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Ayamonte Coat of Arms

Aug 2009

aya Unknown (river name) disputed + monte Spanish hill, mountain.

Population - 18,001.

Ayamonte Coat of Arms

As in rhymes with 'diamanté', almost, Ayamonte might not be the jewel in the Spanish crown but it's just about as far as you can go south-west in España.

The Guadiana International Bridge is a clue and it's over there and into Portugal for the Eastern Algarve. Being fans of this sort of setup, it would be bordering on madness not to investigate?

Ayamonte - Guadiana Puente Internacional

This snap was taken just north of the old centre and yes, their bullring. Just like the bull, investors got it in the neck when the financial crisis of 2007 saw the development of this area for holidaymakers suddenly halt.

Work has supposedly since resumed and, unlike the bull, they're looking to finish it off quickly.

Just south of the old centre and over a bridge, just the one, large hotel here with a baffling view from the balcony. The Parque Zoologico Prudencio Navarro is just that, a zoo, although none of that Spanish means small and shabby.

Ayamonte - Equus quagga

Nobody seemed to be working here and although this was 2009, it's still going and recent advising trippers' comments are similar...

Rhymes with 'gruel'.

There's not that much more happening around here apart from trying to nab a free, on-street parking spot. You'll end up lapping like a loon and 'kerbing' that nearside rear tyre before struggling to replace it with an unfathomable spare wheel release mechanism and an unfamiliar jack...

Rhymes with 'clipping neck'[1] because, yeah, that's what was said and no Señor, the situation's not actually that funny!

 
Hotel Ayamonte Center (Avenida Ramón y Cajal)

Unassuming accommodation next to a supermarket with views from the balcony to rival those of an African safari.

This is largely a place for holidaying Spaniards although there are a handful of audible ex-pats. This is the Costa de la Luz, you see, one of the lesser known Costas but the beach is a 3-mile trot south to Isla Canela.

Isla Canela beach, Spain

This island spit, of sorts, not only serves up the sand but also a small, attractive resort of the same name that's home to the hotels and the burger vans.

To get there, you'll need to cross some uninhabitable salt marsh and the Marismas de Isla Cristina.

Paraje Natural marismas de Isla Cristina

This managed marshland is part of a much larger nature reserve and if you're found of the wader, just like the zebras, lots of these come from Africa. You won't, however, feel like exploring too far what with that wobbly wheel...

Rhymes with '£80 for a puncture?'

Meanwhile, back in town, the old centre sits just north of the bridge and things are a bit more familiar Mediterranean[1]-style-wise.

Ayamonte - Fuente de la plaza de la Coronación Ayamonte - Calle Cervantes Ayamonte - Paseo de la Ribera

It's all fairly compact but come sundown, and after a pair of aperitifs, there are plenty of pizza and paella providers. It has to be said, however, the tapas was found to be fairly standard...

Rhymes with 'batatas pravas.'

[1] Yes, it's known this isn't on the Med. but 'Atlantic'-style suggests somewhere like St Ives.

 
Plaza de la Laguna

The main, pedestrianised and only public square of note but saying that, they've really gone to town with the tiles, not shown, and there's not a car in sight, none to show.

You've probably flown here in and out of  Faro, which has just about enough to warrant an overnighter.

Not just the view of the marina from the  balcony but free plates of prawns by a barman who's happy to see you're so thirsty but with one eye on the match[1].

Faro Marina

It's not far to the airport where you'll have to 'fess up to the puncture and resign yourself to that fine.

Actually Europcar™, it was thought you'd charge much more than that especially as it was my fault and you haven't seen the damage to the undercarriage and the wheel rim yet...

Rhymes with 'Don't book in the loot! Don't book in the loot!'

[1] A rare belter from  Bendtner gave Denmark a half-time lead but a late leveller saw Portugal salvage a point. Can you say where you were on September 5th 2009?