A Travellerspoint blog

Fintry

Fintry


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And back to where we started........camping with the Brauns and other Whiterock folk!

It was a bit of a chore to gather camping stuff for the two days, because we are not yet moved back into our house, but we did it!

Super fun time at the beach, playing volleyball, cooking dinners, sitting around the fire, hiking.........

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The dog cuddling up
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Rorie fell asleep on the way home
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We are living at my Mom's in Coquitlam until at least June 30....then we move back into our house and I am back at work July 4.......

Posted by Wohlford 17:28 Archived in Canada Tagged fintry Comments (0)

Portugal

Lisbon


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We arrived at our hotel around 1:00pm, checked in and then Rorie and Cal went for a nap. Cal drank too much last night and Rorie couldn't sleep because Cal didn't put on his machine (because he drank too much....). I slept and went up to the rooftop pool! Cal and Rorie finally got up and Cal came to the rooftop but Rorie just hung out in the room. I then went for a walk. Later that night, we met up with our friends from the previous night's camper van party at Khayyam (an Iranian restaurant) for dinner. It was really fun! Iranian food is really good too (I have never had it before).
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June 18
Today, we went to the Sao Jorge Castle.
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Then we walked down the other side of the hill and had lunch. Fruit plate and sandwich or Rorie,
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sardines and salad for me and calamari for Cal.
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We found Taylor's Port and bought a bottle (pretty good deal at $11E) of white port which is unique for us Canadians (I have never seen it in Canada before) and then we wandered by the water until we found this enormous square.
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We wandered home after that. We had dinner in and then left Rorie to have a drink with Nils, and his girlfriend Laura. Nil's is a friend's son from Sweden. They were really great and gave some tips of things to see/do while in Lisbon.
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June 19
Today, we took the train to Belem. There was a map of all the places the Portuguese conquered. Rorie is in Portugal!
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We saw the Monument to the Discoveries (no pic) and the Tower of Belem (a UNESCO site)
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and Jerónimos Monastery.
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We didn’t see the church because it is Sunday and not open until later and we didn’t want to hang around. Then, we had some Pastéis de Belem and then a drink near the monastery.
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We ended up grabbing an Uber to Colombo Mall as we need to buy a new suitcase for Rorie (one wheel on her suitcase has been stripped since Cassis). We were very successful and bought a few other things there as well (slate platters). We took the train home, almost lost Rorie because we thought it was our stop and Cal and I got off but she was too slow and the doors started closing….but I stuck my hand in and they opened again. We got back on to the next stop (the right one!) – scary! Cal went over to the Fabrica da Nata so we could try those Pastéis, Belem’s are better, and then we headed back to the hotel for some relaxing time, including kicking Cal’s bum in crib, before walking to Mercado da Ribeira for dinner but it was closed! It is actually a marketplace and we were looking for the restaurant called Time-Out which we didn’t see. So, we ended up walking back towards our hotel and ended up at a Tapas place which was pretty good (this is the chorizo sausage).
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June 20
Today we walked to Parque Eduardo VII. A very large park in the middle of the city with great views.
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And we saw some turtles
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Afterwards, we walked (a long way) to the Lisbon Cathedral.
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On the way, Rorie found a clothing boutique with good prices and both her and I bought some clothes. I did a quick tour of the Cathedral while Rorie and Cal waited – it is very old 1150’s. Then we took a tuk-tuk to the highest point in Lisbon City; Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
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Our guide was very knowledgeable about the city so that was nice and recommended buy some Portuguese shoes! Afterwards, we went back to the hotel for a break. Around dinnertime, we went shoe shopping; I bought a lovely pair of sandals and we tried to buy Rorie shoes but they had no women’s shoes bigger than 41 (about size 9) – she was kind of upset with her big feet! Anyways, after we went for dinner at a place close by to our hotel and Cal finally had Portuguese Seafood Stew while I had clams and Rorie pasta.
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Then Cal and I did more taste testing of Ginja; Rorie went back to the hotel. Early-ish night because we are up early tomorrow to catch our plane.

