Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody
After saying goodbye to Claire and William, we left Bayona after the best part of a week there. The wind was against us, but the first indication of what was to come was when Valhalla, the leading boat suddenly heeled hard over and rounded up. The sea turned rough and we had a pretty miserable passage down to Povoa. Even when the sea and wind abated, we were then stuck with poor visibility by sea mist, and only saw Portugal from about 1 mile of the port. It was a real relief to tie up at 21.30!
Povoa was, and is a fishing port. However it is also a seaside resort (but apparently not in June thankfully). Once you walk behind the seafront streets, the original buildings are apparent, many with their distinctive tiled facades. Contrasts are very evident, with high fashion next to vacant shops, derelict buildings and abandoned developments. Not many towns would boast of a shop selling only socks, but the real gems were those selling fruit and vegetables. Apparently we failed to find the market, which was reported as splendid.
A coach tour of the local area had been laid on, which opened our eyes to the differences in wealth and living styles. An eye-opener was finding a public clothes-washing bath with a woman doing her washing there. However the highlight for me was seeing some of the enormous aqueduct that ran for 11 km, with 999 arches. Nothing quite prepares you for the scale of the construction, nor for the purpose which was to serve a monastery. Built in the 17th century, and now a national monument, it is suffering from the economic crisis with several arches having collapsed and not been repaired.
Today is due to be a short sail down to Porto, with dinner at Grahams, that well-known port maker!