Wednesday, September 22, 2010

return to the beautiful river

Some sailors at the end of their wandering life or the dreamers still dreaming the faraway edens end up here on the shores of the Guadiana. The charm of this river winding between virgin lands and beautiful hills at the back doors of Portugal and Andalucia is such that some anchors get sucked in the mud for ever: Lot of boats sailed their last miles here to the point of no return, still pulling on their chain as dogs on their leash turning their nose to the upcoming tides still hoping to go for a last ride. And after all, they still could do it, the Ocean is so close, just one tide away !
Abandonned patches of land let to grow back to the wild lost on the river shore far from anything are as much mirages for those ready to bury their anchors. They attrack them as lost atolls in the Pacific do for intrepid sailors. Everyone who experienced this river let one self dream about little acres of land on the shore of the Guadiana, far from the noisy crowd of the resort cities of the coast but close enough to enjoy certain advantages they offer.
Some succeed in buying a few acres of wild land, no longer proper for the local meagre agriculture. There is not, and there will not be any electricity or sewage, it is at the mercy of the floods which are still highly possible despite dams up river. But nothing stop them, not even the prohibition to build anything permanent or the lack of proper close by roads, or even good trails. Used to the minimalistic way of life on boats, they see themselves as new robinsons, happy to live under the shed of thousand year old olive trees, prolific fig trees and generous grenade trees, hidden from anyone. Their solitude and tranquility are guaranteed as Portugal and Spain are declaring the Guadiana shores as a natural preserve. Even if that means to many the impossibility to ever built anything else than shelters (there is no lack of bamboos !).

helping land friends to little project, some cement job to  make a permanent mooring for their boat.
So to not intrude on them and respect this place that harbored safely Röde Orm for 3 months, I will say no more and I will leave the bells of the 3 churches between San Lucar and Alcoutim respond to each other across the always lively water of the beautiful river

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Time to migrate south

a visit to Mont St Michel, even more mysterious under the drizzle normand

It is time to go back to Röde Orm and time for sailing and enjoying new places. So back on our track again after this long break north.
we do not want to find a tree in Röde Orm cockpit !

and St Malo, the proud city of our "corsaires", standing proud across the centuries