The strong winds subsided and we set off up the river Guadiana that seperates Spain and Portugal, from the moment we cast off the lines in Ayamonte it gave us a sense of adventure that only comes from exploring somewhere new. Passing under the bridge the river winds it ways North, the scenery is rugged with only a few old farms visible on the river banks. The sound of birds chirping is delightful and we did not appreaciate how noisy they really are until we spent the day on a mooring buoy in Larenjeiras whilst Paul who lives on Uno X fixed our bimini. Paul is an interesting character he does sail and canvas repairs but has also laid a series of mooring buoys available on a monthly basis, he has been on the river for around 12 years having sailed around the World twice and given the chance I believe he would go again.
Slipping from the buoy with newly stitched bimini we headed up river, with welcome shade as the temperature were soaring and the winds eased. Arriving at Alcoutim we were amazed to find space on one of the 3 pontoons, the middle one is reserved for day trip boats bu the other two can be landed on and for 10 euros a night you also get electric and water. There is also a shower and toilet block next to the pontoon and the town is an absolute delight. Very quaint and sleepy it has wonderful walks and the views from the Castle are spectacular.
The birdlife was not as abundant has we had hoped but there was still plenty to see, especially on some of the footpaths that lead down the river beach. Overall it is a great place to spend a few days and detach yourself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, some cruisers we spoke to have been there for over 15 years - not sure I could stay that long but it is a very beautiful place indeed. especially for those that crave isolation - the only downside was the amount of debris in the upper reaches of the river. Is it a place I would return to - absolutely, to view pictures on the area visit our facebook page