June 21
We took an Uber to the airport as it was just a few dollars more than the subway. We didn’t have any problems getting onto the plane just a ton of line-ups! Line-up to check in, line up to check bags, line up to have your ticket checked for security, line up for actual security, line up to enter the boarding gate, line up to get on the plane! It seemed never-ending! Anyways, we arrived in Toronto under the impression that our bags would be checked through to Vancouver but they weren’t! We also couldn’t check-in for our flight to Vancouver for some reason until we were in Toronto. So, we had to leave the airport to pick up our baggage (on the dirtiest carousel I have ever seen!). There weren’t as many line-ups as Portugal but it all took a long time! We also came to realize that Pearson International isn’t as efficient as any of the airports we have visited over the past year in Europe. Anyways, back in Vancouver, the carousel was clean (no litter) and our baggage came out almost first!

Funny sign in the elevator here: Up Right in Elevator (I think they meant keep right….LOL)

Posted by Wohlford 16:13 Archived in Portugal Tagged lisbon Comments (0)

Portugal

Cape Roca, Óbidos, Nazeré, Costa Nova, Aveiro, Peniche, Baleal, Albufeira Lagoon


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June 12
Up early again this morning and we are off to see Cape Roca.
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We also went to the Convento dos Capuchos, a monastery from the 1500s.
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This is a tiny little room for sleeping.
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This furniture is all cork!
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And the Monserrate Palace (the traditional summer resort of the Portuguese court)
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Wood door (to library)
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Then we went to Óbidos. Amazing town that still has the old town walls.
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We also tried Ginja (the local cherry liquor with ginger) in chocolate shooter glasses.
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That night, we drove to Nazeré and spent the night there. Saw this huge bridge on the way.
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We went out for a dinner of fried squid and pork chops. Interesting town – larger than we thought.

June 13
Up late. We did some school work with Rorie and then drove to a couple of small beach towns that Cal found. Unfortunately, the marine fog layer this morning (we left at 11:30) is atrocious! We spent some time on Praia de Paredes de Vitória but really foggy!
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Although they have cute striped houses.
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So, we drove to Costa Nova. The campground is right on the beach of Praia da Costa Nova and it is beautiful! Rorie had her tutoring session here and then we did dinner of chicken, potatoes, broccoli and salad. We also tried the Chamine wine we bought – good!
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Sunset was beautiful
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June 14
We drove to Aveiro. It is supposed to be a cute town that has many channels running through it. It was a big town, with a cute old downtown surrounded by a channel but not as nice/interesting as Venice or Annecy. Anyways, we took the ‘english’ boat tour to learn more about the town BUT the English tour guide did not end up getting on the boat (I think he was sick) so we had a Portuguese guide who couldn’t talk to us. Very bad experience.
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BTW, all of the towns in Portugal have these cobbled streets (especially in the older parts of each town)
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We left right after and drove to Peniche (~3 hours). We found a cute campsite with a pool and had dinner in.

June 15
We drove to Baleal (about five minutes)
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to see if we could find Cal board shorts and…..success! Two pairs! Afterwards, we wandered around the town and then drove back to and around Peniche.
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Dinner in again.

June 16
Rorie is up early to try another surfing lesson. She got up (a few times)! Very exciting. Cal and I hung out on the beach while she surfed.
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In the afternoon we drove to Abufeira Lagoon. This is a very Portuguese spot – pretty sure we are the only tourists. Thank goodness some people speak English because our Portuguese isn’t cutting it.

After a swim, Cal and I walked to the supermercado (basically, a mini-mart) to buy some basics. Then, we did some packing (this was our last night in the camper van). Dinner at the only restaurant in town! It was pretty good! Cal and I had whitefish and squid and Rorie had ???
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Afterwards, we had a bit of a party with our neighbours so it was a late night!
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June 17
We got up late (oops!), cleaned up the camper super fast and drove about ½ hour to take the camper van back this morning. Really nice people! We left our volleyball with them. Afterwards, we took an Uber into Lisbon for our last few days….

