Who better than Flat Ruthie, with her keen observational skills, to accompany me on a short foray across the border? For a number of years the snow white village of Sanlucar de Guadiana has been calling to me, across the still waters of the Guadiana. The village of Alcoutim, on the Portuguese side, is blessedly peaceful, but I always wanted to look back at it. Mission accomplished! With a little help.
Just minutes later the breeze caught her and she’d fallen out of a tree! She was gallantly rescued from the rocks by my husband, looking daggers at me. It’s a good job a Flat doesn’t bruise easily. Maybe a beach umbrella would be a better option? Softer landings, anyway.
Into my pocket she went, just for a little while, so we could have a proper look around, without her blowing away.
We chatted to a lovely local lady who explained that the village of Sanlucar and the village higher up the hill. El Granado, compete in a yearly festival. The procession would be lead up the hill by the mayor, with a floral cross and a donkey, to a meeting place, where the fun would begin. What luck! I hadn’t known anything about it.
And then they were gone, and our lovely villager was heading off to get changed to join in the fun herself. The village was effectively closed to business. We waved to the ferryman and crossed back to Alcoutim, where we sat with a drink and watched as the procession slowly mounted the hill.
Of course, Flat Ruthie wanted to see another castle and flirt with the fountains a little, but that was fine by me.
But it wasn’t! The funny thing was that we had gone to Castro Marim expecting a festival to be taking place, and with the promise of an Algarvian goat contest. The place was quiet as can be. Reading the leaflet later, my husband pointed out that the festivities were actually taking place in a village called Azinhal, “near to” Castro Marim. Ah well- something for another trip. All’s well that ends well.
Many thanks Big Ruth for loaning me your little gal, and for your wonderful idea. To join in and read Flat Ruthie’s other adventures, you should contact Cardboard Me Travels. She even ventures to Hartlepool marina you know.