Exploring Near Lagos, Portugal

First thing on the agenda this morning is a trip to Lagos to visit an Osteopath.  When we arrived there, we realized that we had left our red bag sitting on the road in front of the car back at our apartment.  We sent an email to our AIrbnb host who kindly called the cleaning lady at the apartment and located the bag for us. I was very happy, most of the stuff in the bag could have been replaced, but not my travel journal.

Bob waited for me near the beach which had streets with more great cobblestone designs. We both really liked this one.

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Next stop is Farol da Ponta da Piedade. This is an area near Lagos that has a lighthouse, which didn’t seem all that special, but it is situated in a pretty spectacular area. image imageWe decide we need to climb down this staircase to see what is down there. There are 191 steps down and of course, 191 steps back up!

image Here is what we found.image imageA short drive along the road takes us to Camilo Beach, with a view of Portimáo in the distance.image

Of course, to get to the beach there are more steps, another 225!image

This beach has brightly coloured rock cliffs on all sides, and the really red sand you can see in this picture at the base of the stairs was very slippery and stuck to my shoes like glue!  I have no idea why, other than it was washed down from the cliffs and was different than the rest of the sand on the beach.  I wonder if it is some sort of clay.imageBob notices a tunnel that goes right through the base of one of the cliffs so we walk through it and discover another beach area.image

We sit for a while enjoying the view, then we head back through the tunnel, up the 225 stairs, and we are on our way back to Portimáo, which is only about a half hour drive from here.image

On the way home I manage to snap a couple photos of some street art.  I’ve seen some really interesting stuff, but most of the time we have pased it before I can get a photo.  Traffic was a bit backed up so I managed to get these two pictures.image image

We leave for Seville, Spain in the morning, so we tidy up the apartment and pack most of our stuff tonight.  We are hoping for an earlier start tomorrow.

A Relaxing Day at the Beach

Friday, October 30

Our Algarve beach of choice today is Praia dos Trés Castelos, which is on the other side of the big rocks at the west end of the beach we visited yesterday. This is our first view of this beach from up near the parking lot.imageThere are lots of stairs to get down to the beach, and of course we will have to walk back up them at the end of the day!  We walk to the end of the beach and find a sheltered area near these cliffs.  It is quite windy today so a bit of a wind break is nice. We build ourselves a couple of sand beach chairs.image

We sit for a couple of hours just watching the waves and the other people on the beach. There are actually people in the water, in bikinis, and I’m sitting here with all my clothes and two sweaters!imageWe have been watching people go through the cave at the bottom of this cliff., so we go explore where it goes.image

Turns out it is a pathway to the beach we were on yesterday. We climb some nearby stairs to get a view of both beaches from the top…imageand then we climb these stairs back down to the beach to walk back towards our car park.

imageBob checks out the incoming tide, which does manage to get him a wee bit wet.imageThis little boy ran back and forth repeatedly as the waves rolled onto the shore. He was having such fun! image image image

We sit for at least an hour just watching the tide come in, and two kids playing in the surf with their sand castle, but it is getting cold so we decide to leave. One last picture as we climb the big flight of stairs back to our car.  I forgot my camera at the apartment today so had to use the camera on the cell phone.image

The walkway back to the car here is cobbled as well. I really like these walkways and streets.

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Praia de Rocha (Rock Beach) Portimâo, Portugal

Wednesday, October 28

Travel days are a bit tough for me so I have a quiet morning at our apartment and Bob goes exploring,  He returns to tell me that the beach here is amazing. We decide we will go explore it tomorrow. This is the view from our apartment balconey today.

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Thursdsay, October 29

Today we drive to the Praia de Roche Beach as it is at least a half hour walk and I don’t feel up to that today.image

There is a long cement pier at the far end of the beach so we make our way there and walk out to the end of it where there is a little lighthouse.imageThe view of the beach area with all the buildings behind it is very pretty when the sun shines.image

These colours and shapes of these condos remind of us Hurghada in Egypt.image

The waves are crashing against the pier and we do get a little bit wet.imageOn the way back we watch a few fishermen.  One of them caught a flat fish but he wasn’t too talkative and pretty much ignored us so we didn’t learn much. This is the first person we have encountered who hasn’t been very friendly. The fishermen here are using the very long poles we have seen elsewhere.image

