Portimao and Carvoeiro

Portimao is my worst nightmare to be honest. A built up concrete jungle full of ‘Brits Abroad’ style eateries offering their full English breakfasts, Big Screen Sports Bars and Casinos. The roads are crazy busy, it’s just my idea of hell. It scores a point for the magnificent Praia da Rocha beach however, just a couple of kilometres out of the main drag. It’s a huge sweep of white sand. Too big to be my cup of tea but a gorgeous beach nonetheless. At the far eastern end where the Rio Arade meets the sea, there’s an ancient sea fort, Fortaleza da Santa Catarina. Follow the estuary around from there and you’ll find all the good bits. What’s left of the historic harbour. The most attractive part of this sprawling bustle of a town is its river front. Lots of cobbled streets to explore, easy to lose yourself in the backstreets winding away from the water. There’s an abundance of interesting shops selling shoes, jewellery, leather lace and trinkets. Outdoor cafes, fountains and inexpensive fish restaurants line the river. Street sellers flaunt there wares. Water taxis run over the estuary to Ferragudo on the other side. It’s a good place to sit and watch the world go by. We very occasionally drive the van into Portimao if we desperately need Decathlon, Iceland for the odd British food craving (mince pies, pork sausages, black pudding and stuff) or Norauto. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it though. It’s too fast paced, it makes me nervous! Easier to park at Ferragudo and cycle over the road bridge or get the boat across. We’ve certainly been a bit spoilt while we’ve had this hire car. It’s so much easier to explore with a little motor instead of lugging 9 meters of mega bus around.

We’ve covered beautiful Ferragudo previously so I won’t bother talking about it again. Just go! It’s lovely. I have my wonderful hairdresser there. Denise. Those of you who know me, know how precious I am about my locks. I am terrified of change, I have been using the same Salon in Buxton for around 20 years. Michelle at Velu is my saviour. It took a lot for me to brave a newbie here in Portugal. This lady was an excellent find. I now go to her every visit. She does a great job. Anyway, message me if you need a ‘do’ and you’re in the area!! Moving swiftly on and around the coast from Ferragudo, you will find a series of beautiful beaches and pretty coves flanked by huge, towering cliffs. Praia da Canheiros has an excellent beachside restaurant. The staff are so lovely and the view from their terrace is spectacular. We were keen to visit Carvoeiro while we had wheels. Perhaps one to avoid in high Summer if you don’t like crowds. Out of season though it’s a peach. It topples down the edges of the ridiculously steep cliffs, a former whitewashed fishing village, now a tastefully built up holiday resort. It has many, more upmarket, restaurants, cafes, bars and shops to browse. Not so typical, aimed more at holidaymakers. The beach is delightful. Colourful buildings overlook the cove with tropical flowers and foliage trailing down the cliffs. The main attraction for us though is just east of town, following the sea. Algar Seco. It’s an impressive stretch of craggy overhangs. The wooden boardwalk and steps lead down the cliffs. There are caves below with blow holes and dramatic rock formations. The turquoise sea below is quite a spectacle. I loved this place. Wish I could have seen Carvoeiro a hundred years ago. Just a word of warning though! FFS don’t try and get your Motorhome down there! My palms were sweating in the car. I would have definitely abandoned ship halfway down had we brought the van. Even Kim did a U turn in his Hymer and he is hardcore, crazy and Welsh!! It’s narrow, steep and twisty. Parked vehicles would make it impossible to turn around. Don’t risk it!

Sorry I can’t post more pics. I’m running out of storage space on this here blog platform which is a shame. I took hundreds! We finished our fabulous day off with sunset in Lagos and a take away from Mega Pizza. Mark has a bit of a thing about large Pizzas. This one hit the spot and scratched his itch! 50cm and more toppings that you could shake a stick at. I had a job to fit the box in the boot. It was huge (and my boy was happy!). What a great day out we’d had. Back to base then now to eat monster Pizza and drink red wine.

I shall bid you wonderful humans adios until we meet again on the road. Hope you’re all staying out of trouble and keeping well. I know many of you are now back in the grips of a lockdown. What s nightmare. The vaccine administration is well under way though so almost over that hill. Keep those fires burning chums. Ladies, praise the lord for wine and Bridgerton 😉. Sending peace, love and the odd shirtless Duke !! ❤️🍷💪🏽

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