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Lagos and Portimão, Sagres, along the Algarve

Home -> Europe -> Portugal -> Travelogue Portugal -> 23 to 25 June 2001

Saturday 23 June, Lagos and Portimão, Sagres, along the Algarve

The next morning Teije has left the tent before 7 o'clock, banished by the heat. A nice time to walk to the camping shop for fresh rolls and to make coffee. He really loves this climate and the heat (he lived a few years in Africa, mostly in Egypt). The warmer it is, the more energy he has, well, at least in the morning.
This morning we want to buy a small palm tree. Since Teije prohibited Elisabeth to take heavy stones back home, she collects seeds, preferably of palm trees. But in Portugal we have seen some garden centres and now Elisabeth wants a baby palm tree. We are told it is not allowed to import or export them, but what function would the open borders of the European Union have then?
Palmtree from AlbufeiraWe are prepared it will take some time before we will find a garden centre, because we don't remember where exactly we have seen them. But when we leave the campsite and want to turn onto a road we see this do-it-yourself shop with all small palm trees before the entrance. They are sold for only € 4,-. The height is about 40 centimeters and now (more than half a year later) almost 60 cm. Mission accomplished, within 15 minutes!
So we are free to do what we want and we go on our way to Lagos and Portimão, 2 cities west of Albufeira.
Beach at ArmaçaoBut today turns out to be the hottest day of our holiday, 45°C and we try to hang on. We trudge through the cities, hiding in every shadowy place we see and drive fast to get as much cool air in the car as possible. Probably we are the only crazy people outside, everybody else is hiding inside.
But eventually we arrive at the place where it is best to be with such weather: the beach.
Beach at Armaçao Beach at ArmaçaoHere we are, at a small beach near Armaçao, between Albufeira and Portimão. And here too, whole tourists cities are being build. Remarkably, it is very quiet on the beach, maybe people think it is too hot. We are very clever and keep on our t-shirt.
Very, very thirstyDespite all the drinks we have had today and all the bars we have been to, we are thirsty enough to visit some pubs in Albufeira at night. But Elisabeth doesn't have any alcohol although you wouldn't say when you see this picture... It's just the heat.

Sunday 24 June 2001, another quiet day at Albufeira

Probably we have had a quiet day, today, but to be honest we don't know anymore. We don't take any pictures this day and no notes in our diary. Chances are, we go to the beach, visit the old town centre to have a meal and walk through the town. We shouldn't have waited 6 months before we write down this travel account...
One thing we certainly do: we arrange to go with a cruise along the coast of the Algarve next tuesday. It costs about € 36 per person, but we think we can't miss such an opportunity to see the coast of the Algarve from a boat.

Monday 25 June 2001, to Sagres, a trip by car along the coast of the Algarve

Time to get a bit active again. Our destination today is Sagres, the most southwestern point of Portugal. We take the small roads near the coast and even some off-road tracks so we have some beautiful panoramic views on the sea. Strange to see how people rather want to lie with thousand others on a small beach than to enjoy the quietness and beauty of the many small hidden beaches there are. Funny, people can really be herd animals. But of course we didn't take any pictures of these masses.
We often think afterwards: why did we take so few pictures. Sometimes we really regret it, but most times we have all the images still in our memory, more vivid than a picture can ever be. Picturesque villages glimmering in the sun, you drive through them and enjoy the sight but it's impossible to record the atmosphere into a picture. Our humble advise: just go and look for yourself!
Beach near SagresAt Sagres we see an almost empty beach, but that is probably because there is not a sandy beach, but only rocks.
Although it is not yet a high season, we are still surprised how relatively quiet the Algarve is. (Years later, when we read this again, it is a lot busier and Albufeira is no longer a quiet resort).
Lighthouse at Sagres Coast at SagresSagres, the lighthouse, the cliffs and the sea around it are photogenic enough to take photographs of. These pictures show the place in great rest, almost meditative, but in reality there are lots of tourists walking around. We don't let them disturb us and enjoy the scene.
Delicious Portuguese icecreamBehind the lighthouse is a fortress which can be visisted. There used to be a nautical college here, where many voyages of discovery started, if only in fantasy. From the battlements we have a splendid view over the wild sea and the worn out rocks.
A the end of the day we have our meal in the old centre of Albufeira. Elisabeth has become addicted to Portuguese icecream. Much better than we have it at home, she states like an expert.


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