So long and thanks for all the fish

The boys went to a Sardine Festival in a town up the river Guadiana.  Actually it turns out it was some kind of May Day celebration in Alcoutim (on the Portugese side) with a fishy theme!

Chris said, “The fish festival was fun… there was some quite amusing dancing (including the penguin dance!), and some quite impressive flamenco dancing and folk music”  As with all celebrations, food featured highly.  Traditional English festival favourites (tea and cake) were replaced with huge plates of BBQ’ed sardines, which were apparently “a bit strange eating bones and all, but quite nice.”

I had a May Day of my own to attend in Yateley with Mum, Dad, Mark and Clare down on the Green…I think I prefer tea and cake over sardines (I don’t really do fish unless its battered or tuna) and there was of course the infamous Dog show, car-boot sale and crazy motor-cyclists to keep everyone amused.  We also had an excellent weekend of food; making the most of British cuisine at its best…Chinese, Roast Dinner and a fry up!  However I’m told the Portugese do good donuts…mmm, I wonder if they saved me any?

Back on the river Dave and Taryna who we first met in Gibraltar came up the river to stay for a while before deciding to head back out to Gibraltar and then into the Med again!  They’d had a pretty rough time getting to the River Guadiana but even with Chris’ warnings that they probably didn’t want to go back that way, their rose tints seem to be firmly on and they will leave soon to meet friends somewhere.  I don’t envy them, having eventually fought our way out of the Straits of Gibraltar…I wouldn’t want to do it again in a hurry.

We have recently discovered the wonders of Skype calling.  Portugal has a fabulous amount of free WIFI access so it is quite easy to call people through the internet from there.  All it requires is a bit of solar charging beforehand and then a bit of rowing from the boat to a place onshore.  Apart from a few hiccups the connection to the pay as you go skype calling seems pretty good as long as the internet is ok and it’s a lot cheaper than calling from a mobile.  I have enjoyed taking calls in England that I know are only being charged at 2p per minute instead of 50!  Chris has enjoyed making calls whilst sitting under a tree…

I will be in England for a little while as I have another wedding to attend at the end of May.  I feel like I only scratched the surface of Portugal and am looking forward to exploring some of the area on my return.  It seemed to make sense to make a long visit given the weddings and the fact that we were unsure what we were going to do next.  Speaking of which, the current plan now is to head to the Canary Islands when we’re all back on board and possibly go via Madeira if it looks ok waves-wise.

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