Tuesday, 7 August 2012


First impressions - left the aircraft and walked into a building site.  I first came to Portugal 15 years ago and it was the same then.  When are they going to finish building this country?

Everywhere you look is cloudless sky.  Usual hanging around for slow passengers, bus driver, traffic, etc, so that it was dark by the time we hit the resort.  Glorious sunset though.  Palm trees, cactus, bougainvilea, villas with pillars, soft furnishings on terraces, etc give the lie to the climate.  There is apparently a drought here.  I shall be concerned about that when I get home.  I'm guessing I might be cold when I get home too (just seen it's minus 10 near where we live!).

So far, not only no rain, but only one cloud (might have been a vapour trail).  Have found fabulous walk over cliffs and rocks with 'secret' beaches to Albufeira, about 3 miles away.  Made it in under an hour today (despite having to fight through bamboo forest where beach was inexplicably closed, a climb over a fence and a walk through a hotel car park).  Quick beer and a bica at the fish market and then 40 mins back over the so-called cliff walk (it was a main road).

Also visited Sangres, Lagos, Cape St Vincent (most westerly point on European mainland), and somewhere else (sorry, forgotten the name for the moment).  Interesting historical insight (if a bit vague on the geography). 

Fado night last night, bit like chansons or enka - really enjoyable, but too much sangria (in Her humble opinion).  Probably off to a Japanese restaurant tonight (but no sake apparently).  As you can tell, appetite returned with a vengeance.  Not sure about some coffees yet, but bica is fabulous!  Found a rather good local wine too at less than 3 Euros, which just happens to be my sort of price.  All this talk of food and drink is making me peckish, so must go.  Have discovered white port too BTW and several other flavoured varieties - one of the benefits of visiting a vineyard . . . .  The drought doesn't seem to have affected the orange harvest incidentally, there are great bags of giant juicy fresh fruit hanging from every gate.  I expect they'll be giving them away by the end of the week.

Tomorrow I'm planning a more relaxed day, although I expect I'll manage to wander down the beach cafe and get Katherine to bring me a bica or two.  Then I might wander over to the bowling green and have another while I watch the bowling.  Then I suppose it'll be time to struggle along to the restaurant for a serrano sandwich and a beer.  Of course that's only if it doesn't rain . . .

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