Tag Archives: Fishing Ports

Port of Santa Mariña

The Punta of Santa Mariña is similar to a small island that somehow closes the bay. We can see there some kinds of sheds, which are small buildings where the entangling gears and other fishing equipment for small-scale fishing are kept.

We stop for a while to take some photos of Punta Nariga, which seems to be even rockier, a huge sandbar that gets into the sea.

Behind these sheds, O Camiño dos Faros borders all this punta to see the coast of “A Barda” and that of O Roncudo and we take the road to go up the Mount Faro.

Route along Muxía

The beaches of Espiñeirido and A Cruz welcome us when we arrive in Muxía. We walk along them and we are willing to visit this peninsula full of history and natural beauty.

 

Along the promenade we see the statue of the poet Gonzalo López Abente, who was one of the poets that better described the beauty of this area. All along the walk which goes by small streets, we can enjoy the typical and small white houses that form the urban center.

We arrive at the fishing port, which is the main economic engine of the area. In some of the “tascas”  (typical Galician bars), that we can see in that area, we can enjoy the delicious local gastronomy before going up to the Sanctuary of “Nosa Señora da Barca” . If the weather conditions are good, we will try to get there to enjoy the sunset. We leave towards A Barca, but we will take a route different from the one people usually takes. O Camiño dos Faros goes up by taking the path that runs along the “Campanario de Santa María” to get the MountCorpiño, to later, descend directly to the point.

Santa María´s church was built in the 12th century. It has only one nave with a wooden gabled roof  and it is divided in three parts with transverse pointed arches. It still has its Romanesque door and some interesting pointed elements. The apse is communicated by a big triumphal arch.

The façade has pointed archivolts. There was a relief that represents the Virgin and Jesus. Nowadays, you can see it inside the church where we can also see  Rosario´s chapel, which was built in the 15th century. It is rectangular and it is covered with a ribbed vault.

The bell tower doesn´t belong to the main building and it was built over the same rock. We use its stairs to ascend to Mount Corpiño.

When we reach the summit, we have another viewpoint overlooking Muxía and this Costa da Morte that provides us with so many things.

When we reach the summit, we have another viewpoint overlooking Muxía and this Costa da Morte that provides us with so many things.

Port of Camariñas

It is one of the most important in A Costa Da Morte and it is the point around which the life of this village is developed.

On the façade of one of the houses in this port, we can see the air pressure sensor that the British Admiralty gave the village as a present for their help when the wreck of the Serpent had taken place. A great and modern device at that time and an expression of gratitude to those people that, all along the centuries, had risked their lives for those unknown people that, sailing through this sea, they faced the worst way to die. 

Here, in the port of Camariñas, we finished the route singing this 5th stage of O Camiño dos Faros that started in Arou and that has brought about a great deal of feelings.

Ao pasar por Camariñas
por Camariñas, cantando
Ao pasar por Camariñas
por Camariñas, cantando
as nenas de Camariñas
quedan no río lavando
as nenas de Camariñas
quedan no río lavando

Camariñas, Camariñas
xa me vas camariñando
Camariñas, Camariñas
xa me vas camariñando
por unha de Camariñas
vivo no mundo penando

Port of Santa Mariña

O Camiño dos Faros gets to Santa Mariña, which is a small fishing port where we stop to gather whereas we think about how hard it is to work in the sea, especially in this one.

We go closer to the dock that is tucked between the green forests and the mountains that protect it from the Southern wind. We can see the vessels that rest after a working day.

In spite of the rough sea, the household economy has to be based on something and in this area, that has been isolated from the rest of the world for ages, fishing has been the only feasible option. As a complement, some of them used to walk along the coast to pick up the things that the own sea had brought back.

We left the port passing by the kind of sheds walking along the coast and going through the “coído” of boulders leading to the dune of MountBranco.


 

Fishing Port in Malpica

Malpica history is closely linked to its fishing port and whaling. There are records from the 17th century of this kind of fishing carried out by these brave seamen with the help of some highly experienced whalers. The cardinal Jerónimo Hoyo said: “This village is the one where most whales are hunted in Galicia. There are big slaughtering every winter and it brings huge benefits as 200 hundred arrobas or oil “cántaras” (a type of metal containers) from a whaler ship regardless its size. The people from Malpica sell them to people from Biscay and they have to pay for this business 7,000 maravedises (a Spanish old coin) to the archbishop of Iria Flavia as a fixed fee”.

