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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Day 36 Weds 16.03.2011
Location: Castro Marim Aire 
Long / Lat N 37º 13.199’ W 007º26.666’
It rained all night but woke again to blue sky and sunshine.
We were planning on staying at Manta Rota for a bit longer but we wanted to call into the Lidl about 10km along the N125 today so that we could get an early start when we head into Spain.
After breakfast we decided to do the shopping today. Before we left we had our photo taken with Doopee the shoe lace undoing Dutch dog (he wanted a picture of us for his travel blog) and we said goodbye to his lovely owners (again).
As we approached the supermarket in Vila Real de S Antonio we spotted the Aire at Castro Marim, we had thought that we wouldn’t be able to stop here as the Spain and Portugal Aires books says that it’s unsuitable for large motorhomes (this usually means anything longer than 7 meters).
We checked out the Aire on the way back from our shopping trip and decided that we could just squeeze in.
The official aire is next to a road which at 6.30 in the evening is still quite busy, there is a fence at the back of aire to stop you from reversing into a tidal concrete culvert (someone called it a river and there are fish in it!)
The aire is free, the service point is a French style Euro Relais but you don’t have to pay for water. There is also a toilet dump point.

If you drive to the end of the aire and turn right there are also motorhomes parked on the hard standing behind the car park under the fort. This is not an official parking area but if the aire is full or if you a very large motorhome you could probably park there. By 3.30 there were about 20 vans parked there.
There’s a nice supermarket just across road from the car park, when it reopened at 3pm we got some delicious rolls just out of the oven.
We were sitting outside and a motorhome pulled in that we recognised,  it was Mike and his wife (sorry Mike we told we were dreadful with names) we met up with them at our first stop in Spain.
The town is not very pretty and we were too lazy to walk up the hill to the fort but it’s very close to the border with Spain and is an ideal stop over before you cros

Castro Marim Aire  

 Castro Marim Parking  

Castro Marim Castle

Tomorrow we are heading to a campsite in Spain near Granada (about a 6 hour drive) we’ll probably stay there for 2 nights and catch up with our washing.

Castro Marim Aire 

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