July 11, 2008
After waking up from my dead sleep to squaking gulls, parrots, and I don’t know what other feathered noise makers, we sat down to plan our beach attack. Bob had his selected beaches, and I had my workout to contend with. A simple map cross reference let me know what beaches would work with which workout. Praria Grande, Ilha Trivera, and Z????? is the order decided on. Once we had the logistics of travel under our belt, we scurried off to get breakfast.
I like making my own breakfast, and saving money in the process, so we headed to the supermarcado. As I calculate it, we will walk away 40 euro in the black. Now, that extra 40 will disappear towards dinners in the evening. We hustled home, and I whipped up the same breakfast we have been enjoying on our trip: bread, cheese, meat, yogurt, OJ, and butter. Bob enjoyed his coffee at the supermarcado, before we completed our shopping, since we do not have the facilities to create boiling water.
During breakfast we worked out our shopping list, get some bamboo beach mats. However, Joseph was complaining about his sandals as we went to the shopping center, and even though he is a size smaller, I switched sandals with him. I was instantly sorry, the sandals I bought for Joseph were horrible. They rubbed the ankles and the heel. When we got to the shop for beach mats, they conveniently sold sandals as well. I fitted Joseph into some new sandals, so that I could get mine back. Bob decided he could also use some, so he located some knock off crocs, Cracs.
The trip to Praia Grande was quick and smooth, less than 20 minutes by car. I am not counting the 10 or so minutes it took to get out of Alberfuria. Up and down, up and down, with very few street signs to give us any idea of where in town we were. Praia Grande is a nature preserve, conserving the natural habitat that surrounds the sand dunes. The beach was smooth and long, stretching east and west until it terminated at break points. As soon as we crossed the boardwalk over the dunes, we came to our spot on the beach, the one with lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent.
I support these locations one hundred percent, I value my skin, and desire the shade during the 4 most gruelling hours of the day. It is well worth my $15 for the three of us to be under shade and above the sand. Joseph says, “And yet I still got burned”. I should say in my defense, that he was soaked in sunblock, but he is a fish and can’t stay out of the water.
Once we settled into our chairs, I was off into the sea to get my 60 minutes of training in. This is very difficult as the only real thing to sight on is the edge of a point, this takes you far away from shore. However, it is a surprise when you run straight into a buoy line. That’s right ladies and gents, as I was sighting the point, I ran face first into a buoy line. Any question as to how I handle a situation like this can be directed to David Hohl, who knows how I react to contact in the water. Once composed and breathing properly again, I started my way back to my original position on the beach, only to have myself interrupted at the 41 minute mark by a large boulder 1 foot under the water. Scrambling away from the rock, I swam to shore. I know it was supposed to be an hour, but hey this is not fresh water and no one mentioned buoy lines or rocks in the training program.
Once I made it back to Joseph and Bob, I sucked down a water bottle of Gatorade and suited up for my run. It was a good run, 50% on compressed rock and sand road and 50% on asphalt. My knees were loving it. I ended up running to the town of Pera and back. Once back at the beach, I needed to bring my body temperature back down. Joseph and I made a dash for the sea, but he decided it wasn’t worth it since I was just going in and coming right back out. Did I mention the water is cold, wet suit cold, wet suit mandatory cold? Once rehydrated and feed, I headed with Joseph into the water to sit in the surf. Lucky for me I was wearing tri shorts otherwise I would have been the one with sand up there shorts ;-) Joseph says “it wasn’t that bad. When I stood up it came out.” Bob came down to join us and we sat until Bob and I could not take it any more. Did I tell you the water is cold.
Joseph decided to build a moat and sand castle and I was more than happy to help. We dug a circular mote about a foot deep and a half foot wide, then I dug a drainage Once done with this I wnet back to the chairs to relax and Joseph went in to the sea to float. When all of us were totally exhausted, and out of things to do, packed up and headed to the car. With one surprise, the owners of the rental chairs had a located a large chameleon and were moving it from one place to another to watch it change colors. Joseph held the creature and then it went back onto some braided rope. It was really neat to see it change from a lite color to a dark brown color.
The drive home was uneventful, safe a couple rounds on the roundabout until I remembered which road to turn on. Once back at Vila Emilia we all showered off the salt and scum of the day and then headed out to dinner. We tried a new place, Eddy’s. A British pub establishment in Albefuria. Bob had a meat kabob, Joseph had lasagna, and I had penne pasta. I have to think of my 2 hour run tomorrow. It is always nice to sometimes sit in a place where you know your understood. Following dinner, we headed back to the hotel and Bob and I enjoyed a beer that we purchased that morning at the supermarcado, Sagres Super Boch.
That was our day. I know beach days can seem to b e uneventful, but we like and need them once in a while to keep our travelers sanity intact. Hello to all family and friends following us on our journey. We love and miss you all. Until next time.
PS – Joseph says, “It’s easier to keep your sanity if the waters not cold.”