Sunshine and Showers

We’ve spent the last few days slowly continuing our journey Westwards along the South coast of Portugal. We’ve had mainly sunny weather but with some short heavy showers during the day, which we have luckily (so far) managed to miss being drenched by, and some rain at night.

Following the last update we spent a night parked up on a beach car park at Carvoeiro. On arriving we went for a walk along a cliff-top path and managed to acquire a local guide along the way who we chose to name Mog. Mog walked a surprisingly long way with us (hence the eventual need for a name) and only disappeared as we got back (encouraged by the appearance of a large dog).

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Before leaving the next morning we headed in the opposite direction down some steps to the beach, which was pristine and deserted at this time of year.

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We then spent 3 nights parked up back at Silves (one on the free parking, two on the nearby Aire which was very good value but hard to get a place as it was so popular).

We took a trip inland for a day to Monchique and the nearby Caldas de Monchique. Unfortunately everything was very much closed up for the winter, but we did at least get to see some of the scenery inland. We travelled back to the coast past the Barragem da Bravura (a reservoir), hoping for sparkling clear waters, a nice car park on which to brew up and survey the scenery etc. Alas that wasn’t to be either! Oh well, you can’t win ’em all….

From Silves we headed back down to the coast to Alvor for a night. The Aire there was basically a big sandy car park and as it had rained the day before, wasn’t looking its best. Having said that, it had all the facilites you could ask for and was right next to the beach.

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We saw dolphins here, but admittedly they were quite a way away…

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Mark insisted that I take this photo and is now insisting I put it on the blog page. We had a similar incident on our trip to Germany and Austria over an unfortunately named plumber’s van…. I figure it’s best just to humour him….. 😉

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We are now on a small Aire at Figueira, right down near the SW corner of Portugal. This is another place that is good value (€7.50 a night including wifi) and is therefore almost permanently full. We were lucky to get the last spot when we arrived at lunchtime yesterday.

Today we visited Cabo de São Vicente and Sagres. Cabo de São Vicente is the “End of the World”, a rocky promontory with a large lighthouse on it. It was spectacular, particularly with a decent swell on the sea and the contrast between bright Sunshine and the odd menacing black cartoon cloud whizzing by.

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Sagres itself seemed a nice little town but again, most things were closed up for the winter. We visited the fort and promontory behind it. There were plenty of guys fishing from surprisingly high cliffs (so presumably any fish are quite small). Again, the scenery was great.

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It seems that we’ve now been as far South and West as we can go in Spain and Portugal….. Which unfortunately only leaves one option – it’s time to start slowly heading North….. 😦

We’re in no rush though – our next stop is the Alentejo, the region above the Algarve. We’ve picked out a few places to visit over the next week or so – further updates to follow in due course….

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