Up the Rio Guadiana.

Are we nearly there yet?
Mike & Sarah
Sat 17 Jul 2010 21:46
37:29.59N 7:28.27W
Left Ayamonte on 11/07/2010. The marina, one owned by the EPPA group turned out to be an expensive affair. Their charges are based on the size of berth that they allocate, regardless of boat size. So, if you're placed in an 18 metre berth, that's what you pay for. Ouch!
Motored upriver for about 20 miles. The mouth of the river is predominantly marshland, but after passing underneath an impressive suspension bridge (22m clearance) the scenery just got better and better as hills formed on either side. Until arriving at the towns of Alcoutim (Portugese, west bank) and Sanlucar (Spanish, east bank) signs of habitation were sparse. Anchored about a mile upstream in total tranquility and then took the tender back to explore the two towns. The Portugese side was the more convivial, with several cafes and a good library all supported by a hard core of liveaboardsand who seem to have adopted the town. Whilst the Spanish side is the more photogenic it appeared much quieter. Each town is dominated by a castle. Historically very necessary, as until comparitively recently they were in the habit of periodically throwing sticks and stones at each other. 
Night time on the river produced a magical sky , totally devoid of light pollution. The milky way stood out as a silver band and it was only a matter of waiting a few minutes before espying a satellite or meteorite.
After three nights it was time to head south again, but this time with a favourable "sailing" wind.