18th September ~ Ría de Pontevedra
We hadn’t really intended to go into the this Ría as we needed to be in Lisbon by the middle of October so that Alan could return to UK for some business meetings.
However, we were ahead of schedule and as we had been told that it was a place not to be missed, we decided that we did have time! – Such a good decision!.
18 ~ 20th Raxo
We arrived at this tiny port soon after lunch, picked up a buoy and stayed for two nights!
It turned out to be a great decision, we really enjoyed it. Raxo, pronounced ‘Rat-cho’, had a lovely feel to it and when we went ashore we were greeted by a very sweet girl who turned out to be the ‘Marinero’ in charge of the harbour. She gave us lots of information and so armed with this we set off to check out the town, it was indeed very small!
Community Lavdoiro and the Iglesia San Gregorio
It did however, have some very lovely features, including this Lavadoiro and surprisingly large church for such a small place!
19th September ~ Sightseeing in Combarro and the city of Pontevedra
We took the bikes ashore in the dinghy, which was a bit of an experiment to see if we could manage to do it in one trip! We managed it! So feeling really chuffed we put the bikes together, locked up the dinghy and cycled to the old quarter of Combarro, Galicia’s most beautiful fishing village.
We locked up the bikes, had a spot of lunch before roaming in and out of the tiny streets, paved in granite! It was enchanting!
Some of the enchanting granite paved streets in Combarro!
We came across no fewer than eight Cruceiros, large granite crosses which all depicted Christ facing inland and on the other side, the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of sailors, facing towards the sea?
Two of the eight Cruceiros in Combarro!
The other striking feature and impossible to miss were the hórreos or granaries. Almost every shorefront house had one of these which was used for drying corn or fish in.
The fishermen’s houses were small with elaborate stonework finished off the with baroque style stone or iron balconies and all facing the sea. The fishermen lived on the first floor and the ground floor was used for storing their fishing tackle etc.
We also came across a street where the houses which were not facing the sea. These were not the houses of fishermen but people who worked on the land and the width of the doors was much wider to allow cattle and carts inside. A famous writer Otero Pedrayo once described Combarro as a place “where the farm cart rests beside the fishing boat”
Combarro was as pretty as picture and fascinating to discover why the little houses were constructed as they were and the significance of the design of the Cruceiros!
The old way of fishing on such a small scale has vanished! Like everything else it has grown and developed with much more sophisticated equipment and much larger fishing vessels!
The village has become a tourist attraction and the once thronging streets of fishermen have been replaced with visitors and the houses have been converted into shops and restaurants and so it is still thriving, just in a different form!
The city of Pontevedra
We cycled on to this city which was only a few kilometres further but SO different! It is at the top of the Ría named after it and the rustic charm of the fishermen’s stone houses in Combarro was replaced by the grandeur of the Basílica de Santa María a Maior and the carefully preserved old town which surrounds the Basílica.
The Basílica was amazingly ornate and Baroque in style and the inside was breath-taking.
Some shots of the old quarter of Pontevedra!
Time to leave this elegant city! We made our way back to Raxo and Musetta having had a really interesting day out! We were so pleased to have been able to visit Pontevedra, an unexpected treat because we hadn’t intended coming into this Ría at all?
20th Leaving Raxo and the Ría de Pontevedra…..
All is calm as we leave!
…and heading for the Parque Nacionale de las Islas Atlánticas de Galicia, something for next time!!