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From Ocean to Mountains to Ocean

Portugal 2016

semi-overcast 57 °F

Raining - no golf so we're off to Monchique; a spa town in the Serra de Monchique mountains - about 45 mins from Lagos (we're all in agreement; no more than an hour in a car; not spending our trip time peering out of car windows.)

Monchique is roughly 1500' ft above sea level; total change in vegetation. Also pouring rain; we had to pull over until the storm passed.
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We're told Monchique is known for Medronho - a liqueur made from the the fruits of the arbutus (strawberry) tree which grow in the surrounding hills. We bought small sample bottles but have not yet sampled ... we're told it's an acquired taste.

The town is one of my favorites - perhaps the rain storm left it clean and fresh - I thought the building colors were wonderful.
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We turned a corner and there was this lovely small church.
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The mountains are known for their cork trees.
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There's a dazzling array of cork products available - shoes, purses, placemats, glass cases, phone cases ... I'm getting some.

We're also in the heart of piri-piri chicken. Trust me, the main ingredient is a chili. Philip & I gave it a go and it was amazingly good.
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I checked the ingreds on Wikipedia - It is made from crushed chillies, citrus peel, onion, pepper, salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, paprika, pimiento, basil, oregano, and tarragon.

During our journey up the mountain; we passed an intriguing pottery store ... made mental note to stop on our way back. Oh yes, let the shopping begin!
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Evening ... we're back to our beach & ocean.
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(why does the moon look so huge to the eye & so tiny in the pics?)

Posted by ChinaBecky 00:29 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Golf & Church

Portugal 2016

sunny 57 °F

The men headed to the golf course; Mary Fern and I explored Lagos. We started our exploration using a public bus. We had a bus schedule, we sorta figured out the closest stop (but arrived 10 mins early ... just to be sure. Our back up plan was to call a taxi...weren't sure what to do if the taxi people only spoke Portuguese; nevertheless we had a plan ... always like to have a plan!

The bus ride cost all of 1.20 and dropped us off at the square.

Beautiful, beautiful day ... sunny, bright blue sky & brilliant white buildings. We started at the golden church of St Anthony. It had an elaborate wood carved interior; no pictures allowed. I've never seen so many cherubs in my live .... just on one side of the wall I counted 100 and gave up. There were entire pillars of cherubs. Santa Maria church was next door; a much simpler, relaxing design - light filled rooms. Across the square was the site of the slave market - the 1st in Europe & on the other corner was the old Moorish walls and iconic fort.

It was a lovely day for walking, talking and shopping.
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Ok ... this was a 1st ... never traveled with someone who actively seeks out someone to cut her hair when she's abroad. But why not, as Mary Fern said "what the heck; it will always grow out." We stopped & she did.
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We decided to walk to the train station to catch the bus back to the villa. (that would be me)
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As we were about to enter the villa; here came the golfers with many tales "of what might have been." Sounds like they had a great time.

Posted by ChinaBecky 06:37 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Pedro and the Grotto Gang Strikes Again!

Portugal 2016

sunny 58 °F

The pictures are all the words needed!
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Posted by ChinaBecky 06:59 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

I'm supposed to be packing

Portugal 2016

sunny 65 °F

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This is my view from the living room ... it calls to me ... don't pack that suitcase, check those train/plane tickets. Instead ... come walk in the sand, admire my colors, listen to my sounds ... the Song of the Siren. I'm listening, I'm listening! Wait for me!

This morning we said adeus to Skip & Mary Fern ... they're on their way to Lisbon & Madrid. The best part of our journey was being in their company, exploring new sights together, discovering interesting Portugal wines & cuisine, learning to avoid driving in city centers, relaxing, playing Qwixx - a great 2 weeks.

Up On the Roof (sing it ... you know you know the tune!)
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A duck & sausage dinner
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When is a lockout not a lockout?
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This is some sort of specialty Fire Water made from some tree fruit that looks like a strawberry - the clear one tastes like gasoline and the other one is infused with honey...both an acquired taste. Yes indeed; we tasted!
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At noon, Philip lures me to town with the promise of lunch at Don Sabastianos. We had our 1st Lagos meal there and it didn't disappoint today.
Philip had Clay Pot Chicken and I had Cataplana.
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Early this week, Mary Fern & I discovered the ease of using public buses. If you're heading to Lagos, there's almost no need for a car. Philip's now a fan. For 1.20 euro; you can ride for an hour - which is a complete circuit of the line. We got off at the center, had lunch, went to the little market, hopped back on the bus and rode the entire route ... out to a fabulous beach and then back to our own fabulous beach - Meia Praia.

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So now ... I'm thinking about packing ... sorta ...

Posted by ChinaBecky 08:18 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

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