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Goodbye pigeons
03/26/2009, Ayamonte

There were a huge number of pigeons in the town, especially around the various squares where they can obviously get food dropped on the floor. At times they could be quite a nuisance as they were rather bold, scurrying under tables for crumbs, or flying onto tables when bars and cafes were not so busy. After a while I noticed that the white doves in the fountain at the entrance to the square facing the marina had disappeared. All was explained when reading the local free English paper I saw that the town council had paid a firm to get rid of the problem by flying trained falcons and other birds of prey through the town very early in the mornings to discourage the birds. It worked!

Above is the fountain minus doves or pigeons.

01/16/2009, Ayamonte

One of the many interest statutes around the town, this one is on the roundabout near the Plaza de Espana.

A trip across the border
11/27/2008, Ayamonte

One of the other nice things about Ayamonte is being able to pop over to Portugal for an hour or two for a change of scene or to shop on a Sunday as most shops in Spain shut.

The ferry runs every half an hour and into the evening in the main tourist season but sailings are reduced over winter. We found an excellent café called "Café Latte" in Vila Real run by a Dutch girl and her Portuguese partner, a friendly atmosphere and good value. It was opposite the small supermarket in town and just past the main square. The only drawback was the wind could play havoc with the umbrellas at times as it funnelled down the street.

We took my uncle over on the ferry when he visited in case he needed any new towels! When we returned to catch the ferry back there were 6 Policemen checking everyone's passports, it was then that we realised that we had forgotten ours. The guns strapped to their legs and our lack of ability to speak any useful Portuguese did nothing to calm our nerves. Steve said leaving the queue and going off would cause suspicion so we got thinking. We noticed that one of them spoke English well as he was telling off another tourists for having nom passport so Steve made a beeline for him and showed him his UK driving license and Marina card, explaining we had crossed over on a whim and just forgotten our ID. He passed the driving license to one of the police with a gun who kept rotating it and looking puzzled. Finally he told us off and let us on the ferry. Jack was quite sick as he had no ID what so ever, having left it all in hid room. We won't forget again!

Above Jack and Steve on ferry with the road bridge into Spain behind

What no launderette?
11/17/2008, Ayamonte

The only drawback to Ayamonte so far is the absence of a launderette. The weather has been good so hand washing ok most of the time. There is a dry cleaners where the lady will take in some at a rather inflated price if she likes the look of you. I thought she was Spanish and I enquired in English, apologising for my lack of Spanish and she said no. Returning to the boat, Dominique on the boat next door, explained that said lady was in fact French and had done some for her. Had I realised I would have tried out my rusty French on her and might have got further.

However as Steve reminded me I did have a washing machine of my own. I was very excited when he said that he had bought one for the boat but when he said it cost £25 I became rightly suspicious. It is basically a drum to put everything in and then you screw down the lid which makes a vacuum so when you turn the handle the pressure agitates the washing. You can also rinse with it and leave things to soak over night, better than by hand but no good for large items like bedding and towels. Luckily Joyce offered to do some for me sometimes in the small machine on her boat.

The Zoo
10/25/2008, Ayamonte

I heard the roaring of Lions before I actually visited the small Zoo in a park on the river bank in the Plaza de Espana. I was told that a circus went out of business and that the town decided to take care of the remaining bears, baboons, lions and water fowl to name a few. What a nice gesture and great for little children to see when they visit the playground on the same site.

Laguna Square
10/10/2008, Ayamonte

Laguna Square 10/10/08

Laguna Square is the prettiest place to stop for a coffee or glass of wine and is packed with families at the weekends. October and still in sandals - can't be bad!

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