Interesting things about Portugal:
• Dairy (milk) products are not kept in the fridge (similar to France)
• Everyone is super nice and friendly!
• If you say thank you, you need to change the word based on either who you are talking to (female or male) OR what gender you are and we
can’t really figure it out!
• Wine comes in 5L boxes! (Canadian is up to 4L and Swedish is up to 3L)
• They like their fish (lots of Sardines)!
• They can’t seem to figure out the weather, am I in Vancouver???? If the forecast is for rain, it means that there is a percentage chance that it
will rain, it doesn’t go by the amount of rain, just, it will rain (two drops maybe!) Example, 80% chance of rain; it rained for five minutes!
• Their 'dollar' stores are called China Shops!
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• If someone is in or near a cross-walk; you stop! This seems to be true for all the countries we have visited except Greece.
• They recycle!!!!! Everywhere! Always glass, plastic, metal and paper. Sometimes even organics! In the hotels, campgrounds, wherever - it is awesome!
• There are a lot of travellers.
• There are a lot of waves to surf (which Cal isn’t doing…..)
• All roads in Portugal lead to Lisbon. Every road that we have driven on from Faro to Obidos had a directional sign to Lisbon.

Posted by Wohlford 14:50 Archived in Portugal Tagged costa lagoon cape nova óbidos roca albufeira peniche baleal aveiro nazeré Comments (0)

Portugal

Portimão, Lagos, Cape St Vincent, Porches, Portmão, Alvor, Aljezur, Odeceixe, Zambujeira, Madira, Comport, Troica, Setabul, Colares, Rodzio

After leaving Albufeira (June 4), we drove to Praia do Amado, in Portimão. Lovely beach
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but the restaurant that we had a small meal at was disappointing (not my clams but Cal and Rorie's meals).
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That night, we camped at Figuero Car Park which was really nice!

June 5, we drove to Cape St. Vincent, the most southwestern point of mainland Europe, which had some beautiful views.
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Then we went to Praia do Burgau which is a cute town and a very beautiful beach
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and then drove to Praia da Luz, near Lagos, which was also nice
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That night we camped at Campismo de Canelas which had a pool! Dinner in tonight of steak and seared tuna!
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June 6, we went to and then to My Lady of the Rock church on the cliff (view from)
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and then down ~100 stairs to Praia Nova, which was almost deserted! Second pic is looking at the church from the beach.
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Then, back up the stairs, and off to Praia da Marinha where we came across this sign (good to know you can only have so many people at a beach),
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saw a huge arch (same one we saw on our boat trip),
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a tunnel in the rock
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and did some snorkeling (which wasn't great).

That night, we camped at Algarve Camping Car Park. As we were parking, a couple from Switzerland that we had met at Figuero Car Park pulled up. Funny! Anyways, really nice and helpful. We went for dinner to a friend's (from Vancouver) sister's restaurant, Quint da Sudade, where we got the royal treatment and the food was amazing!!!
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Then, back to camp, where we had a night cap with our new friends with some Port!

June 7.
We woke this morning with the goal of trying to find a power cord so Cal could plug in his sleep apnea machine. We found it in Portmão, on the way there, we saw some flamingos (bad pic).
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Then we drove to the town of Alvor. It is a really cute town, with a huge boardwalk in the nature reserve area and the beach is very long, stretching all the way to Lagos!
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Then on the road again, passing this strange bird, or egg, farm….we can’t figure out what it is! Then, just for fun, we missed our turn-off so 30 minutes later, passed this farm again!
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Finally we made it to Praia da Bordeira, an absolutely stunning beach!
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A tougher night to find a campsite, the one we thought we would stop at was very close to the beach and was only available if we ate at the restaurant, which we didn’t want to do, so we drove to another one ~30 minutes away. I had a meeting and Rorie had a tutoring session so as soon as we got there, we were both on the computer! Cal dealt with the camping arrangements. An hour later, he says, pack-up, we are going to another campsite, this one doesn’t have toilets! So, on the road again for ~30 minutes to the next campsite, which, unfortunately, was an expensive one but it is now getting late so we stayed there (Parque de Campismo do Serrão)

