Searching for motorhome parking in our ‘All The Aires’ book we were pleased to find a listing for A Coruña, our next destination. Not only that but it was a starred site, recommended! The 140km journey from Ilha de Arousa took around 2.5 hours. Google maps told us it would take about 1.5, but we have learnt that when motorhoming you go much slower, and in our case seem to stop several times along the way. On this occasion we stopped for a completely unexpected reason, a protest march! The road was just being closed off by police and cars were being directed down a small alternative road that we didn’t like the look of. We managed to pull in and park by the side of the road just in time so that when they passed we could carry on our intended route. We weren’t sure what it was all about but a quick search later told us it was to do with the dismissal of workers, working conditions and poor pay.
When we eventually arrived we were happy to find a slightly sloping but otherwise lovely parking area overlooking the sea, a tiny harbour and a waterfront cafe. All the ingredients for an ideal park up except for the slope. It took us a while getting levelled up, being quite nose down at the front and leaning to one side, but a few re-adjustments and we were ready. Our fiddling about trying to get straight prompted the British man to come out from the van nextdoor to tell us he had the same problem. We ended up having a good chat about our travels which we always enjoy and finding out that he has been coming to the North East corner of Spain for the last 3 years. He also told us that the bar in front kept him awake all night which was a bit of a worry but as it was Sunday we kept our fingers crossed that it would be quieter.
The afternoon was hot and bright so we didn’t venture out too far, just strolled around the harbour and waterfront, sat in the sun and enjoyed some fresh sea area being quite lazy. As we were sat by the grass bank behind Buzz in the late afternoon the parking area filled up with car after car eventually blocking in a motorhome on the service area. We’d seen him squeeze through a tiny gap to get through in the first place and by the time he’d finished a car had parked in the gap completely blocking his way out. As we stood muttering about inconsiderate parking the police suddenly turned up and wasted no time in efficiently dealing with the culprit, making him move his car immediately. As others stood watching, the police rounded them up too and told them to move, completely clearing the area as it really is designated for motorhome parking. A few minutes the police were gone and more cars started arriving, filling it up again!
As the evening drew in the sun was starting to set and the sky getting orange. We’d had dinner and the bar opposite was still playing music, the car park had filled up again and it was obviously a popular venue. We thought we may as well join in and be sociable and walked over, luckily finding a table right at the front with a view of the horizon. The music was deafening though and seemed to get louder and louder as we sat there shouting at each other while the DJ cranked up the volume in a world of his own. Even the barmaid couldn’t hear us and brought over a coca cola instead of a vino blanco. Laughing and shaking her head as she turned away to exchange it for wine the music suddenly dropped several decibels to tolerable levels and it seemed we’d reached the crescendo and it had been the last track.
The next morning we set out for the town, following a small coastal street leading to a walkway and cycle track winding around the shoreline. It soon became clear to us that we weren’t actually in A Coruña at all, but a small village called San Pedro de Visma, several km from the centre of the city. At this stage we didn’t really mind though. If the sun’s out and there’s scenery of one kind or other we’re pretty happy. It was a warm, breezy walk, the sea was almost navy blue and the pathway was lined with vibrant ferns and purple flowers.
A large, modern stone sculpture sits overlooking the sea, just asking to be climbed on to see who could come up with the best pose. Its called the Fiestra ao Atlantico and was created by Francisco Pazos.
The last thing we were expecting was a giant spherical glass ball on the hillside as we rounded a corner, but there it was. It’s an elevator which goes up 100m on the side of an Pedro Hill with a panoramic view and restaurant,the Mirador de San Pedro, at the top. The sign showed that it operated every half hour and was 3 euros one way so if we’d gone up and down it would have cost 12 euros. A bit steep in more ways than one. It looked fun though and as one of our Facebook followers pointed out, something any James Bond villain would be proud of! You could just imagine it accelerating up at high speed and shooting off the top.
Shortly afterwards we came across this giant mosaic octopus sculpture by Javier Padín Emilie Martinez. It’s supposed to pay homage to the regional Galician dish, Pulpo Gallego. A dish we’re unlikely to try consisting of slices of octopus slow cooked until tender, drizzled with olive oil, salt, and Spanish smoked paprika.
As we continued we could see a track up the bank to the side which seemed to curve around and we guessed it leaded to the area at the top where the lift and restaurant would be. It was really hot by now and we desperately wanted a drink so started the long slog up the hill which seemed never ending. Following another steep track up sideways to a fenced area we got to the top seeing a tantalising view of the restaurant behind it. It was locked though and there was no way in! We had no choice but to go back down and carry on, walking past families in the shaded wooded areas busy cooking up their lunches on communal outdoor barbecues. The smell of grilled meat wafted in the air making us drool with hunger as well as thirst!
Finally we reached a road at the top which winded around to the entrance of a park with observatory and the much yearned restaurant. Passing an ice-cream van, we strolled in and straight over to the restaurant only to find it was rather smart and had no outdoor seating. Although we were really thirsty we also really didn’t want to sit inside so had a bit of a dilemma on our hands. Sit in and have a drink, or go back to the ice-cream van and sit out with an ice-cream instead? The ice-cream won as it would be like food and drink all at once. A drink and real food would have to wait! We had a great view from up there though so it was worth the walk and we could hear the crowd cheering down below in the football ground.
By now we felt we’d walked miles and either had to carry on to the city which was still some way, or turn back the way we’d come. Needing sustenance and not sure where we’d find it we set off back to Buzz, not wanting to get embroiled in the city at this point. It hadn’t turned out to be quite the visit we were expecting but we’d had a really good day and seen some unexpected sights. We got back, satisfied our hunger and thirst while planning our next move just along the coast to Ribadeo.