A few minutes later Bob spots this fishing boat returning along with its many friends!  It was hilarious, all the noise and so many gulls all trying to get something to eat.  We had quite a few laughs watching this boat go by, with its parade of very noisy gulls.imageThere were lots of these little fish in the water, some of them were over a foot long, but no one seemed the least bit interested in them.  There must be someone out there who knows what they are and why no one was fishing them?imageI thought it was quite cool today, but this little guy was having so much fun running in and out of the waves that he didn’t seem bothered by the cold water at all!  Europeans seem much more accepting of children running about without bathing suits which I think is great.image It is getting to be late afternoon and the sun is sinking so we head back to our apartment, after stopping at the grocery store to stock up for the week.  image

We seem to  spend a lot of time in the grocery stores, but both of us find it quite interesting. Of course most of the brands are different, the writing is usually all in Portuguese or Spanish and we see things we have never seen in the food stores before. One thing I find quite surprising is the lack of choice in fresh fruits and vegetables.  It is definitely a case of what is available in season and there doesn’t seem to be very many imported fruits and vegetables.  Often the bins aren’t refrigerated either, so the quality of the fresh produce is not as good as back home.  Peppers are often wrinkly, there are usually only red peppers, occasionally some green, but rarely yellow or orange peppers, and when I have found them they are crazy expensive and not very fresh.  The other thing we have discovered is that you don’t want to go the last hour or so in the evening because everything is very picked over, and many of the fruits and vegetables bins are completely empty. One item that is very hard to find is herbal teas. There are very few choices but some of them just aren’t very appealing.  I’m still looking for plain old mint tea!

Cascais and the Casino

Friday October 23

We drove to Cascais today, a town about a half hour west of where we are staying near Lisbon. We walked along the pedestrian streets and visited a few shops, but no purchases.  Everything I like is either too expensive or too big or fragile to get home.  The cobblestone street was a bit disorienting as it created a bit of an optical illusion.imageThere were some people on the beach making sand sculptures to earn a bit of money.imageWe walked down along the docks past the fishing boat area and then through the Cascais Marina, which were both in the shadow of ancient fortress walls.
image  The view from the Marina back towards town.imageWe passed this interesting house, or maybe a small castle? on our walk towards the Boca de Inferno.imageBoca de Inferno, or Hell’s Mouth, is an interesting cliff formation about a forty minute walk from Cascais.The pounding of the Atlantic Ocean on the cliffs chiseled out a small cave, which then collapsed. There is a walkway so it is visible from both sides.image image imageBob wanted me to take this picture, he said it reminded him of a jigsaw puzzle.imageThe fortress walls I mentioned earlier now house a hotel and a bunch of artist studios, which unfortunately were all closed, but this quaint little bookstore was open.imageIt was full of interesting things, including this unique piece of furniture, made of all sorts of recycled bits of wood.  My nephew in Portland has started woodworking and has buit some beautiful pieces. I thought he might like to see this.image

The courtyard also had a few different sculptures, including these giant binoculars.

imageWe walk back above the dock with all the fishing paraphernalia that we walked by earlier.imageWe found a nice bit of beach and spent an hour or so just relaxing, watching the waves and the people.imageOn the way home we stop at a Casino in Estoril.  It is supposed to be the biggest Casino in Europe, but we are only able to find half a floor of slot machines on the main floor, and the gaming tables are closed.  Our casinos at home seem bigger than this one…We spent a couple of hours, won some and lost some and in the end it cost us 10€. 
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Caxias, Portugal

Tuesday, October 21

Caxias is a community about a fifteen minute train ride on the coast west of Lisbon.  It is our home base for the next week. Bob went exploring the neighbourhood this morning while I had some quiet time after our travel day yesterday.  Later in the afternoon we went for a walk along the ocean, which is just a couple blocks from our apartment. image

I was looking for treasures and I found a few intersting shells, but the most interesting thing was all the jelly fish on the beach.  They were huge, between 12″ to 18″ across and there were a lot of them washed ashore by the waves.  No way I was going into the water here, even if it had been warmer.image

There were several large military looking vessels as well as quite a few other boats. I enjoy being by the ocean but I have to admit I am quite happy being on the beach watching the water.  I really don’t have much of an urge to actually go into the water, or even on the water.  Boating is OK but it is certainly not one of my favourite things.image

We spend quite a bit of time watching this fellow get ready to fish.  He was putting sand in his white bucket and then mashing it around with a big metal tool.  We were trying to figure out what you doing, and then when he was ready to fish he threw some of this sand into the water. We think he must have been mashing up some bait with the sand and that he was using it to attract other fish. He seemed to be a very patient, methodical sort of fellow.imageWe enjoyed our time on the beach, watching the water and the other people on the beach, then we headed home for a nice supper.imageimage