14.12.2009 - 14.12.2009
After the constant supply of good news the previous evening, something had to give. I knew it, and the world knows it. And inevitably, it did. Around 1.30am Saturday morning, by now well out of range of the Canary Islands, news came through on the Sat-Com that we would be unable to call at Vigo.
This i discovered from the Captain over breakfast the following morning, and though disappointing it didn't really surprise me: Things had been going just a bit too smoothly. Something simply had to go wrong and I was well due for it. Apparently, from Monday, Vigo is on strike: whether it be the pilots, port authorities, dockers or somebody else was – and is - irrelevant to me, although I am praying that whoever it is do not extend their strike to other ports. Instead, he said, we would be calling at a port called Merin.
I've never heard of it.
Though I haven't spent much time in North West Spain – something i really want to rectify soon, as what I have seen is beautiful, unspoilt and friendly – my knowledge of the area is reasonable enough that I am at least aware of the major towns and ports, and not having any idea about Merin worried me for a bit. Whilst it didn't really matter from one sense – I would get off where the ship docked, regardless of name of the port – that corner of Spain is quite mountainous and public transport fairly sparse: I didn't want to end up in a tiny fishing port somewhere which would take me ages to get out of due to a lack of buses etc. Arriving in the wrong place at the wrong time would be easy for me to loose a day or two, just trying to get somewhere relevant. Though not excessive by any means, and still less than the average backpacker, I also have more stuff – and weight – than normal, as i have a pile of gifts, Christmas presents etc as well as my normal kit, and no inflatable animals to assist with any hitchhiking attempts.
Up on the bridge, i looked at the Finistere charts to discover that it wasn't necessarily all that bad. Merin is only a couple of minutes latitude further North than Vigo, and is close to somewhere that I do know, Pontevedra. This will change my plans and route slightly – I will probably have to get a bus to Pontevedra, followed by a train to either Vigo, or possibly Ourense, before i get onto my main route - which will delay me a few hours, but shouldn't be *that* bad and with admittedly a decent slice of luck, won't even affect the day of my arrival into London.
But that is still a long way off, and there is plenty of time and chance for things to change yet again.