Thank you Jim Turney for pointing this out and sending me the link. I stick by what I said. 🙂 This is a very useful article for anyone looking at Data Communication Systems for ocean voyages An Iridium Sat Phone will be my next purchase.
To be honest not a lot has been going on over the past couple of weeks. We have, however, been enjoying some glorious weather and this has given us the opportunity to visit places in the north of Spain that we missed whilst sailing.
The other day we found ourselves on the edge of Northern Spain, Cabo Peñas. We had finally managed to wake up early enough to experience the fog lifting over land and the views over the Bay of Biscay with absolutely stunning. Cabo Peñas rock consists of Armorican Quartzite, which has a very strong resistance to abrasion, therfore the make-up of the cliffs is stunning. The lighthouse at Cabo Peñas is the most important and far-reaching on the coastline of Asturias and was built there in 1852. It is a magnificent structure.
We had taken one of Carlottas’s good friends with us and spent the rest of the morning visiting several wonderful bays and getting slightly stuck down a farmers track. The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the wonderful beach of Verdicio before the fog came back and we made a quick departure before we lost the car.
It still amazes me how cheap food is in Spain. We spent a day travelling with Carlotta’s Mum (Maria) and visited the lovely town of Villaviciosa, where you can get a menu of the day for only eight euros. The meal comprised of Paella, Beans and Chorizo, half a chicken, ice-cream and a bottle of house wine. For around about £6 we ate like Kings and Queen’s, as you can so easily do in Spain. We needed a walk after the heavy lunch, so decided to investigate this historic town. Villaviciosa played an important role in the Peninsular War against France. The town suffered numerous attacks as it was the occupied territory of the French Troops until they were expelled. Currently, Villaviciosa is the most important municiaplity of Cidre and you could not escape the smell of Cidre as you walked down the cobbled streets.
A very good friend of mine (Pedro) decided to drive from Portugal (Figueira da Foz) to Oviedo for one night, a drive of over 640 kilometers. Those of you who have read the blog before will know that Pedro is the gentleman who introduced Carlotta and myself 11 years ago and he has been a good friend to us since.
While he was here we decided to take a trip to visit the very pleasent fishing villages of Luanco and Candas. Luanco is a fabulous place and although they contructed a fake beach it still brings in the crowds of tourists and locals. We enjoyed roaming the quite streets, savouring the history of this small place and enjoying abouth 4 course lunch for £12 each. We ended up sipping coffee into the late afternoon and putting the world to rights as we have done since university days.
After Luanco we drove a few miles to Cadaz, which was not a nice as Luanco but did have a certain small-town charm. I would recommend visiting Candas before visiting Luanco to not experience any disapointment. There is nothing more satifying that drinking iced coffee and watching the day go by and Candaz is the perfect place to execute such a past time.
I have still not adjusted my body-clock to Spanish Time and in the evening we found ourselves out with a few of Carlotta’s friends and Pedro. An evening out here starts around 23:00 and can easily carry on until 07:00, which it did; I was destroyed all day Sunday and swore never to partake in a Gin & Tonic drinking Medley again. Thank you Pedro and to all who put up with my brocken Spanish.
I am still trying to get around being able to speak Spanish. I am three weeks in and with the help of Peppa Pig cartoons (in Spanish) and Michel Thomas’s Spanish course I am making very little progress. Being in a foreign country and not being able to speak the language fully is hard. I can only imagine that it is being similar to being in a coma. I can understand most things but find it difficult to speak. It is depressing as you cannot eaily show your gratitude to the kind people we meet and Carlotta’s parents. The good thing is that I am constantly persisting in the learning side and I hope that after another month I will be able to string a sentence together.
Carlotta, on the hand has been transformed into the new Master Chef. As I sit here typing away she is creating unbelievable dishes with the assistance of her Mum. I think we have all put on some weight, but I am certainly not complaining.
So, what are the future plans? We need to see Southern Spain and so our next journey begins on the 23rd of Septmeber. We will drive down to Salamanca and then onto Madrid, where we have our B1 and B2 American Visa Interview for the new job. We will then head to Valencia, Alicante, Mucia, Granada, Seville and then up the Portugal coast making sure we stop at Porto this time. We have a lot to fit in and I look forward to sharing the experiences with you.
Oliver & Carlotta
P.S. Troskala has now dodged several tropical storms and is doing well. We miss her and look forward to returning in a month and half’s time.