Captain Hugh and the Reluctant Navigator
The Voyage of Vega

Churros, Chocolate and Conger Eels

Baiona, Spain. Friday 14th and Saturday 15th August.

We had been advised that ‘churros and chocolate are a bedrock of Spanish culture as much as the croissant and coffee in France’, and that ‘if you get the taste it is a life enhancing event’. Having not managed to try them so far during our time in Spain, we passed a chocolateria in Baiona and decided that we needed to take the plunge. We carefully watched the stout gentleman at the next table to see how it is done. Dip churros in hot chocolate and take large bite. The churros, deep-fried fritters made from flour and water, crisp and greasy and the chocolate thick, dark and very sweet… you could almost feel your arteries clog up. Our friend at the next table certainly looked like he was heading for an imminent heart attack and we watched with concern as he emptied his plate, walked across the road and started up his scooter. We didn’t manage to finish ours.

On the same walk around Baiona we passed a fishmonger. Not tempted by the goose-neck barnacles on display we decided that the steaks of white fish would be simple to cook on the boat. As we paid I asked the name of the fish. The woman in the fish shop knew the english name, ‘conger eel’, and thought it very amusing to see our looks of horror. I was rather sad to read later that conger eels are not sustainable fishing, and that they are thought to travel all across the Atlantic to spawn in the Sargasso Sea then return slowly back with the Gulf Stream. Ones caught in the UK are mostly exported to Spain and France where they are popular to eat. Sadly they were very bony and bland tasting despite Hugh’s best efforts.


DSC_0042 (1024x685)

On a happier note we ate one night in the restaurant of the Monte Real Club de Yates, one of the oldest yacht clubs in Spain. ‘Visitors are welcome and are expected to match the dress code of members’. We had the most wonderful sweet tender scallops, dripping in garlic and oil. A big plate to share as a starter. The best scallops we’ve ever eaten.


PS We are now in Porto, in Portugal. I promise no mentions of food in the next post.



  1. Stan

    August 19, 2015 - 8:59 am

    Nice to see you are both well nourished. Seems to be a feature of long distance travel that food looms large in the daily routine. At least you don’t have to find accommodation every night. Can you whip up some more tales of danger and mutiny on the high seas ? Make them up of you like. “Fish bone almost causes mild discomfort” isn’t holding my attention…..

    Break a log, safe sailing, or whatever they say in the nautical world

    • annie

      August 19, 2015 - 9:51 am

      I’m not sure if the tales of mutiny….. ‘marital discord as wife feels slightly sea-sick on boat’…. would hold your attention much either. I hope that I will be making up all the tales of danger. Will try harder x

  2. Ken

    August 19, 2015 - 9:12 am

    Lots of lovely food between a bit of sailing, now that’s what I call the trip of a life time.
    Love your blog. It brightens up St Andrews no end.

    • annie

      August 19, 2015 - 9:53 am

      Thanks Ken. I’m missing St Andrews, really! x

  3. chris

    August 19, 2015 - 6:22 pm

    Nothing like a bit of food action

    Looks like you are having fun.


    • annie

      August 23, 2015 - 10:01 am

      Thanks Chris. Most of the time, although long rough sailing trips are still not my idea of fun xx

  4. Jim Lucas

    August 21, 2015 - 8:28 pm

    Good pictures on both your and Hugh’s blogs. I can see from the Porto picture that you are on the Port warehouse side of the Duoro so obviously food forgotten and port firmly in hand. If you want a trip slightly north of Porto (its on the ‘tube way’ stop at Vila do Conde) which I think is also near the airport there is an incredible aqueduct from a monastery that runs over a mile – we went to see a Portuguese team called Rio Ave there and were surprised about the aqueduct which dominates the landscape.Glad its all going well and weather improving. x

    • annie

      August 25, 2015 - 10:49 pm

      Thanks Jim. Sadly we didn’t get to stay for long in Porto or see the aqueduct. So many wonderful things to see and do. x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *