A Spanish invasion

Coruna and the whistling bus

17th May 2012
Santiago, Spain


Whistle a bus in Cederia and Coruna.

Viviero to Coruna

Before anyone asks, yes it is still raining in Viviero, in fact I don’t think it ever stopped. The good news is that we managed to find the engine start button and have moved further west without using a bus and reach A Coruna.


Ribs in Viviero

Before leaving Viviero we persuaded the boys to climb “San Roque” to the Promised Land where they could have some of the best ribs they are ever liable to taste. When we went back into the restaurant we didn’t know whether to be offended or honoured when the staff came to say hello and started making their “pig grunts” once again. I wanted to order Octopus to see what they came up with for that one! We must have made a good impression as the owners would not let us to leave without giving us free liquor from a dubious looking oak barrel behind the bar. I must admit we were a lot happier and unsteady walking back down the goat track to Viviero and we had no idea what we had drunk, but it was good. I don’t think the Spanish have quiet grasped the concept of profits as they continually want to give you free food and drink but then again who are we to turn them down.


Theses boots are made for fixing toilets

Aiden San Roque

Aiden looking over Viviero

I know Angelina is her usual self as prior to leaving we managed to acquire a new pair of leather boots for her. When a woman says “life is not worth living without them” you know life is pretty normal.  What did I get? Some spare parts for “her” toilet and the time to take it all apart and fix it whilst she disappeared to field test the boots. Apparently they work as well as “her” toilet but no one whistles at my repairs (unless its plumbers who all whistle before giving an estimate anyway).

 Anchoring in Cedeira

From Viviero we made our way westwards along the coast to a small Ria (coastal inlet) where we dropped the anchor in a picturesque bay called Cedeira. Dropping the anchor is the technical term for drifting round in a large circle whilst attached (hopefully) to the bottom by a large lump of metal and a chain. We stayed there for two days and for the first time the boys realised that just because you have a plug socket it doesn’t follow that you have electricity. We had wanted to get the dingy out and go ashore but when the wind and rain are attacking your face like a feral cat, it is far easier to find other things to do.


Sailing to Coruna

After two days I was thrown on deck in the rain and wind by a mutinous crew to sail somewhere we could walk ashore. Next on the list was A Coruna some six hours away. Now I’m not going to bore you here with nautical tales of woe but the sea was very bouncy, the rain kept coming and the sails went up and down more times than kangaroo’s testicles. This is because of the many “squalls”, that is, dramatic increases in the wind as black clouds passed overhead. To say it was not one of my favourite sails is to put it mildly. In fact I would rather have sex with a camel. (I did try it once but it got the hump).


Where is A Coruna?

A Coruna could not have come soon enough. You are supposed to be able to see the ionic white tower at the entrance to the new A Coruna marina from miles away in half decent weather. We first saw it when it was about ten meters away which gave us a hint that we had arrived.

Coruna front

Mark in Coruna

A Coruna itself is big with more inhabitants per square kilometre than anywhere else in Europe (apart from a few Eastern European houses in the UK). It is a real mixture of everything with planning permission pretty non-existent. Having said that and doing my “Grand Designs” bit, “it just works”. From here there is also good bus links to the interior of Spain so we have decided to stay a while and see some more.

We have so far walked our feet down to soggy stumps as we do so enjoy the place. Most of all the people are just wonderful. They have every reason to be depressed as the economy is totally shot. There is 50% unemployment for young people but still they just cannot do enough for you. They are very outgoing, very family orientated and like their wine nearly as much as they like meat. Angelina has already decided she could live here.


Strange busses and stranger drivers

We went into the main bus station in A Coruna yesterday to find some times. Over an hour later walked out after making new friends and being given a list of all the places we should visit. We then got on the wrong bus but seeing a different part of the city was good, if unexpected. Half way round the driver got off and went into a bar leaving the engine running and all the money he had taken on display. No one would consider taking it. Try that in the UK and the money would be gone and the bus would be re-sprayed and for sale on E-Bay within five minutes.

Angelina on a bed in Coruna

Angelina on a bed

There is another strange thing that happens on the bus here. When they slowed down because of traffic we could hear someone whistling a wonderful, soothing, melodic tune. We kept looking round but could not work it out until we realised it was coming over the speaker. It just made you smile. In the UK you would just get your flick knife out and carve your initials into the person neck in front of you. The Spanish are also very courteous and it becomes a game of musical chairs as everyone wants to give up their seats to anyone who remotely seems to need it more.  For some reason Angelina keeps trying to give her seat up for me.


Un-polite Brits but don’t blame me

A Coruna itself has a long history. The oldest working lighthouse dating back to the Roman times (Hercules tower) is on the peninsular and the Spanish Armada set off from here after they were delayed because of bad weather. We know how they felt but we also want to try and avoid the same fate. Drake also came to A Coruna a year after the ill-fated invasion and ransacked the place. If you check the history books as I have done you will find it was one of the “Roopes” who bought and prepared the English fleet to repel the Armada. Now I am not apologising but, if it wasn’t for my ancestor the British could well be a courteous, friendly, helpful nation who drink wine, eat lots of meat and have a whistling bus. Looks like he has a lot to answer for and I apologise on his behalf to the wonderful people of A Coruna.

If you would like to see more photographs from Coruna they can be found here.



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