News from Culatra, Guadiana River and Faro
We anchored off Ilha da Culatra for 3 days, and spent most of our time exploring this stunning island, wading through lagoons. It is a fishing settlement with no roads, no cars, a couple of tractors which plough their way through the loose sand, and mains water and electricity are very new arrivals. The beach on the Atlantic side was empty and beautiful. Mornings were spent hanging out of “Hula” (our RIB) at low tide and picking oysters, afternoons scrubbing them, evenings opening them, and at midnight, exhausted we were left with but a spoonful…
On Monday 21st September we sailed 5 hours
east to the mouth of the Rio Guadiana, which runs between Portugal and Spain,
and decided to keep going that evening, a beautiful sail 40 km upriver to
Alcoutim, (a small town with a long history as a river port, dominated in turn
by Greeks, Romans & Arabs, who all fortified the heights with various
structures.) Just across the river is the Spanish village of Sanlucar, a
mirror image of Alcoutim, so as we stocked up both sides of the river, we were
jumping between Portuguese and Spanish, and a one hour time difference. We met
up with our friends on “Destiny” and spent evenings watching the
egrets flock and settle in the bushes just feet away from Talulah, an osprey, white
storks and sheep drinking from the river…. Very strange to be out of the
Ocean and inland! The river sail was magical, we were both reminded of
On 23rd we sailed back to the river mouth,
After anchoring outside the breakwater for a couple
of hours, in very rolly sea, (waiting for the tide to turn - we weren’t
going to repeat our terrifying previous harbour entrance!) our friend Francois
(“Lintie Flora”) dropped anchor next to us and he and Coline
somehow made it over to Talulah for a beer and catch-up. We walked the island
in the evening, along the glorious beach, caught up with “Destiny”
again, and the following morning (26th) we sailed upriver towards
Faro. With Edmund, we explored the very pretty Cidade Velha (
Sadly, Edmund flew home that night, as we sailed back to Culatra, joining “Destiny” and “Lintie Flora” for sundowners….
The following morning (28th) we sailed west again to Vilamoura, where we tied up in the marina for the night, (wow, huge excitement for us – our first time not out at anchor in months …. hot showers, power, water, laundry…. supermarket…) and were joined by Shane’s mother, Denise, who has flown out to join us for a few days also ….so guess what, we are now (Tuesday 29th) midsail back to Culatra….
P.s. Ali got the full hotwax facial treatment from our waiter. We went out for dinner last night, and the enthusiastic bloke clearing our table dropped the candle onto her and it splattered all over her face and chest gluing her eyes and mouth together (I kid you not)… it could only happen to Ali!!!
Sushi! With Shane’s catch, after a very bumpy ride into Culatra
Wading through the lagoon on Culatra
Over Bridge of sighs…
Ali proving that angels really do walk (or run) on air
Arriving up the
Under bridge of frowns. Shane and Edmund contemplate getting under the suspension bridge at high tide.
A little close for comfort
All together now …. Aaaah!
Edmund & Ali, bro’n’sis, in Faro