Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Alcoutim to Almoharin

From the mouth of the Guadiana in Portugal to Spain in 10 or twenty pictures.
It's gorgeous along the river Guadiana, beautiful little roads, cute little towns, yachts bobbing up and down on the water, lush gardens....
Our view from the Nautical Club garden in Alcoutim, where we were camping thanks to the kindness of El Presidente.
Very pretty at night...
The mysterious rock giant, carrying a sack of rocks...
Further on up the Guadiana in Mertola we came across this beautiful cinema, built on an old cemetery in 1917 and still in use.

And then Serpa another special little town with a famous cheese. We didn't get a chance to buy any of the cheese because the Cheese Festival was on and all the cheesemongers were at the cheese convention.
Anyway we saw a very old olive tree by the old city walls.
And snake shaped cacti...
In a little sleepy village we stopped for cake but none of the coffe bars had any so we had to cycle on without. But there we came across this fine example of a portuguese farmers bike.
A Ye-Ye bike in fact, held together by bits of wood and...

.... some quality welding.... 
Rad kaputt - macht nix!
And then a weird place.
Minas de Sao Domingo, an ancient, disused gold mine with a complete derelict miners village and everything.
Best of all a still functioning public balnearios with showers and free camping next to the lake with beach ....

....  a miners liberation front club house and....
.... outsider art par excellence!

And a friendly Bon Voyage for us.

Then we hit bad weather and the Bomberos in Mourao saved us from a cold wet camping in a carpark next to the old castle walls in the howling wind and let us stay in their seminar room.
Bomberos are cool!

And then we crossed into Spain, where we were greeted by these lovley ladies!
It's Carnival in Alconchel!
And  then we rocked up in Almoharin, our destination for the next two weeks.
There in the Plaza de Espana was burning a giant fire. Ready for...

... ready for the Fiesta de Sardinas! The Almoharinian equivalent of Pancake Day. We got invited and went and ate many a sardine and drank wine by the gallon, met the mayor, danced with the vicar and his widows (the local carnival troupe).

This was a glorious week of cycling in beautiful scenery, on quiet roads with friendly people. 
Really enjoyable!

One of our favorite stretches of cycling.

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