Published: August 6th 2010July 30th 2010
Viana do Castelo was a surprisingly pleasant place. I say surprisingly because I don’t think any of us were expecting much to be there at all. We were expecting a small town perhaps. What we found when we got there was very lovely. We were berthed up next the Gustav Eiffel bridge. We then ventured into the town centre which was buzzing with activity. It just so happened that we stumbled into the town a night when they were celebrating an outdoor music festival. In the evening we were spoilt by a jazz trio playing bass and guitars in one of the town squares.
After us spending time trying to get by in Spanish, to then arrive in another country and not even know how to say thank you was a bit disastrous.
The morning after, we needed to leave to make way to Porto to get there in good time so we could visit the town before Pete and Eamonn had to leave on a flight early the following morning. Heading back down the river the fog was thick and visibility was poor. Were we being foolhardy setting out in such thick fog? Probably. We headed back to
our berth and decided to head back into town to look at alternative transport to the airport. After soaking in more folk music and dancing, the alternatives to getting to the airport appeared to be complicated so when the fog a lifted slightly we thought it’d be a good idea to head onto Porto after all.
When we were getting close to the port of Leixoes the fog started to lift and after navigating around a few hazards and restricted areas we pulled into the Marina behind a container ship escorted by a couple of pilot boats. After being surrounded by such natural beauty for most of the past week, it seemed in some way odd to see industrial activity again. We berthed up, cleaned ourselves, sorted taxis to the airport out and went to find ourselves a fine Portuguese establishment to water and nourish ourselves with. Where we ended up felt like a real find. They served excellent steak and wine and the service was brilliant with the waiter taking us through each item on the menu. We took him up on his recommendation and were disappointed in the slightest. It was a just what the doctored ordered.
We had a couple of weeks of wind and sailing and touring to dream of so it all felt a bit odd when Pete and Eamonn left. They will be missed.