It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Portugal - Fabulous!

We had a fantastic time in Faro with Jane & Clive - perfect company, weather, food and drink.

We flew into Faro airport and, on approach, the country looked so much like the Australian bush - all dry red earth and silvery grey trees desperate for a drop of rain.

We stayed for the first few days at the Sheraton Albufeira, right on the coast, and the weather was perfect for laying by the sea on loungers under one of the hundreds of sun shades that the hotel provides.  The beach is at the bottom of a steep cliff, so there are quite a few stairs to climb down, or if you're lazy (guess who?) you can take the glass lift to the bottom.

We ate in the beach side restaurant, looking out at all the "beautiful people" promenading along the shore line.  Paul spied Rio Ferdinand with his wife and children, playing under their beach umbrella nearby.  The bit I found most amusing was the woman sitting under the umbrella next door to them, reading all about Ryan Giggs and his string of unfaithfulness in the latest gossip magazine.

(For those of you who don't get UK sports or news on the telly, Ryan Giggs, who is married with children, plays for Manchester United (as does Rio Ferdinand) and was recently exposed as sleeping with an ex Big Brother contestant, another as yet un-named woman and his brothers wife.  Don't be too worried for his brother, apparently he was sleeping with someone else at the time as well.  Their poor Mum must be horrified.)

After the Sheraton, we moved to stay with Jane & Clive at their lovely apartment in Vilamoura.  The complex is built around lovely pool areas and landscaped gardens, and is within walking distance to great restaurants and a supermarket.  The supermarket is VERY important because each morning they took delivery of a supply of Portugese Custard Tarts, still warm from the oven.  Oh, yum.

The boys played a few rounds of golf, and one day Jane played too, with me driving the buggy and gazing at all the huge houses bordering the course.

We spent a fair bit of time lazing around the pool and I loved watching all the different kinds, and shapes, of people who were relaxing nearby.  I've pretty much decided the bulk of the people who promenade around a pool in tiny bathing suits are generally people who shouldn't promenade around a pool in tiny swimsuits!  Huge guys wearing Speedos and vast women who had wedged most of themselves into strapless bikinis were the ones who like to be seen, and everyone else was happy to keep to themselves.

One day we drove down to Sagres, the south-westernmost point of Europe, and walked out to the promontory in gale force winds to watch very brave fishermen hanging off the top of the cliffs, casting their lines down a good 100 metres into the rough ocean.  It was too windy for anything much to grow there, just very short dry shrubby bushes and a few hearty succulents.

Very Windy Sagres

After that we drove to Lagos (lah-gosh) for lunch and a walk around and it was gorgeous, and so hot!  All the paths are slippery cobblestones and they just seem to absorb the heat.  We sat in the shade at an outdoor cafe and I had scrumptious Piri Piri Chicken (again!).

There were many British people out in the full sun, trying to get as much of a tan as possible in the extreme heat, and it made me think that people from warm countries like Australia like to sit out of the sun and keep cool, but people from the cold countries can't get enough of the sun and warmth.  Mad dogs and Englishmen ...

My eyes!  Oh, my eyes!


  1. Hi! I'm Sada's niece Esther. I love this post, it sounds like a wonderful time. My husband and I traveled around Spain years ago and we were supposed to "drop by" Portugal for a bit but plans changed. Boo for us! But I loved reading this and living it through you. And this last photo...ahh!!!!! I'm amused and disgusted all at once...yet I can't look away!!! Ha ha!!! Enjoy your travels.


  2. Thanks Esther - great to meet you! Glad you like my travels, it's fun to write about them and I love it when other people enjoy reading about them. We're home now for a few weeks and I'm loving being "still" for a while and sleeping in our own bed. Have a great day!


Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!