Thursday 28th December 2017 – A Different Christmas
24th – Christmas Eve was spent lazing in the Sun and not feeling it! (Christmas that is) We headed up to the evening Party and caught up with the guys that we had been chatting to over the last few days. It was a typical Christmas party lots of loud music, Christmas songs, alcohol, semi and very drunk party goers albeit nearly all of them had another 10, 20 or even 30 years on us.
25th – Christmas Day was nice, we didn’t party but had a late traditional English breakfast followed by a full turkey dinner at 6pm, made a few telephone calls to family and watched the Crown and a couple of films on Netflix.
26th – A traditional Boxing Day followed – cold meat and mash,Brussel sprouts and pickles all eaten around more Netflix box sets and movies. We are always surprised just what we can cook in a relatively small space.
27th – After two days of being nothing more than couch potatoes whilst trying to shift a cold we needed to get out whatever the weather. The last two days had been warm but overcast. We decided to head to Lagos and more specifically to the picturesque rocky coves on its southern peninsula and then head back via Alvor and Portamão. It was a lovely day and the views were stunning around Lagos and the unusual rock stacks arches and formations just begged to be photographed and explored as the crystal clear water leaped far below. I could imagine spending many happy summer days here in a small boat with a waterproof camera.
Alvor was pretty and closed for the season but Portãmao was disappointing for us as it turned out to be just a large tourist town with a stunning large beach and probably a fantastic place to spend two weeks soaking up the sun drinking cocktails by the pool lazing on the beach and going out at night to get tipsy in the bars if that’s your thing but in the winter it had very little visually to offer.
28th – A trip to “The prettiest village in the Algarve” was on the cards today. Alte was pretty and the drive to it very picturesque along meandering quality roads but the title had set the bar so high that we were a little flummoxed by such a grand title for such a low key village. Once again perhaps in the summer it would be different and teaming with flower laden balconies and throngs of things to warrant its title but it just felt like a pretty village to us and as we drove trough the narrow cobbled streets in Sunny looking for the ‘thing’ that gave it its title we failed to find it. I google imaged it when we got back and there was nothing that we had missed although the summer photos do show it in a much more favourable light. We have realised that Sunny is a go anywhere car as long as there is some kind of road under her rubber tyres as she was able to handle the narrowest and tightest of streets with ease.
Next on the agenda “The church of São Lourenço” according to our guide book “The Algarves hidden Gem” After finally finding the little church and then going back later when it reopened after lunch it truly was stunning inside. The whole of the interior had been tiled in thousands of individually painted and fired blue ceramic tiles that had then been put together to make full height scene upon scene depicting scripts from the bible. Unfortunately no photography was allowed even without flash so I have had borrow a few from the internet to try to show what all the fuss is about. (I’ll put them back later)
From one extreme to the other. We had to go see Vilamoura whilst in the area and the millionaires playground. We walked around the marina amazed at the difference between the last time we had visited in mid summer some 11 years ago and when I had come here on a company winners trip previously. On both occasions it was teaming with life, noisy, busy and packed. Today it was quiet and nearly deserted excepting the marina itself which remained full of multi million pound motorboats paying exorbitant fees to just be there.
After realising that it had nothing to offer us except jealous envy perhaps we set off to our own little slice of heaven- Catori.