It´s known that this tough sea typical in winter was favorable for the whales that on their way through the Gulf Ártabro were spotted from the SisargasIslands and also from the Atalaia one. The lawyer Molina when describing the GaliciaKingdom said: “As these ports are very tough whales usually get to the areas where the waves and the sea are “high”. And that´s why, here, in some parts of the year, there is a huge slaughtering of them mainly in December, January and February, which is the best moment, there are big slaughterings

This whaling past was still kept in some houses in Malpica, where the whale vertebra are used as seats and big bones are even used as the beams of the roofs of these houses.

After the decline of whaling and the Civil War, it was really hard for these fishermen to survive by means of the inshore fishing. However, most of them came across with the solution overseas in a village in Perú, called Chimbote. The businessman from Corcubión (a village on the coast of Coruña) Benigno Lago had settled there in the 30s to exploit the fishing of anchoveta to produce fishmeal. In the 1950s, over 300 hundred families mainly from Malpica and Corcubión set off to Chimbote to seek their fortune overseas.

Some of the ones who got there had to overcome huge difficulties. Running away from the Civil War, between 1937 and 1938, they had led to France on the Montevideo (11 men) and on the Rocío (29 men). The passage was really dangerous but the other option even worse.

On the Eve of 29th August, the sea was calm and evading the Franco´s dictatorship vigilance, the Saint Adrián set off with 26 men. They only knew they had to sail northwest for 36 hours and then turned towards the East, without radars, without radios and with provisions for only 2 days. After 3 days, without food supplies on the verge of collapse, they were helped by a Nazi war ship confused them with some ship-wrecked castaways and provided them with food and some fuel to get to Brest.

Once they were on the Republican side they fought on the Aragon front till the defeat made them exile in France for second time. It is then, when on 5th August, 1939, 12 out of the 26 men from Malpica embarked on the Winnipeg,chartered by Pablo Neruda leading to Chile. They stayed there for a few months till they went to Chimbote led by Benigno Lago.

Here in Galicia, they worked a lot but they earnt nothing at all. Overseas, they could become vessel owners by working a bit and with a bit of luck. The amount of anchoveta was huge so, the vessels loaded tons of them every tide. These were times of plenty and the population virtually tripled in 10 years. These emigrants used to gather in the newly-built Spanish Casino. Chimbote was broadly known as the village where the shilver shines as the anchovy and runs as a ray.

However, there was a point when the anchoveta vanished. The overexploitation of the fish stocks, the lack of modernization of their factories and the change of the ocean currents together with the warming of the ocean waters brought about a deep crisis in the sector. Besides, Perú had nationalized its fishing, so it was not that profitable and many of them had returned to their country. To make matters worse, on 31st May, 1970, a devastating earthquake of magnitude 7,9 ripped through the city caused tens of thousands of victims. This earthquake was the end of the History of this city which, despite being so far, had an enormous influence on the History of Malpica.

Along the way leading to the port of Malpica, we can see the women repairing the fishing nets and those people who unload the sardines and the horse mackerels from those boats that have just arrived from fishing. At the end of the pier, some fishers with their fishing rods spend some time fishing squids surrounded by the seagulls squeaking around whereas they look tirelessly for their food at sea and on land.

Then, we go on towards the Lonja (fish market), where the fish and seafood catches are distributed in a unique auction. The buyer sees the goods and the auctioneer starts with a high price that he reduces little by little. When the prices reached is kind of interesting, the buyer stops the auction and takes with him/her the product.

Inside the dock, the boats rest perfectly in line waiting for the next tide. There are some buildings that seem to be stacking blocks as the Tetris, which seem to be over the dock looking at the port with a kind of irregular with different shapes and colors but amazing skyline.

During the Festival of the Sea, all these vessels leave the port to honor the Virgen Carmen, the patron of the sailors, in procession till The Sisargas Islands and it is followed by a large crowd of people.

We leave the port walking up the steep hill of the Lonja which will lead us to the beach Area Maior along the promenade Caldeirón.