To begin our exploration of the Galician west coast, we decided to follow a driving route described in a Portugal guide book gifted to us back in Avranches, France by a friendly Australian couple. Familiar now with the northern coast of Spain, our expectation was that the west coast would likely be similar except with the sea having more power and waves. In reality we noticed little difference as we drove around the various headlands and peninsulas on our day’s route including the town of Noia, which proved to be a frustratingly busy town with no free parking and a large busy market on. We missed a turn and had to complete another full lap of the busy and narrow town centre, so we left exasperated rather than having an opportunity to explore the town on foot. We’ve become a little fatigued from trying to locate suitable parking spots for Benny in the centre of towns, and whilst mostly we have persisted, on this occasion we decided to move on.
We continued with our coastal drive, passing through small villages on narrow roads. We added in occasional stops at mirador points to enjoy a sunny view across villages, beaches or harbours, as our whims dictated. We were able to admire panoramic views of wide bays and white sand beaches, lined with palm trees and all virtually empty. We took the occasional stroll on the sands, passing only sea birds and shells, enjoying the peaceful beauty of the coastline. With quite a few winding miles still to cover, after our picnic lunch, we pressed on towards our day’s goal.
By early afternoon we’d stopped at the quiet beach front aire near Boiro and, very pleasingly, there was no one else around but a few passing locals. We were soon out onto the beach, then we installed ourselves under a covered timber decking area which provided welcome shade in the sticky heat of the afternoon.
There were many floating timber platforms positioned across the expansive bay, which we presumed were for some aspect of commercial fishing, but we didn’t ever confirm their actual purpose. One of these timber platforms had been towed into the shore at the side of our beach and, with the tide a long way out, it was grounded neatly for maintenance or repair. A large lorry with long cut tree trunks arrived and offloaded the required timber for the works. We watched the construction crew busy around the platform and then tidy up and leave, on cue, less than half an hour before the before the incoming tide again surrounded the structure.
We passed a lovely afternoon with sunbathing, reading, diary writing, and pilates on the timber deck. An occasional local arrived to take a stroll or walk their dog on the beach, but otherwise we were alone. We later walked along the beach exploring an outcrop of rocks at the water’s edge, which Nicky felt was simply asking to be climbed. With the tide back in we went for a swim, but with it being such a flat beach we had to walk a long way out before the water was over knee height, so swimming was not practicable. Instead we had a warm and relaxing float and splash around, to complete a very enjoyably tranquil and calm afternoon.
There was one slightly weird occurrence; whilst sitting in our van later that afternoon, an old guy driving a tiny red car, no larger than a Smart car and similarly with no back seat, continually reversed in and out of various spots adjacent to our motorhome. He continued this behaviour multiple times, with his high-pitched whining car sounding like it only had one gear, or was stuck in first. We couldn’t fathom his reasoning or intent, other than to suppose it was some form of driving lesson or test for the car, but we were grateful for the deafening silence when he finally moved on.
Another Benimar motorhome, this one a rental, arrived around 8pm and parked up near to us. A Spanish couple with surfboards emerged, but we never saw them near the water – perhaps the beach was too calm for their liking. Later a third motorhome pulled up and parked over near a locked toilet block to complete the aire’s customers for this night.
We awoke to find a cool, low-lying mist all around us. We could no longer tell where the sea stopped and the sky began, as they both merged into grey at the blurred horizon. This was such an unexpected contrast to the previous afternoon of clear sunshine and blue skies, and was very eerie and ethereal. We had our morning cup of tea sat on the same decking looking out to this bizarre seascape, with quite a chill in the air. Joggers ran along the beach with their dog trailing in their footsteps, as we searched the mist for any signs of the floating timber structures that should have been close by, but the curtain of cloud was too dense to penetrate. We felt sad to leave such a beguiling place.