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.
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.
As the dinghy heads towards the slipway I notice the sea front is teeming with people, and the slipway is covered by more crowds. A quick scan on the bins confirms that there is a military brass band accompanying a crew of religious types who are carrying some religious thing down to the waters edge.