Saturday, 6 April 2013

Monday 1st April 2013 - Saturday 6th April 2013

Monday 1st April 2013 – Friday 5th April 2013

It looks as if it just might be a nice day in prospect, as we pack to leave. We are not taking any chances, we intend to make our way to the Algarve to see if we can pick up some sunshine.

An easy drive, just a little rain, and we arrive at:

Lagos, Orbitur Valverde (N37 5’59” W8 43’4”)

Another Orbitur site, to use our newly acquired Orbitur Discount Card.

 All looks fine, more people here than we have encountered anywhere else so far, and IT IS NOT RAINING, we even get to sit in the sun for a while in the afternoon.

The evening is spent in finishing off my second last bottle of Rioja, and very nice it is too. In between times, I burden Kathleen with an explanation of GPS, Satnav and how the funny number labelled degrees, minutes and seconds can pinpoint your location. She is not impressed.

Tuesday 2nd April 2013

It is still dry!

I unload our bicycles from the bike carrier for the first time since we left home.

We cycle down (yes, downhill too the village, which means uphill on the return of course) to the village of Luz, about 2Km away.

I am not totally sure, but, I think this may be the Praia de Luz of the missing child Madelaine McCann.

Kathleen finds the combination for her purse and buys us not one, but two beers at a beachfront bar. Beer is cheap here in Portugal, compared to France and Spain, 2.60Euro for two bottles of 5.5% Pils type Lager (in a bar).

Buy some Portuguese red wine, which I am assured is good “Herdade dos Muachos”, from the Alentejano region. Watch this space, it was more expensive than we usually pay, at 2.99Euro.  

In the afternoon, back at the site, we chat to our neighbour, who turns out to be a Brit.

Some people do amazing things. He and his wife have sold up in the UK and are living in Portugal, in a caravan, which they towed here from the UK. I am not sure if they have been on this site for the whole six years, but, they are not going anywhere from here soon, since they have sold the 4x4 which towed the caravan here and now have a Portuguese registered Honda Civic, plus an impressive Honda motorcycle.

They have so far returned to the UK once on the motorcycle, that is some ride!

The sun being out, Kathleen spends the rest of day lying in it, then expresses surprise, no, amazement that she is sunburned.

I see from my Emails, we have passed Josie and Mack, who are going in the opposite direction. If you are reading this Josie, sorry I have not replied to your Emails, I am receiving Emails OK, but, having difficulty sending them. I have had this problem before, but got around it by using “3”’s Email server. That is not working now, perhaps because I am no longer with “3”. Have tried various other tricks, which have worked in the past, eg changing Port numbers etc, but, to no avail.

Same apology goes to my brother, Brian, if you are reading this, I have received your Email about French SIM card, but, as explained above, having difficulty replying.

Wednesday 3rd April 2013. It rains much of the night, but, it is fine in the morning. We decide to go to Lagos for the day. It is about 5km away, according to my free iPhone Portugal Satnav app. The plan is to walk there and bus back. Sure enough, my trusty iPhone guides us there without a problem. The “old” (ie original) part of Lagos is very pleasant, lots of narrow and quaint streets with a good selection of bars and cafes. There is even a Slave Market (now a museum of course), so, I am unable to buy a replacement (for Kathleen).

There appears to be a lot of Brits here, we seem to be surrounded by people speaking English. I had not realised Portugal was such a popular destination for Brits.

No problem finding the bus station, to come back.

Someone had told us, bus fares in Portugal are expensive, at 1.30Euro each for a 4km ride, it is true if compared to France or Spain, but not compared to what we would have to pay in the UK (if it wasn’t for our nice pensioners bus passes).

Thursday 4th April 2013. The weather forecast says today is to be pretty much like yesterday, it was exactly right. Overnight rain, a couple of heavy showers during the day, but, otherwise warm and sunny.

Walking through the countryside on the way to Lagos, there are several Golf Course developments, with associated housing etc

It is one hours walk to Lagos, and that is where the nearest Catholic Church is.
Even for someone of Kathleen’s commitment, that is a bit far to walk!

We have been told there is an Aire in Lagos, “ten minutes walk from the town centre”, and we know there are two churches near the town. The Aire is not in our edition of the “Aires in Spain and Portugal”, so whilst we are in Lagos today, we check out the whereabouts of the Aire.

Friday 5th April 2013. We move to the Aire at Lagos (N37 06’ 01”, W8 43’ 07”), with the intention of staying here so Kathleen can do the Church duty.

The Aire is fairly easy to find, even easier once you know where it is of course!, Just off the EN125 as you enter Lagos from the East. It is alongside the Football Stadium and opposite the Police Station.

It is all very tidy and organised, at 3Euro per night. A service point, free Wifi, toilets and showers (2Euro) in the Sports Complex (ie Football Stadium), plus there are a choice of Supermarkets (Pingo Doce, Lidl, Aldi and Continente) within walking distance.
Saturday 6th April 2013.
We are woken by a noise at 07:00. No, for a change, it is not the rain. We discover there is a market on Saturdays, on the field next to the Aire. The stall holders have arrived en-masse and are busy erecting their stalls.
How we did not hear the fifty or so assorted "white vans" arrive I do not know.
The man arrives for his 3Euro, exactly as it says he will on the notice board.
The young French girl in the van which arrived next to us latish last night, argues the point, and storms across to the notice (I her payjamas), it is quite a chilly morning, quite a pleasant sight.
After breakfast, the market is in full swing, so we have a wonder. Typical market lots of tat, not expensive, but tat never the less.
Why do people do it?
I have to admit, the idea of markets is beyond me.
How can people in China make assorted clothes, which are then shipped half way around the world and sold for less than 1Euro?
Since hardly anyone is actually buying anything, why do the stall holders bother to get out of bed so early, assemble their stall, unpack their gear etc etc?
The only stall which appears to be doing a roaring trade is a young lady selling sort of do-nut things, she actually has a queue.


  1. there must be quite a lot of chunky people about, if the donut lady is the only one selling anything.It must be lovely feeling the warmth of the sun. We have had plenty sun , but no heat in it, unless you are sitting in a greenhouse.Did Kathleen enjoy Fatima.Let me know if you are getting my comments. Enjoy xxxxx Maria

  2. Hi Maria, yes, we are getting the comments. Kathleen enjoyed Fatima, especially the Easter Vigil, but, I think at 2.5 hours, even Kathleens Church going insticts were beginning to be strained! Hope it warms up for you soon! xx

  3. Hi glad to hear you are enjoying yourselves, and that the weather is hot, not like here still really cold today and raining as usual. two weeks today till Victoria and Jamies wedding so we are getting excited, and looking forward to seeing Cameron again. xx lynne