Today we headed inland to the town of Silves. This was the medieval residence and capital of the Moorish kings of the al-Gharb. The town has a bloody history. In 1189 the Moors where held under siege in the castle by northern Christian crusaders. When their water ran out despite the huge cistern in the castle the Moors negotiated guarantees with the Christians for the safety of the town’s inhabitants. When the gates of the castle were opened the Crusaders broke their word and ransacked the town, killing over 6,000 moors.
The castle still stands today high above the town with an impressive complete set of red sandstone walls. We toured the castle and sat in the sun in the Moorish Garden. We the wandered through the narrow streets of the old town seeing storks nesting on tops of towers and old chimneys.
Below the castle there was a large car park with about 20 motorhomes moored up. As we made our way along the river there was another car park with fifty plus motorhomes parked. Further along there was yet another car park with still more motor homes all wild camping or boon docking for free. We had not seen so many before in the Algarve and some looked as if they were in for the duration. The town could make quite a bit of revenue by charging them a few Euros per night.