We parked up on the largest Aires we have ever stayed on; right by marina and the cost for our sized motorhomes was just 3 euros a day. The site was quite packed but we managed to find two spaces, side by side, at the far end so it was quite a walk to get to the gate to go and investigate Portamao. Whilst Tom and Jo took Taz for a walk Elaine and I walked past all the boats so we could have a look at the beach.
We quite enjoyed watching some surfers riding the waves and we walked to the end of the long break water to see if we would be able to see our next destination from there. The book didn’t indicate that there was a lot to see in Portimao except for some extremely large shopping centres so, after lunch, it was only Jo and I that went out exploring that afternoon.
We took what we found out later was a very circuitous route into town. Neither of us were interested in the shopping option so we headed for the bridge that would take us over the estuary so we could get to the pretty looking place we could see over the water.
It was quite a walk just to get to the bridge and from there we followed the road all the way round to to our goal. Jo is not known to be a lover of long walks but she marched gamely on. I was fully aware that Jo would make a big thing and complain to the other two about the the distance I had made her walk despite the fact that she kept telling me how much she was enjoying the afternoon and that she wanted to reach that little church. Finally we reached Ferragudo, the little town and we both enjoyed a cold beer in the pretty, little town square. We walked on up the hill and had a looked inside the church and from there we looked back over the estuary where we could see the camp where we were sure Elaine and Tom were either snoozing or reading, enjoying a peaceful afternoon.
We cut quite a few corners on the way back by crossing some waste land heading straight for the bridge and the followed the water all the way back to the motorhomes. As I had predicted, Jo blamed her poor aching feet on me to anyone who cared to listen but also said how much she had enjoyed it.
20th, 21st, 22nd February……Alvor
I know I said that Albufeira would make a perfect summer holiday destination but as soon as we drove through this small town we could already see that this was going to be a special place to visit. The Aires was available but we knew that if there was any rain then the ground would turn to mud so we elected to stop three days at the camp that was just on the edge of town. One we had set up we walked down to the small town centre and down from there down to the harbour and then along the boardwalks (to protect the dunes)to the beach. Wow! This is a special place.
We walked back to the front and enjoyed a late lunch on one of the cafe bars on the promenade and we all looked forward to to the next day when we would walk all along the beautiful beach so we could visit the rocks at the far end of the bay.
We had been told that this was going to be a little bit special and worth the walk.
When we got to the little bay at the end we came across some families enjoying the shelter from the wind that these little coves gave them. They must have been warm because none of them had any clothes on so we quickly turned back and left them to it.
On the third day of our visit Tom and Jo cycled back to Portimao to get some essential supplies from one of the big stores there and Elaine and I walked the 6 kilometer circuit of board walks going the opposite way from the rocks. Because the dunes are protected so there are a lot of wild flowers like these wild orchids growing. At first I thought it was asparagus that was growing in the sand until I saw one with the first yellow blooms sprouting from the top.
23rd, 24th February……Lagos
We parked on the 3 euro a night aire, right by the football stadium and the bikes came off the back of the vans for the first time for quite a little while. The beach is quite a little distance from here so we set off to visit it and the town centre. Elaine wasn’t too keen on cycling along some of cobbled streets but the long promenade, all alongside the marina made it all worthwhile and we cycled on to the beach area by the castle passing the walls of the old town.
Tom and I carried on up the hill while Elaine and Jo relaxed beside the small beach.
On the way back we called into a supermarket which took us up a very busy road. I stopped at a roundabout and thanks to my habit of wearing flip flops, even when cycling, my foot slipped and I fell flat on my back, under my bicycle, out onto the busy road. Luckily there was nothing passing close at that moment, luckier still I didn’t break my camera which was in front of me when I fell. Elaine would have been very vexed if I had had to buy yet another camera after having a previous one stolen in Barcelona last year. I needed a lot of Elaine’s nursing skills that evening although, truthfully, I did put it on a bit because I was enjoyinging all the care and attention.
Today we cycled back to the front at Lagos and walked around all the shops and Tom spent some money on a very Arabic looking jacket for himself and he spent lots of money on a present for Jo’s upcoming birthday. We on our part bought things in various shops so our visit to this city has boosted the local economy just a little. There is a circus setting up on the large field right beside us but we have just seen the posters and we will be away from here before the first performance.