Sunday, August 07, 2016

Cruising the South Coast of Portugal.

The south coast of Portugal is all about beaches. There are miles and miles of them and the tourists flock from all over Europe to laze about on them, prices are reasonable and most people in the tourist industry speak a lot of English. 
This is a boardwalk across the dunes to protect the fragile plants that make up the landscape. 
We have been venturing around a few towns along the coast. Here is a church that has a stork's nest on the top.  It has been very hot here so the town's shut down about 1300 hours to have a siesta in the worst of the heat and seem to open about 1500. We stopped at one place and remembering the last spot we did not go in until almost 1600 hours.  Well in this place they decided to close at 1500 and not open again until 1800, you can't win for trying! 
We decided to go up the river that is the border between Portugal and Spain.  The first obstacle is a suspension bridge. 
On our chart plotter said it was 17 meters and in our cruising guide it was posted as 18M at sea level. Well our mast is 17.4M so the question was will we make it under? No problemo, we went under at low tide and it wasn't even close.  We cruised 18 miles up the river to where two small villages faced each other across the river and there is a castle on each side.  In the 16th century the Portugese bombarded the other side and took over the town. They did it several more times after that, now they just watch each other! 
We are on the Portugese side in their castle gazing across to Spain. It seems the Spanish castle has a distinct height advantage. 
It was a very hilly dry countryside as we motored up the river. 
We are relatively close to Seville and I was wondering if these are orange trees on the hillside. 
Little villages were tucked into the hillside along he river, many more on the Portugese side.   We came back down the river today, and were able to sail with the current.  It was marvelous to hear the birds chirping and singing as well as the farmers calling their livestock by banging on a pan.  It is not very often that we get to hear those types of sounds when we are at sea. 
We anchored at the bottom of the Rio Guadiana and went ashore in search of some fresh meat and veggies in Ayamonte, Spain . This statue on a balcony caught Barry's eye.