031 – Top things to do in Baiona, Faro de Cabo Silleiro – ES – The lighthouse and the Sun

There is one place where I would go everyday on bicycle from Baiona, towards A Guarda, and that is the Lighthouse. Actually the first day I did that, I saw dolphins jumping out of the ocean water and while I was marveling (first time I see them outside a zoo) I realized I don`t have my camera with me. I did not ride the bike for many years, so I thought that since I did not ride a bicycle for a few years, I might fall, so I dit not risk take my gear. (I did not fall on the ground but did fell from the bike)

In this article we shall focus mainly on the area between O Muino and the Lighthouse that is close to Baiona.

031 Faro de Cabo Silleiro – uMap (openstreetmap.fr)

We start this article with the last place seen in the previous article: O Muino – the windmill.

031.1 O Muino and far in the distance maybe is actually A Guarda

Like I said in the previous article, the bicycle lane starts from Baiona (actually from Vigo, but there was no place to rent one back in 2017/18) and goes pretty down south towards A Guards, so you can enjoy a fair distance without worrying you will have to turn back soon. In fact if you will rent one, consider more than 2-3 hours (with stops, photos etc) of fun for the whole family. Also do not take 4 wheel cycle because I don`t think you fit on some areas. Those are good around Baiona.

031.2 My bicycle and the ocean

I enjoyed so much riding the bicycle, that even though I knew one day (soon) I have to go back to France, I still bought the cheapest bicycle and go out before the sunset. Funny enough, the bike was not second hand (because the closest SH store that I found did not have cheap merchandise because they were selling only custom work).

031.3 All these colorful windmills are there to attract attention to the To Sell Sign., on a rather very very small patch of flat… land?

The road and the bike lane follow very closely the coast and the ocean. In fact when is windy, water droplets from the waves will smash on your cheeks and refresh you.

031.4 Smashing waves

In fact the road to A Guarda (from Baiona) can be so empty, that your neck will mostly be stuck to the right side, towards the ocean, without much fear of incoming traffic. But don`t look only that way because, sadly, speedy professional bikers will also use that lane even if the maximum speed is 20km/h (and they do at least double)

031.5 Darth Vader helmet

One day I thought I saw Darth Vader`s helmet between the rocks. It does look like one doesn`t it? In fact once you see it, you cannot unseen it, and every time you pass through that point, the eyes scatter the area in search of that helmet.

031.6 Stormy day, close to the lighthouse. I did use a 200mm zoom lens.

I even went twice when it was stormy outside. The road is protected by a (I think) one meter wall in the areas where is dead close to the ocean while in the other regions… well there is a considerable distance anyway so only a wooden fence will do the trick.

And because the coast is very low, almost at sea level all the time, you gen nice views over the waves and the mist that they provoke. Waves are not big in this area so not much to worry about. Also in almost 2 years only once there were lightnings but they are hard to see. So do take care, but I would be more worried by forest fire in the summer than a being hit by a splash of water.

031.7 Clear water

And where there are no big waves, there are other options like this beautiful dusty sunset that makes everything in warm titanium color. I used to take photos like those from above, in case I capture a stray dolphin. To this date (after 4 years) I did not see again dolphins again (outside of parks/zoo).

031.8 Leaving behind the Wind Mill and A Guarda
031.9 Faro de Cabo de Silleiro

Looking towards the lighthouse we can see the treeless Silleiro Mountain. In front of the mountain is a gorgeous hotel (and not that affordable actually) and what is harder to see is actually on the same mountain, but look down towards the ocean, right where the island seems to begin. Zoom in the picture and you shall see a rectangular shape “house”.

That ugly and full of vandalism graffiti is actually the old lighthouse. I must have stopped there countless times (to make time lapses, stargazing or just picnic) yet not one I wondered what it was. Now that I did some research I know, but still I wonder where is the lighthouse tower.

