We had breakfast and set of westward to Portimao On the way, Christine spotted a tree full of almond blossom. It was convenient to stop, unlike most places where we had seen it, so she managed to get a photo of it. We continued on to the motorway which allows for fast approaches to many of the nearby towns and villages. With speeds of 120 KPM you cover the ground quickly. The tolls do not appear too expensive, but no doubt we will find out when we get the bill. It was a dull day, but dry and not too cold, though the wind kept us with our jackets most of the day.
We wound our way through Portimao to the marina and had a look around. I had anticipated that the town would be close by and we could park and walk, but that was not the case. We drove to a carpark by a wide esplanade and after determining that no parking fee was necessary, we set off for a stroll along the waterfront, then inland and along some shopping streets. Christine managed to capture a few storks in their nests as we walked along. The part of town we were in was quite old with small, artisan type stores. In the square there was a large fountain that put on displays, but each time we approached it, it had just come to an end and the jets subsided.
We returned to the car and ate the picnic lunch we had brought. We drove off towards a small town called Alvor, stopping at a parking lot above a series of beaches. We went into a restaurant and had a coffee before exploring further along and taking photos. The beaches are beautiful. They all seem so clean with limitless sand. When you let it filter through our fingers it is almost like talc.
We returned to the car and drove on to Alvor. Iain's sister and her brother-in-law's families had spent a holiday here many years ago and we were interested in seeing it. Interesting places proved somewhat elusive, but we eventually found the beach, but not before coming upon a road blocked by a truck and having to back up to an appropriate place to divert. We parked at a campground which was itself interesting. There did not appear to be any services, but the campsites were sort of pull throughs, with three sites on each side, parallel to each other. Quiet a different arrangement from what we would see in North America. Considering it was February, the campground seemed quite full, but we noticed almost all the units were motorhomes with only a handful of travel trailers. We spent a short while admiring the beach then headed back to wards the freeway. We ended up in streets we probably should not have been on and had to do a three point turn manoeuvre to turn a corner out of the street, but into another maze. We eventually found our way to a main road we recognized...and then the GPS kicked in with helpful directions!
We returned via the freeway, but our adventures were not over. After we left the freeway, we followed the GPS at a roundabout that had apparently been constructed more recently than the GPS maps, we took a wrong turn. Christine thought this was beneficial, as she could see traffic built up ahead of the road we should have been on, possibly due to roadworks. However as we proceeded, the road narrowed till it was single track and we prayed that we would not meet any vehicles coming towards us. The road continued for possibly ten kilometres, and we held our breath, but fortunately, regained a main road without encountering any oncoming traffic. Whether we saved time or not is unknown, but it is a shortcut we will try and avoid in the future.
We stopped briefly at the grocery store than came home and had dinner. Now we are catching up with the photos and the journal and doing puzzles.
Tomorrow we will probably have a quiet day.