Castro Marim and Villa Real de Santo Antonio

Portugal after Spain is like Anderby Creek after London, a different pace of life altogether. Castro Marim has two strategically placed castles to fend off the Phonecians, Moors, English and Romans to name but a few so it was a busy place in times gone by, spilling blood guarding the Portuguese/Spanish border divided by the Guadiana river, so we took the ferry over for 5 Euros !

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Don Quixote (Knights Templars actually)…
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….and his foe !
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From one castle….
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…to the other
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They wouldn’t let her in at first, she said she was from Mansfield

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They can “keep” her, lock, stock n barrel
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You can see our house from up here !

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Spain this side, Portugal the other

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Seville

Time stands still for no man, so we needed to move on from Alphonsos place and find our own way in the world, namely Seville !

Parked a little out of town near the docks, bit of a dark road down but good to see Seville for a couple of days, so tapas it is then !

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Plaza de Espana……..

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…..even the ceilings are a work of art…..

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….must have cost a pretty penny in its day.
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Tapas evening

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A winter market, Mecca for the vegetarian
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A city worth visiting, probably not for a haircut though !

Sanlucar de Barrameda

With Christmas fast approaching we get settled in to Alphonsos place in what is known as the Sherry triangle, loads of good cycle routes for such a rural place, so good we stayed for 3 weeks. Pete and Nina shot off after the new year to Portugal and the hills but I think we shall cross paths and clink sherry glasses some place soon ?
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The Sherry triangle
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Holed up at Alphonsos place waiting for Xmas and 2017 to arrive.
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The local sherry baron, this is the back of his garage !
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Sanlucar square

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If only you could smell this passageway and it’s Manzanilla content.
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Hams everywhere

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Chipiona bike ride

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The Xmas lights on a late night Tapas and drinking session in town.
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Camping Christmas lunch
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Cheers !!
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The three kings arrive with presents for the kids on the 6th January
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Chipiona lighthouse, third tallest on the med !
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All I wanted from Santa was a hammock ! Ah well there’s always another year.

Gibraltar

First visit to the Rock for us, pre-Christmas duty free shopping loaded us up with everything British. Have promised to return to see the apes when the festive throng has gone.

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The Rock from the Spanish side
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Another harbour stop, short walk and a flash of the passports finds us in mini GB !!
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Gib lighthouse guarding the entrance to the Med with North Africa in the distance

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“anyone for blackjack”

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They brought his body back in a barrel of brandy after the battle before shipping him off to blighty for a heroes reception
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I said it was GB 🇬🇧

Torrox el pino

Trying to stay one step ahead of the rain we move ever Westward, this time on to Torrox el pino, very hilly with trees ready to ambush the unsuspecting campervan driver. Close to Nerja so a few days walking and the Fiesta de Mijas in Torrox village proved a good day out.

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Van hidden in the trees
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A walk up to the village fiesta requires a rest stop
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The mountains emptied for the fiesta celebrations

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It’s not paella but a cous-cous with a fruit marinade
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They feed everyone for free

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The workhorse
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It’s not snow ! Paint and rock