Foz do Guardiana
The Guardiana is the fourth longest river on the Ibrian Peninsula, running from the lagoons of Ruidera, in the Spanish province of Ciudad Real, and entering the Gulf of Cadiz after forming the border between Spain and Portugal for approximately 100 km.
This seemed to be the best place to start both of my projects from. It is literally the end , or the start, of Portugal and the N125 runs from here. I set off from Fuzeta on the Honley and basically rode until I ran out of Portugal. After leaving the N125 I rode through the narrow, and very charming streets of Vila Real de Santo Antonio. Not a town to travel through at speed as it is designed on a grid system with cross roads seemingly every 100 meters. I decided not to concentrate on the town on this visit, but followed a narrow road along the side of a coastal pine woodland until the road finished.
From here there is a cobbled road alongside the Guardiana to the beach. This then forms a long jetty out into the Gulf of Cadiz. At regular intervals there were 5 litre plastic bottles with the side cut off to form water bowls, usually accompanied by containers of dried pet food. It soon became apparent that the area was populated with hundreds of ferrel cats. I assume these live in the woodland and the locals put food and water out for them. Small shelters had been made for them from boxes covered in the plastic sacks that the dried food came in.
The other inhabitants of this jetty are fishermen. There are almost as many as there are cats. Looking at the water I can see why, so many fish in the clear, clean river and sea. From this vantage point there are views along the Algarve coast, across to Spain and the town of Ayamonte, then up river to the International Bridge, the crossing between Spain and Portugal.