I’ve had an enjoyable few days here in La Coruña and the Biscay crossing seems an age ago. Despite only speaking three words of Spanish I got ‘chatting’ with some locals over a beer last night and then got given a tour of their favourite bars in the old town. Recipe for sore head this morning but well worth it.
Learning languages does not come easy to me. I was lucky to scrape a C grade at GCSE French. But as i’ll be in Spain for a while I thought I should make an effort to learn some Spanish phrases. I have been surprised at the little English people speak outside the harbour area. I’m well aware that talking very slowly and emphasising each syllable in English while pointing is a poor substitute for some local lingo. Today I found a bookshop and purchased for five euros a lonely planet guide called “Inglés, Para el Viajero”. The only downside with this book is that it is aimed at helping Spanish speakers with English conversation and not vice versa. So 3/4 of the book I cannot read without using the google translate app on my phone which rather defeats the point. Nevertheless there are several pages with English and Spanish phrases written next to each other which is much more like it. These range from useful phrases such as “Can I order a beer please” and “I’m lost” to those I don’t expect to use such as “excuse me my handbag has been stolen” and “I think i’m pregnant”.
As it is early in the season the marina is very quite and there are few visiting boats around mainly French and Dutch. I’ve ticked off some boat maintenance jobs including stripping and servicing the windlass in anticipation of lots of anchoring in the next weeks and soldering on a new plug to the SSB radio cable. Earlier today I walked to the north of the peninsular and climbed the ‘Tower of Hercules’ which is the oldest Roman lighthouse in use in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site.
Yesterday I was pleased to find a shop selling the ‘Atlantic Spain and Portugal’ pilot book (IN ENGLISH!) so i’m all set to head on down the coast. Thanks to Jojo and Bol for their recommendations on places to stop having sailed the coast last year. My plan is to leave early tomorrow for Laxe which is around 35 nautical miles to the west.
Unfortunately I haven’t taken any interesting photos since I’ve been here so will make do posting one of the lighthouse and one of the statue of Maria Pita – a Galician heroine who helped defend Coruna from attack by the pesky British in 1589.