Saturday, 30 June 2018

End of June, end of journey...

Back in a radiantly sunny Amsterdam, after a varied and most interesting few weeks in Portugal and Spain.
When we arrived back in Porto it was pouring; we took a taxi from the airport, and the windscreen wipers never stopped swishing! Through the misty green countryside we drove north to Povoa de Varzim, where our boat, Stroemhella, was out if the water waiting to be cleaned and inspected.
Here she is on a sunny day... And below, two views of Povoa de Varzim.

Finally, the sun returned and we set off northwards with little wind and not too much swell. But too much for me: I became seasick, quickly went and lay down in the thoughtfully prepared bunk, and tried to sleep into oblivion. I managed not to throw up and slept several hours.
When we arrived at our arranged destination, Viana do Castelo, no one appeared to take our ropes. So I did my much practised act, balancing on the toe rail, ropes in hand, and stepping elegantly off onto the pontoon as David brought Stroemhella slowly alongside. We have got very good at this over the years. Provided there's not too strong a wind, all goes well. At Viana there is in fact a treacherous current that pushes boats off the pontoon, but we were the first to arrive and had a fairly easy job.

We came to love Viana; stayed there a week all in all, and Gaenor and I made expeditions by train and coach to nearby splendid historic towns such as Ponte de Lima and Valanca.
And while we were at Viana the summer Medieval Fair took place.
Above: Povoa de Varzim, before the sunny days arrived. Seen through a porthole.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Sailing to Spain

I'll be on the boat for the next four weeks and am planning to keep on low-profile Information Technology...
That means no laptop and very selective photos on my smartphone.
And for me, lots of looking, lots of gazing across the ever-changing waters, and let's hope it's not too cold.
Have booked a return flight from Santiago de Compostela.
Seems a good place to leave from.
Will have some good books to read and my notebook to write the occasional poem.
Back to handwriting.
Reviving the old traditions...
Below a not-entirely-successful selfie I took just after having my hair trimmed. Colours rather violent...
Another skill I need to practise...
So ciao until the end of the month.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

June in Amsterdam

Yes, red roses flutter on the walls of the houses lining the canals; tourists throng a few streets and leave the rest happily empty.
The weather continues to surprise; every day I can get a load of washing dried in the garden...
People wear shorts  and come home at the end of the day with rosy skins!
Time for chilled white wine and barb-a-qs.
David and I are preparing to return to Portugal.
I am praying the cold north wind will take a break!
Another take on light: this was the sky seen from my window as I flew back from Stavanger to Amsterdam, early evening...

Looking westwards...