June 8
We went to the fort in Aljezur
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and then to Praia da Arrifana, which is absolutely beautiful. We didn’t go down to the beach because it was very busy with surfers.
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Then, we drove to Praia de Odeceixe. We stayed in this cute town and lovely beach for a few hours playing volleyball, walking the beach, enjoying the water and watching the surfers.
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Afterwards, we went hunting for our campsite (Aqua Viva) which is very nice! Then we headed to Zambujeira do Mar. The beach is nice
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and the town cute. Unfortunately, we forgot about Rorie’s tutor so we weren’t here long before she was in the camper and on the computer! Cal and I went for a beer in the town. Then back to the campsite and dinnertime!

June 9, big breakfast of fried potatoes and eggs (only in Portugal do the eggs come with a chicken feather in them!). Rorie is signed up for a surfing lesson today at Praia de Odeceixe. The surfing lesson was fun and Rorie actually got up (once)
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After that, we drove back to Aqua Viva campsite, because Rorie forgot her brush, and then on to Santo André at somewhat breakneck speed because we just remember in time about Rorie’s tutoring session (FYI, breakneck speed is ~100km). The first campsite we tried had no toilets (you had to be self-sufficient) but the campsite was okay, luckily not very busy. We went out for dinner to the local restaurant (Chez Daniel) was really good. I tried barnacles – not bad)
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And the view of the beach at sunset was amazing!
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June 10, we drove a lot! We saw Madira, not too exciting but a quaint village.
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Then onto Comport, again a cute city, but we didn’t stay. Then onto Troica, really awesome white soft sandy beach but very busy.

We then took the ferry to Setabul,
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where we did some shopping (Rorie bought a dress) – good prices here! Then to the campsite we had planned to stay at BUT it is Portugal Day and it was full! So, onto the next campsite, closed for maintenance. To the next campsite, full (also no toilets). To the next campsite, full. To the next campsite, there is room here but no toilets but, it is 7:00pm and we are done! So, do whatever you have to do in the bush or hold it!

We had a nice homemade dinner here of shrimp, chicken skewers and pasta. Then we went to a restaurant for a wee drink (and a wee wee) – bedtime!

June 11.
Up early this morning. Cal and I had a coffee (only one of us peed….) and then off to Praia da Princesa. We were there by 9:45 and there were a ton of people there – so crazy! Anyways, they do not have public toilets there, just restaurants.
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We stayed for a couple of hours and then drove over the Pont 25 de Abril (bridge)
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Then through Colares to Rodzio which has a nice beach and a little spring beside it which was cool.

Rorie and I walked to the beach (Praias das Maçãs) around it, over the hill and back.
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We are camping tonight in a parking lot outside of a hostel and doing dinner on the BBQ (in the parking lot!). It is pork roast stuffed with sausage and nuts – interesting!

Posted by Wohlford 13:39 Archived in Portugal Tagged st lagos cape vincent aljezur odeceixe alvor portmão porches zambujeira madira comport troica setabul colares rodzio Comments (0)

Albufeira, Portugal

Faro


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Beautiful view from the airplane flying from Geneva
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and into Faro
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We had to wear masks in the airplane but no one asked about vaccines!

We were supposed to be picked up at the airport by a private company but no one seemed to be there. We waited around for about fifteen minutes and then I finally called to ask about it and was told, wait for it, to wait! (just like the bus to Geneva!) Our driver finally showed up (it is a bit nerve racking when things like this happen, especially in a place where there is really no transit or taxis...)