The old lighthouse as seen on an old postcard. The picture I found it here: Faro de cabo Silleiro: entre cañones y naufragios – (bluscus.es)

This is a picture of the old lighthouse, when it had a tower and real windows. It must have been a really foggy day because the Cies Island are not visible behind… Also this picture is not easy to find so no wonder I did not knew before…

Anyway, since you zoomed in that earlier photo, on that island in the distance, you probably spotted another lighthouse that we shall visit in a future article (once we finish Baiona). Another must see if you come in the region.

Continuing on the bicycle path (and hope for no shards of glass) you might see sitting in the sun, larger than usual, green lizards. (I saw them only once clearly on the path and by the time I stopped, took my backpack, launched the camera… well you guessed)

031.10 A red grasshopper with a giant needle. Sadly I could not find its species name.
031.11 The lighthouse at a closer distance. From here you can see also batterie (up on the mountain) to the right.
031.12 The moon rising as the sun sets.

Before showing more photos, I just want to say that everyday I would take a different kind of lens with me (actually always the zoom in case I see dolphins (never again) and another lens to play around) and always I found an interesting corner, a different take on the same subject. So even if you have just the phone with you, surely there is a great photo to be made in this area. And again, this place is not really far from the city, and in fact, most tourists or locals, walk from Baiona to the lighthouse.

031.13 The lighthouse bathing in the sunset light.

And here we are close to the lighthouse, yet there is quite a climbing to do, but is worth it!

Actually if you are on car and you just missed the sunset, you could drive fast up the hill and see it (some of it) again.

031.14 The sunset as seen from the parking place at the Lighthouse from Cabo de Silleiro

Here at the parking of the lighthouse is the best place to just sit. There is no traffic, is less windy because you are a bit more far from the ocean and also protected by the mountain. I made a bunch of time-lapse but I lost my hard-drive (broke…)

031.15 Clouds looking like spaceships from Star Wars
031.16 Cies Islands that we will visit after a few more articles
031.17 The lighthouse to the far left, and next to me is a Batterie J4 de Cabo de Silleiro
031.18 Bateria J4.

I did not enter inside the Bateria J4, or the tunnels or any of that for a few racional reasons:

  1. they are full of graffiti and glass shards
  2. they are not protected and look bad
  3. the ladders are rusty
031.19 In the same area as the Bateria J4 but close to the ocean
031.20 Left for dead
031.21 Bateria J4 and the view over the cannons

So I leave for the moment the ugly constructions and focus again on the beautiful lighthouse, at nighttime. I wonder why I love these things, and why so many people love them. They are fairly simple to draw, to make out of Legos and even in 3D in Blender (as you saw in the beginning of the article). Yet they are beautiful and symbolic. In fact this lighthouse is not only for water traffic but also for aerial traffic. 2 in 1.

031.22 The lighthouse Cabo de Silleiro just before we go to take photos of the Milky Way.

Now to the second best part.

While I was living in Vigo (moved from Baiona because of price of rent issues) I realized while working on the website (back then it was colorpixel.com and it was more a diary than an organized site) that at night it can get pretty dark, no orange halo. So I checked on the map of light pollution and right around the Cabo de Silleiro did not look bad.

So one night, we went to see the Milky Way, and boy oh boy it was beautiful. It was my first time I ever saw it. I had to do some research of course, track with some apps when the Milky Way will be visible and which way to point the camera.

031.23 Silleiro Mountain, the Lighthouse and the Milky Way

We came here first (even if there were spots closer to Vigo) because we knew the area well enough even in darkness. We did buy some flashlights and did even some time-lapse (horrible).

031.24 The lighthouse and the Milky Way

Well, I shall end here this article and I shall say the followings:

If you come to Vigo, A Guarda or around the south of Galicia, please come see this place. It is very beautiful and if this article did not sell the idea, surely the next ones will, because this is what my wife and myself keep dreaming at night -> we want to get back again and again. Maybe we can buy a house when we get old and stay there until the end.

Hope you enjoyed this article and we hope to see you soon at the next location.

Thank you,

MiDe.

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