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Lost in La-Goosh

Portugal 2016

sunny 58 °F

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View of the harbor
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Wednesdays, Lagos seems to come alive. No longer can we park wherever we want ... had to hunt for a parking space.

On our way into the center, we stroll thru the fish market
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The men head to their favorite wine shop; MF & I explored a few streets ... on our way to the bead shop. We discovered the bead shop a couple of days ago - found locally-made ceramic beads and cork ropes for stringing beads. Now we're on a mission to make a cork brooch, using the cork rope.

Scenes along our walk
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An hour or so later, we meet up ... Skip is wheeling and dealing with a sunglass hustler. The hustler started his pitch at 180 Euro; by the time we arrived; Skip had him down to 5 Euro ... but only if Mary Fern could come up with 2.50 of the Euro...apparently no one had change for Skip's new best friend.

We off again - to find Euro Car ... need some info.
Main drag of Lagos
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Euro car's not open; it's time for lunch. O Camilo's is highly touted; beautiful views on a cliff. We're off ... guy at the wine store gave directions. We make a wrong turn off the round about. I haul out my Blackberry Maps app ... not much appreciated ... heard lots of front seat grumbling about how those darn apps send you the shortest direction but not necessarily the most direct. Nonetheless, we arrive. The view? OMG ... I'll let the pics speak for themselves.
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The meals ... best - so far - in the Algarve
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I wish I'd turned on the video for the drive home ... we knew the way, didn't need my GPS app, almost immediately made a wrong turn. Spent the next 15 mins going up and down almost impassible streets - most weren't wide enough for 2 cars. Poor Skip - our auto is a stick shift and we were either going straight up or straight down or about to go into a wall. Highly entertaining ... if you weren't driving. We have a great wheelman.

Another great day!

Posted by ChinaBecky 09:10 Comments (1)

The Rain in Algarve Falls Mainly on the ....

Portugal 2016

semi-overcast 58 °F

Ok, so maybe my phrasing isn't so catchy as My Fair Lady but yes - a rainy night and morning. The sky & ocean were silvery.

After coffee before the morning walk.
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The beach is long and golden; almost totally undisturbed.
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The goal today was finding Espiche; more specific, the Espiche golf course. The town of Espiche seems to be a about 20 buildings on the side of the road (incidentally ... main roads are wonderful! I guess with a 23% VAT, all services should be good) Finding the golf course ... that took a bit of driving inland over hill & dale. Apparently this course is supposed to be the home of numerous homes & a 5* hotel ...2017... they best get busy; we only saw evidence of lots of infrastructure and a few unimpressive townhouses.

The golf course, however, is a completely different matter. It's magnificent, marvelous views and a spectacular club house. PB & Skip have a Monday tee time.
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Returning to town, stop at the train station to purchase return tickets to Lisbon .... next week. These are the 3 car trains going back and forth to Tunes (the transfer point for north and south.
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Lunch was Italian - Portifinos. It had the distinct advantage of being across the street from the train station and on the wharf.
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By noon, sun is out and the rest of the day is lovely. A good kick-back afternoon, reading, walking, beading, wading in the ocean, etc.
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Posted by ChinaBecky 23:27 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

The Boys Go to Church

Portugal 2016

overcast 67 °F

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Giving Thanks After Being Lost in Silves

Big decision of the day ... will the clouds break, should we head for the harbor and try the grotto boat tour ... or is it going to keep drizzling & should be head inland.

Decision made - inland to Silves

The drive is about 45 mins. Portugal has interesting toll roads - no toll booths. Instead there's a device in the car that beeps whenever you pass one of their metered counters. The blue sign tells you how much the toll is & those little dangling things hanging overhead are the counters.
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Silves is larger than I expected littered with orange and lemon trees on the banks of the Rio Arade. Back in the 12th century it was the Moorish capital Xelb.

