Although I love a good walk I would almost never turn down a boat trip. This one came with the option of an hour’s guided walk at our destination, Foz de Odeleite. But it was hot and I was feeling lazy, so I declined. Put your feet up and ride along with me?
We leave from the quayside at Vila Real de S. Antonio, at the mouth of the mighty Guadiana river. Briefly we head towards the ocean, passing the glossy marina, while our guide relates a few facts and figures. Midstream we turn to head up the Guadiana, with Portugal on our left hand side and Spain on the right. Ayamonte, with its plazas and tapas bars, sits directly opposite to Vila Real.
Soon we are passing the inlet that leads to Castro Marim, with its fine duet of castles and church. A wonderful Medieval Fair in late August usually brings the town to life, though not this year, of course.
Ahead lies the road bridge that links the Algarve with Spain, closed for a while when Covid-19 was at its peak. A small car and passenger ferry also shuttles to and fro between Vila Real and Ayamonte.
As we approach the bridge it becomes less attractive, swaddled for protection while repairs take place. The water is flat calm and smooth, but we are astonished at the apparently endless fleet of jellyfish streaming past us out to sea.
The first of several former customs offices maintains a sleepy vigilance on the shoreline as the gentle hills drift past us. These hills never seem so gentle when you are on foot, but now we are at leisure to observe. Perched high in a tree, someone spots an eagle and we crane eagerly to see it.
And then we are approaching our mooring at Foz de Odeleite. Another boat docks ahead of us and we hover, waiting our turn.
An ugly, half constructed building has overlooked the tiny, picturesque village for as long as I can remember, and we wonder if it will ever be completed or removed. A short walk takes us uphill to our restaurant, where we can swim or sit in shade while a few energetic people take the hour long walk. It’s an area we have walked before and it’s much too hot to feel guilty.
I have to say here that organised trips, with entertainment, are not normally our thing, but we were a group of 8 friends, happy to be together, and we all agreed that this was a great way to spend a day. The food was excellent and our hosts did their utmost to give us a good time. Everyone, kitchen staff and our guide included, joined in with the singing.
We booked online with Riosultravel and were made very welcome at Quinta do Rio. I would recommend it. Both on board and in the restaurant it was easy to maintain social distancing. Soon enough we returned to our boat and the journey back downstream. The atmosphere was mellow, and singing and dancing continued for a while, till we subsided to watch the world glide by.
And then we were approaching the end of our trip, with Ayamonte on our left hand side. Hardly any walking this week, and our dessert was a healthy chunk of melon! Sorry to disappoint 🙂
This is as good a time as any to announce a rest from my walks. Over the spring and summer I felt unable to discontinue. It’s a popular feature and I wanted to stay in touch with you all. It’s been a strange one, hasn’t it? I will continue to walk with a small group of friends, as restrictions on numbers currently apply in Portugal, but the routes are unlikely to be new. There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding all our futures, but I’d like the freedom to post as and when I choose. I hope you’ll understand.
I have a wonderful selection of walks to end with. Please enjoy these, and thank you everybody for all your support and encouragement.
I always like to introduce somebody new (to me), and this is such a beautiful part of the world. Meet Vanessa :
Also in Germany, Ulli shares a few observations on life :
It’s a while since I’ve been in Italy, and never to this lovely place :
Drake often prompts me to song. ‘You must remember this, A kiss is still a kiss, A sigh is still a sigh…’ :
Let’s go rambling and ambling with Albert in North Korea :
Can we find Rupali, in the fog?
I hate grey skies! Mutter, mutter! But not with Margaret :
Eunice hit the jackpot with blue skies and a lovely canal path this week :
Not always the best weather but you’re spoilt for choice with Anabel. Got a favourite?
Prickly pear are the subject of Janet’s walk. Ouch! 🙂
If you ever find yourself in Belgium you could do much worse than try one of Denzil’s walks :
And if you can’t find something to delight here, with Lynn, you’re really not trying!
The last word, from Carol, in Oz :
Don’t worry- I’ll be back, in one form or another. This week I celebrated 9 years of blogging. It’s addictive, isn’t it? Take care till then!