The last day at the beach this year?…

We went to the beach at the beginning of September. I was carefully checking the meteogalicia site to see if there would be a day – just one day, when the winds would be breezes and the clouds just a wispy nothingness.

We had plans. We’d wake up early, drive in ahead of the morning traffic and hit Café Cruz at Rabade by 8:15.
We awoke as our neighbour’s daughter left for work, at 0745 and this meant that we’d be driving to Lugo at the busiest hour.
We don’t take the shortest route, as this is the slowest, but we use the same route as everyone else, out to Escairón, off to Chantada and on to the N540 to Lugo.
Just after Chantada we began to see warning headlamp flashes from approaching drivers.
Now, our car is battered and ancient, so I reckon that the kind lorry and car drivers heading towards us, thought that there was no chance that we were unmarked Traficos (motor police).
We drove on, acknowledging the flashes, wondering when we were going to encounter the Traficos, but we saw no one.
Eventually, we thought that our car must have something wrong with it and pulled into a layby, just before a long curve in the road.
My husband, Mr Preguiceiro, got out of the car and walked around to the front. He stood there gazing at the headlights and got me to flash them.
He checked the tyres, shaking his head and then got back into the car.
He looked over his shoulder and chuckled.
We’d parked next to an unmarked Police (Trafico) car. The man inside was trying to hide and pulled his cap down over his eyes.
The Trafico was there to spot people who were warning approaching drivers that there was a speed camera in the vicinity.
We were parked right in front of his car and we hadn’t noticed.
Mr P carefully indicated and pulled out into the road and just around the bend was a large 4×4 with the speed camera on the dashboard.
The irony hit us about a minute later and we spent the next ten minutes giggling at the absurdity of what we’d done.
The rest of the journey was quite uneventful. It was a two-cups-of-coffee day at the Café Cruz, with churros and a good look at the Voz de Galicia, which has an excellent women’s magazine with on Fridays – easily the equal of ‘Style’ magazine that comes with the Sunday Times.

We take the route from the A6 to the A8 and this time, we went through Viveiro, which was very quiet without the tourists and decided to park at the long beach that stretches up the Rio Saa at O Barqueiro.
The tide was coming in and after a quick toast in the sun, I decided to go for a paddle, hoping that this time, just once this summer the water would be warm and it was delightful. I had a quick swim and then decided to make the most of the incoming tide and walk right along the beach, thigh deep in the water.
This is a great way of exercise for people with painful arthritic knees and the beach was very smooth and clean. I managed to reach my goal, a white rock headland, which looks as though it’s a part of the white cliffs – but whiter, when in fact it’s igneous rock and quite hard. It reminds me of alabaster.
Walking back was more difficult, but in the end I managed to get back to the rugs and a worried husband, who’d thought I’d run away.
The clouds were massing on the horizon. The village of Bares, at the end of headland was in cloud and there was a massive bank of greyness out to sea.
We were keeping our fingers crossed as we drove over one of the three bridges at the mouth of the Rio Saa – which at high tide is an enticing and almost unbelievable turquoise colour, with bright sands and totally translucent water.
We went for lunch and hoped that the clouds would burn off, but the mist rolled in over the restaurant and things didn’t look to good.
Just as we were giving up all hope of a nice afternoon in the sun, the sea mist burned off and we managed our last two hours on the beach, enjoying the heat and the warm sea.
It is one of the pleasures of the modern world, to be able to lounge around on a white sandy beach, reading my Kindle and rejoicing in the technology that allows me to read a large book in full sunlight and with no wrist ache from the weight of the book.

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