In the middle of the night - actually just as the very first rays of the new day began to light the sky- we both sat bolt upright in bed, our dreams instantly forgotten, shattered by gunfire all around. Some distant but some so close I could hear the sound of the shot, like raindrops, falling into the water. It sounded as though a war was going on and I suppose it was - against the wildlife. I've never heard anything like it and I have been (accidentally) at 'Duck Opening' in Australia. The shooting continued for hours. No wonder there's not much birdlife on the waterways. Perhaps flamingos don't taste so good - there are plenty of them.
We moved into town where we were astonished to find that we didn't need to go into the marina at all and could stop alongside the quay right outside the city walls. No services but completely free and what a spot.
Outside the walls there was jousting on horseback and the weekend was to finish with a big fireworks dispaly. Of course the narrow streets were thronged with tourists visiting for the festivities and spending lots of money in the shops and restaurants. All went well on Saturday.
In the middle of Sunday afternoon the sky turned black and the biggest thunderstorm I have ever seen slowly passed over the town, then turned and passed over again, and then again. Hours of torrential rain. The streets quickly flooded and the pompiers (firefighters, emergency services) were out in force. Some shops had 10/15 cm of water on their floors and the water level in the basin rose and rose until we were concerned we were going to be on top of the quay and so we made up some sinking fenders out of rubber doormats to hold us off. The boat in front of us had a rubber dinghy which filled with water and was then so heavy it snapped its metal davits. Our bailing bucket which hangs on the stern of our boat was full and overflowing and it is 20 cm deep. All the tourists tried to leave at the same time so the roads that weren't flooded with water were gridlocked with cars. What a pity for the town.
Needless to say the fireworks were cancelled.
|Helping to weld our neighbours broken dinghy davit|