completing the four day fiesta Romaria de Nossa Senhora d’Agonia, or Our Lady of Sorrows. If you didn’t know the festival was called this you could have guessed by the local folk music that was playing from every bandstand and stage. Whilst the instrumental music is great it’s unfortunately accompanied by banshee wailing. This is normal, so I’m told, but it sounds rubbish.
Heh heh. All this talk of Spanish women but I don’t think I’m in with much of a chance. We have now been at sea for 4 weeks and I’m still on my first bar of soap. This is good since I have two spare, meaning I can continue my rigorous weekly shower routine for the foreseeable future, after which I’ll have to wash myself in coconut oil and banana juice.
As you should be able to see from the photos Islas Cies is idyllic. Despite the fact that ferry services cart many hundreds of Spanish every day to and from the mainland, it still retains its desert island feel. There are very few buildings on the island save a tourist centre, a restaurant, a shop and a lighthouse.
Putting the world to rights
In the evening neither Conny nor myself went ashore (so no postcard). Instead we sat on the deck drinking 50 cent wine (we’ve fully taken advantage of the ridiculously cheap wine in Spain) and put the world to rights. He believes the human race will eventually become borgs.
I was surprised that the majority of tourists in Santiago were Spanish. Santiago is one of Europe’s primary religious destinations, second only to The Vatican, yet we overheard no other language other than Spanish, save for an American couple arguing over whether they should go shopping or have a cup of coffee. That said, the streets are packed.
One thing that did occur to me was the level of involvement of the locals in these festivities. In the UK I think one would struggle to prize the youth from their car jacking and get them to dress up in frilly costumes and dance to bagpipe music, but here in the Galician area of Spain it seems the regional identity is embraced with a huge level of pride.