Anyways, we are staying at a golf resort for seven days and it is beautiful. After settling (e.g. grocery store run and tour of the place), we had a nice dinner in.

The next day, we walked to old town Albufeira, along the beaches (Praia Santa Euláila, Oura Beach, Praria does Alemães, Praia do Inatel, Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Peneco) and on the trails, over the hills, in between each.
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Then we walked through the town to the port
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We took a little motorized golf buggy back - super fun!
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After dinner, Cal and I walked down to a local pub and had a glass of wine, we met an english couple that comes here a lot who gave us lots of tips!

Day three, we walked the other way, along the beach (Praia Maria Luisa) and then a really long way over the foot trail, including a bit of rock climbing, to the next beach Praia dos Olhos de Áqua. Absolutely stunning and very warm waters.
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We were also entertained by a fisherman on the beach.
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We walked back to the hotel, found the bigger grocery store on the way, and had dinner in!

Day four, it wasn't super nice so Cal went golfing and Rorie and I hung out at the pool after having a lazy morning.
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We went to 3Maria's for dinner which was very good. I had white fish, Cal had octupus and Rorie ribs (just one but it was big).

Day five, we went to Faro. The bus was supposed to come at 9:30 but it was late so we sat and waited another ten minutes and...wait...it showed up! However, we couldn't get on because we forgot our masks. So, we went back to our hotel and waited for the next bus (10:30). This time, we came prepared! 2.45 hours later, we made it to Faro. We walked through the old town
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which was a bit disappointing and then tried to find the beach but, decided it was too far to walk, so we headed to Centro to maybe do some shopping. We stopped for a beer on the way (and to ask for directions) and came across a food mall. So interesting but, unfortunately, closing for siesta time! So, we went to the grocery store below it. I am looking for a specific wine that was suggested to us (Chamine). As I was browsing, and not finding it, a gentlemen was also browsing. I decided to ask him (hoping he spoke english) if he knew wine I was looking for. Voila! I ran into a fellow Canadian (albeit from Ontario)-Royston. He was amazing, helping us out with the wine, what foods to eat, drinks to try, etc. Then, he said he was heading to Praia da Ilha de Faro (beach) and asked us to join him. It was great! We took a ferry there, met a lovely German girl (Alexa) on the way and then all of us walked the beach.
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I had a swim (got tumbled a bit)
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Then we stopped for a bite before heading back.

Once in town, we all cleaned up a bit and headed out for dinner, adding another to our group (Royston's co-worker Arnott). Really great, and enormous, dinner of cod for me, octopus for Cal and cuttlefish/calamari for Rorie. After dinner, we headed to a nearby pub for a picture and a drink.

Then, we Uber'd it home (in bed by 2:30am)!

Day six, we all slept in. It rained in the morning but by 1:00pm it was relatively clear so we went back to Praia dos Olhos de Áqua. Such a lovely beach! We swam in the waves, relaxed on the beach and, oh! I bought some sandals to replace the ones that have about 100,000 km on them (and the heel is coming off!). After about three hours, the wind started kicking up so we walked home and had a dinner in.
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Up early on our sixth day to go to Marina do Albufeira. We booked a full day boat cruise to see various caves, including Benagali Disappointed! Our cruise was cancelled because there was something wrong with the boat so we ended up taking a 2.5 hour sight seeing tour instead (on a boat). It was good but I wouldn't recommend it (because you will see that we saw all of these sights when we drove to these beaches - coming soon!.
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We did see a bit more of old town Albufeira though
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Last day, Cal and I were up early again as we had to get to Faro to pick up our camper van. We caught the 7:30am bus and got there by 9:00. We did a bit of wandering around and were at the train station (our meeting point) by 11:00 but our van wasn't there.....finally, 20 minutes later and after a couple of phone calls, we figured it out. Afterwards, we drove back to our hotel to pick up Rorie and we are off on our next phase of Portugal!

Posted by Wohlford 08:41 Archived in Portugal Tagged faro albufeira Comments (1)

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