26th August 2020
Praia De Agra, Ria Pontevedra, Spain – Ila Ons, Spain via Ila Tomba, Ria Pontevedra, Spain
We live in a time of extremes. Extremes of religion, extremes of left and right in politics and extreme performances in sport. In the wrong hands these extremes can turn into cults where the followers follow bizarre rituals, they all act the same, and they all seem to follow unwritten rules. Escaping Ria Alden as the rain stopped, we’ve found cults in all guises in all places and fear that we’re starting our own.
Happily anchoring in a little sandy bay, the first of the followers of the cult of ‘Powerboat’ arrived. As more and more of them anchored around is it seemed that one of their primary beliefs is that if you’re close to something then you need to pick up your anchor (which is easy as they hardly ever put any scope down) and then drop it closer. Rocks didn’t seem to be a worry to them, neither did swim zones and importantly for us, neither did we. One of the other principle beliefs the ‘powerboaters’ held was that you’re only having fun if your stereo pounds out base loud enough to create wavelets on the water, and if the base doesn’t pound then you need to crack open instruments and sing at the top of your voice.
Bizarrely this need for tunes wasn’t limited to just powerboaters. We watched in horror as 3 charter sailing boats rafted up next to us, turned their volume up to 11, and started disgorging people from every porthole. Even the ‘powerboaters’ took umbridge to this infraction as within moments first the coastguard surveyed the scene and then the police.
The inhabitants of the yacht raft instantly knew what the problem was. Within seconds facemasks had been donned and the volume turned down. The police knew however that the strict Covid laws had been broken and ordered these ‘criminals’ to form an orderly line to pay their fines and issue their apologies. With the police, their big guns and scary rib gone the criminals re-joined the ‘powerboat’ cult, up went the volume and off came the masks.
Curiously, it would appear that the ‘powerboaters’ are solar powered. As the sun started to dip and cast the bay into shade, like clockwork, boat after boat placed their crews dangerously on their bows, revved their engines and blasted their way home into the last of the light.
The second cult that we happened across had been growing in popularity since we entered the warm water of Spain. Ruffian’s bottom had been playing host to 1000’s of little critters who were happily living in a thin layer of weed which was merrily growing. Following his run and being ‘encouraged’ by Fiona, Iain dived in armed with a scrubbing brush and his ‘protective’ running clothes.
The water turned brown as Iain scrubbed and the critters were made homeless. They swam with all their might to find some new sanctuary, and the only sanctuary they could find was Iain. After finishing his job, he emerged from the water and was literally crawling. The critters had setup home in his hair, on his clothes and anywhere that that looked warm and inviting. They crawled on his skin and became increasingly upset as their cult was finally broken up.
Escaping from the crawling critters we made for Combarro which is famous for its cults. The infamy came from when one of their number survived the rigours of the Spanish Inquisition and it was said that the whole village was a cult full of witches. Walking the streets incense wafted over us, witch effigies decorated at every corner and haphazard ancient buildings touched the water. Rounding a corner we then heard people talking in tongues, chanting incantations and worshipping idols. Had we come across a witch cult in real life? No this was more the extreme and more bizarre in every way. We’d happened across the cult of the Roman Catholic church.
Heading back to Ila Ons we bid goodbye to all the cults of the Ria and took to the hills that towered over the anchorage. The first surprise literally jumped out at us (after the nudist beach!) as we saw a streak of green dart across the path. This was one of the fabled rare Ons reptiles who graced us with his presence and charmed us as he cooled 2 feet at a time while tasting the air.
Pushing further afield on Ons the points of interest came think and fast. There was the billowing Inferno (a big hole in the round) that is supposed to sing with the sound of tormented souls, the ancient hillfort (a big overgrown impenetrable mass of weeds) where bodies upon have been uncovered and wars have been fought and finally there were the views over the plunging cliffs that really did take our breath away.
Returning to the ‘town’, with empty water bottles, throbbing feet and lacking in sustenance we felt like we might have started a cult with a new post walk ritual; Resurrection by ‘Ice Lolly’. Parched lips were quenched, aching limbs revitalised and the sugar rush gave us the impetus to push the final miles back to Ruffian. This new ritual isn’t as irritating as the powerboaters, isn’t as itchy as the critters and isn’t as ancient as the witches, but it might be the start of a slippery slope to the ‘Cult of Ruffian’.
If you see this after your page is loaded completely, leafletJS files are missing.