Leaving Spain and heading to Portugal
10.14.13 78 °F
October 12, 2013
Well it was off to Portugal this morning. It was a very nice ride with olive trees, orange trees and wine vineyards for 300 miles, on both sides of the road. We stopped along the way for lunch, trusting our GPS to take us to a local restaurant. The place was only 2 miles off the highway and things were not looking good, me and the GPS were about to go rounds, when all of a sudden, this small town with cobblestone streets appeared. We ended up in a plaza, with a small church and there was the restaurant across the plaza. The only restaurant, I might add. You had to walk through the bar area first, with all the local men enjoying their beer and shots, to the courtyard out back, where we had a delicious meal of barbequed fish, potatoes, olives, bread and veggies. We also indulged in some local port wine. The total bill was 12 dollars. We waddled out of the restaurant and headed to our final destination, Ponta Grand Resort, in Albufeira. Not to be negative but our last place was 10 times better than this one. However, we are here, settled in and will make the best of it. We did a little grocery shopping and Annette made a home cooked meal of chicken and pasta. We spent the evening going over the agenda for tomorrow.
October 13, 2013
We woke up fairly early and after breakfast we set off to Sagres; The End of the World. It’s located at the extreme southwest corner of Europe. It was here that Henry the Navigator along with Magellan, Diaz, Vasco da Gamma, to name a few explores, set off to navigate the world. Many of the local folks thought that when the sun sank at night, it plunged over the edge of the world. We explored Henry’s Fortress and the rocky landscape all the way to lands end. The area is slowly eroding into the sea. It is also a stopover for birds migrating to Africa. It’s a very interesting area and is worth the stop, if you are nearby. We were getting hungry and checked the Frommer’s book for restaurants in the area. It recommended Telheiro do Infante, which specialized in sea food. This was a great choice. The views were spectacular and the food, although a little pricy, was extremely good. We had olives, bread and some cheese spread to start and the main course was squid, along with a nice bottle of red wine. Sometimes life is just good. We stopped at Portimao on the way back. We walked around the side streets and poked into some shops but didn’t find anything to buy. The town is a fishing village with many boats dotting the small harbor. As most towns in Spain and Portugal, they also have an abundance of bars and restaurants. We stopped in an Irish bar to watch some golf and met some folks on holiday form Ireland. Nice group of men who take one week every year and travel together. I believe they were all a little hung over from the night before, with a 4am closing time. They filled us in on what to do and see in Ireland and suggested we book our travel right then and there. We had one beer with them, no booking involved, then headed back to the condo. Did I mention that the power converter that we brought just blew up? Sparks and smoke everywhere! That’s what happens when you buy on line from China. I believe it’s time for me and my singed eyebrows to sign off.
October 14, 2013
We went to the train station in the morning, to check on tickets to Lisbon. We decided on leaving tomorrow morning and coming back on the 16th. If we don’t have enough time, we will try and extend for one more day, when we get to Lisbon. After the train station we went to Albufeira to look around. It was another death defying ride down some very narrow side streets, we managed to find a parking spot and this one was free. We walked the town’s back streets and allies and took a stroll down by the beach. The beach is very nice and stretches for at least a mile. The town is very touristy and they do cater to the English. Most of the menus are in English and most places offer English breakfast. The town is made up of bars, restaurants and small shops. I guess we don’t stay up late enough to enjoy the night life, which we understand is very lively and goes on to the wee hours of the morning. Like Spain, the town goes dead mid afternoon and doesn’t come back alive until early evening. We had lunch in a German restaurant, of all places; we need to get our meat fix, so we settled on ribs and fries. The meal was good and very inexpensive. After that, it was off to find the car and it was still where we left it. Getting out of the parking spot was a little difficult but we were aided by a nice couple, who guided us back, so we didn’t dent the beamer that was parked behind us. Did I mention that the parking spot was on a 60% incline, it’s the little things that make life so interesting? If it wasn’t for Annette working the emergency brake, while I worked the clutch, we would have rolled backwards into the sea long ago. So we are safely back at the condo, contemplating our trip to Lisbon in the morning.