We left Lagos early July and are making our way slowly along the Algarve coastline. First stop only a few miles away was Alvor, a very cute little town full of cafes restaurant and bizarre souvenirs (see pics). We did a bit of a bar crawl. The anchorage was so shallow and calm that our bridle kept dropping off at tide change so we’ve had to devise a securing system with cable ties.
A few miles further along the coast was Portimao. I left Pete on the boat and did a quick 3 day trip to Lisbon. All the time my sisters and brothers and I were growing up we heard tell of my Father’s cousin in Portugal whose daughter was Portugal’s only ever female bull fighter, both on foot and horseback! This was an amazing feat anyway but back in the 50’s when woman were fairly firmly positioned in the home it was nothing short of astounding. By various means I found her address and made contact through her daughter Alex. They both live in Cascais not far from Lisbon. I booked an Air BNB and Alex very kindly met me and arranged to meet her mother, Rose May. Both have spent large parts of their lives in England so language was no problem. Rose May is a very fit and well 82 year old and none the worse for her adventurous life. Not only the bull fighting but taking buyers out on test flights for her father’s Cesna agency, parachuting and being a reserve pilot in the Air Force – all before having two children and settling down (only a bit). We looked at photos and tried to work out the familial relationships. The next World ARC reunion is in Portugal next year so we plan to catch up again. Alex may join us on the boat for a suba dive at some point.
Albufeira was our next stop. There is no anchoring but we were happy to be in a marina and got washing done on their water and power and a boat clean. The old town was lovely – lots of little windy streets with a big broad beach at the bottom. We caught the local bus from the marina on two days to look around. We had seen signs for a fish spa but had no idea what they meant till we looked in a street front window and saw ……. You sit on a bench with your feet dangling in some water while dozens and dozens of little fish eat all the dead skin off your feet!! Fantastic, in a slightly creepy sort of way.
We are now in Olhao at Isla da Culatra. About to go ashore and explore on our new delicately soft feet.