High above the village is Castelo de Silves. The castle and a Cathedral (Sé de Silves) beside it are the first buildings you see as you approach Silves. I understand there's a pretty river market ... not for us ... we LIKE the fun of getting lost among the maze of teeny, tiny, narrow cobbled streets. Seriously, having Philip & Mary Fern in the car is high entertainment. I kept expecting MF's foot to go thru the floor board and PB's got both arms up around his head. Admittedly, I heard Skip mutter a few words. I was ready to spring out of the car because the guy behind us was honking - highly annoying. There was one moment when I had my doubts ... the road went straight down and then straight down some more ...but there was this massive stone in the middle...tight, tight right turn! I don't think I'm particularly brave ... just this attitude ... "damn, not the way I'm going; so we'll get out of this ... somehow!"

Eventually we found a way down; a place to park and we walked back to the castle. An interesting walk to & from the car - colorful buildings and storks. Storks are everywhere in this area.
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The cathedral site was initially a mosque. This building dates to 1247 - only the nave was damaged by the 1755 earthquake. There were several tomb slabs dating to the 1500's.
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The castle was built between 8th & 13th century. Much, much larger than I expected ... ancient walls with modern gardens inside. We wondered if it was a place for concerts.
This fellow is King Sancho I of Portugal
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OK ... so I got a little carried away taking pics at the castle ...

Then we had a most interesting lunch .... most interesting was the price & amount of food. I'll come back to that later.

All in all; an interesting day.

Posted by ChinaBecky 10:04 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Market Day

Portugal 2016

semi-overcast 65 °F

A Fine Beginning - from the balcony
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Market wasn't quite as expected. Based on our previous combined experiences ... in other countries ... we're expecting a moveable store of fresh cheeses, sausages, some handcrafted items, fresh fish, shellfish etc.... This is a produce market ... farmers from all over the area arrived. Initially we were a little overwhelmed. Nonetheless, absolutely fascinating to walk thru the aisles recognizing familiar veggies & trying to id the unfamiliar.

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How fresh do you want your chicken?
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Walked a the few blocks to the fish market - Philip bought a tuna steak; the rest of us had bream. (PB's steak might be the best tuna I've EVER tasted)
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The day was sunny; we wanted to take a grotto boat tour ... all the kiosks were closed. Apparently the tour people knew more than we did; by 2pm the wind was howling and fog rolled in.

Instead we opted for lunch on the beach ... pretty pricy meal for ham/cheese toastie; hamburger & 2 bowls of fish soup and 2 bowls of clams. None of it particularly good. Kind of a surprise as we're used to reasonable food prices. Perhaps we paid for the flourish at the end. The waiter brought out these enormous bottles of port and something I can't remember the name of ... but tasted like grappa.
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Spent the afternoon reading, beading, doing laundry. MF got some little roasted golden figs; tasted lovely with wine. The it was fish with small potatoes & Brussel sprouts.

The evening ended Just lovely as it started.
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Posted by ChinaBecky 01:45 Archived in Portugal Comments (1)

Down Day

Portugal 2016

overcast 65 °F

This was our day of leisure; staying close to the villa - long walks on the beach; needlepoint, beading, reading ... beautiful morning but by afternoon; strong gusts of wind off the ocean and the fog moved in. PB & Skip made a run to the local market - Pingo Doce.

Kite surfer on Our beach.
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Walk along the beach was a little cloudy but the sun would occasionally break thru. I love being on the water ... I can't help but break out into my Happy Dance. At night, I leave the door cracked so I can listen to the sound of the surf.
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Shortly after I wrote my sand letter; I passed a group of serious beach trekkers ... the kind with poles, good shoes & backpacks. When I looked back; noticed they all were taking a break & taking selfies at the site of my sand letter.

Dinner was Sooo good - bone in pork loin, potatoes & broccoli sprouts.
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Did I mention how GOOD this meal was????

Posted by ChinaBecky 00:12 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

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