Tuesday, December 20, 2005

To Seville up the Guadalquivir River

The Marina on the Rio Guadalquivir

The motor up the Guadalquivir from Chipiona was like our trip down the U.S. Intra-Coastal Waterway. Shallow water, nearly running aground although it was well marked and buoyed, three freighters passing us, shrimp boats, herons and cormorants, flat landscape – déjà vu. The lock was reached within the deadline of 16:00; after that an enforced stay at an expensive little marina nearby as there was no bridge opening into Sevilla until later the following day.
We had left at 08:00 (barely enough morning light to see our way out of the Chipiona Marina for the 50 nm trip. The tidal current was necessary for a one-day trip although we could have anchored in the river (nervously as the large freighters ply the river day and night) and we did have magnificent speeds of over seven knots at times with an average of 6.2 knots – fast for us.
The marina in which we are presently is small with only 10 boats berthed at the moment – it can squeeze in 40. The club (Club Nautico Sevilla) has about 8000 (mostly social) members who pay huge annual dues for the privilege but have to keep their boats down at the coast. It is not cheap to be here, but worth every penny to us for the three winter months. It is almost right downtown – a short walk and even shorter bike ride to an absolutely beautiful city– without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities either of us has ever been in. Historical, well kept, with many parks and monuments, the third largest cathedral in the world (with more of Chris Columbus’ bones in it – funny, I thought they were all in the Dominican Republic). Laden orange trees are everywhere – also in the marina for the picking. The club has swimming pools (an indoor one which we use often), gymnasium, tennis courts, soccer grounds, active rowing and junior sailing programs (even in the winter), weight room, a 10 Km bike path nearby along the river, restaurant and bar and we have full use of all of the facilities. Putting up with cool nights (4-5 degrees C) and sunny days of 15 – 18 degrees is not difficult. An electric heater is employed at night and the duvet was stuffed with another sleeping bag.

More on Sevilla in another blog soon

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