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After 4 days in Porto we set off on the 70 mile trek north to get us into our first Ria in Galicia Spain. We arrived into Baiona on a Sunday around 5 in the afternoon. The entire town was out on their afternoon walk along the seafront. The seafront is rather dramatic on entry with a large fort spread out over many acres that once protected the head of this Ria.

The town, located right on the water front next to the anchorage, had a lot of nice restaurants and shops and didn’t seem overly touristy. We only spent two nights here as we were ready to get away from civilization for a while.

Just north of us is the first of several islands that make up the the Galicia National Park. You need to log in to their website to gain permission to navigate and anchor in the waters around the island. After a relatively easy, easy for Spain anyway, process we got our promise of a permission letter and set off. The authorities told us the letter would come the following day. We figured that being early in the season we would not get checked by authorities. Fortunatley no one checked us out but the next morning we were sweating bullets as still didn’t have the permission letter and off in the distance I could see a large guardia civil boat checking out another sail boat on an island a mile or so south. About 15 minutes before the patrol boat got to us our email came through with our permission letter. The patrol boat spent about 30 minutes going through all our documentation to make sure we were all legal and then bid us farewell. Phew. We stayed a total of 3 days and nights on Isla Cies North. There were only a handful of boats that visited, and all but a 2 or 3 left well before sunset. In our anchorage, which was at the southern end of the island, we were the only boat that stayed the night. There were visitors that came by ferry but by 5 or so the last ferry left and the island was left to just a few people.

You would never think you were in the North Atlantic ocean here. Well, first of all we had a weather abnormality, we had clear skies and temps in the high 70’s. The water was crystal clear, the beaches were fine white sand, and the back drop was amazing, a combination of cliffs with forests of pine and eucalyptus trees. The hillsides were very green and had a lot of blooming wild flowers. The island had great hiking paths all around it. We took total advantage of our surroundings and explored the entire island. One of the nights we hiked up to one of the highest spots, looking over the open Atlantic to the west, and set up a little picnic for ourselves and watched the sunset. Our hike back down the mountain got us to our dingy just before the last bit of light left the pink sky.

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