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Published: July 21st 2013
One of many large sailboats navigating the Rio Guadiana that separates Spain from Portugal. You are looking at the Spanish shoreline.
We headed off for the furthest away point with a plan to make a few stops on the way back. The drive there was on one of the bigger highways and the ratio of motorcycles to cars was about 3:1! Even some Hell's Angels!
We arrived at Alcoutim and barely made it up the very steep driveway to park at the castle. Felt the van would tip over......the Castle remains had a beautiful view across the Guardian River to Spain. There was also a short film about the castle and the history of the village. In addition, there was a display of Islamic board games (like the earliest versions of mancala and tic tac toe). The little village had some of the narrowest streets we have seen so far (although all the villages have very narrow streets). At one point, we drove through a market area and a woman at an outdoor cafe had to pull in the chair beside her so we could drive past!! We are driving a diesel powered VW Transporter which is a large vehicle but still....
Next stop was Castro Marim which featured another castle and salt marshes. The castle remains were quite large
Model Spanish town
Apparently this modern Spanish town was built in the style (think narrow streets, whitewashed stucco, red terracotta roofs) of it's nearby Portuguese neighbour from where I took the picture.
and had ramparts that we could walk most of the way around. Again, there was a view across the Guadian River to Spain. There was also a great view of the salt marshes from above which was pretty cool. The cobblestone streets around the village were very rugged.
Last stop was Cabanas (near Tavira) which is a beach resort town. We walked around the boardwalk and saw hundreds of small crabs sunning themselves and crawling on the large rocks. Pretty cool!
We ended the day with some Portuguese food in Ferraguda (next town over from Portimao). The food there was "verragooda" Ha! (that lame joke was Nigel's) We started with some homemade tuna pate (identical to tuna salad) and fresh Portuguese bread (identical to leather - just kidding it was very good actually). Nigel and I shared a huge Fish and Shellfish Cataplana for two. Delicious! Russell had the sardines (which he loved but had a little trouble with some tiny bones...). Rachel enjoyed the Chicken Piri Piri (although I don't think she touched the Piri Piri sauce....served separately luckily). They also brought some Almond Liquor and some Fig Firewater for Nigel and I to try as well
Coke and a smile
Lori cooling of with a drink in the courtyard of the Castela in Alcoutim on the Rio Guadiana.
as some local dried fruits (figs, dates, almonds).
Home for a swim and relaxing.
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