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An afternoon sail
05/08/2009, Lagos

Went out for a sail in the bay for a couple of hours but not much fun as the wind dropped after a while so the boom was banging and rather than rig a preventer we motored back into the marina. We have met a few folk on our pontoon and some have been here for a long time, one couple for 17 years. Sue, another long-timer said it is known as the "Velcro Port" as folk come and become comfortable here and never go further. The marina offer a good 6 or 9 month contract then folk either go sailing or some prefer to be lifted for the hottest and most expensive 3 months of the year in the Sopromar boatyard Lagos or in Portmao.

Town walls from the boat as we motored up the river.

A stay in Lagos
04/28/2009, Lagos

We are here in Lagos for about 3 weeks as my uncle is coming out for a visit and this seems a good place with a train to the airport at Faro and there are nearby places to visit. Also we can easily go for a sail in the bay and try out our new Cruising Chute.

Leaving Ayamonte
04/26/2009, Ayamonte

We left Ayamonte yesterday, a bit sad to leave all the friends we had made but many of them were off to new places as well. As there was no fuel berth in the marina we set off to fill up and stay overnight at Vilamoura. There is a berth across the river at Vila Real but they are not among our favourite people after the scratches!

Thankfully the silly Summer prices here do not apply yet.

Above is the wreck near the entrance to the marina

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

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