Following the river Guadiana

After the monthly hippy market and a fresh €10 in my pocket from selling my ginger beer, I felt like a complete change of scenery, I had been camping every night by beaches and the sea and it was time to move inland for awhile.

I’d met a fellow LDV owner who had told me that the river that formed the boarder with Spain and Portugal was well worth an explore, so that was my plan.

I did my supplies run and found an idea spot on the app, maps.me close to the village of Cabanas de Tavira heading towards the boarder of Spain. I fell in love with this single parking spot set in amongst the trees and with a tidal lagoon and a kingfisher the only company I had for three days.

The rain had been on and off for most of the week and it was becoming common to see stunning rainbows while you walk

After spending a solitary night at Monte Gordo, in an uninspiring gravel car park I started to head inland along the river Guadiana which forms a natural boarder with Spain and Portugal. I’d found a parking spot in the middle of nowhere close to Odeleite and so headed for that.

I kid you not this is what I found at that parking spot in the middle of nowhere, with no one around I skipped the fence and had it all to myself for the whole day, completely unexpected and a memorable day had messing around. The rain came which made it all the more tricky with the foot holds becoming slippery. After a nights sleep I started to follow to river up to the town of Alcoutim.

Alcoutim sits on the river banks overlooking the Spanish town of Sanlucar de Guadiana. Both towns have imposing forts positions facing each other hinting of a violent past. Besides the beauty of this town with its sailing boats, river walks and white washed houses, it has a secret advantage to the #vanlifer that not many know about. It has free hot showers down on the key side. My first real hot shower for a long time.

After a few days wondering the streets stocking up on food and water I headed inland from the modern boarder towards Mertola which sits along the old boarder with Spain. A beautiful town with white washed houses tightly squeezed onto the hill side leading to a castle fort on top.

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