Saturday, February 12th

The breakfast buffet was empty today….literally empty.  We were the only people in the restaurant when our server came over to advise that there’d be no buffet today. 

Instead, our breakfast would be prepared as we waited.  

First up….two big bowls of cereal which, knowing our limits, we declined.  Then came plates with two types of lunchmeats and three kinds of cheese accompanied by a basket of rolls and croissants…..enough to feed a family….or two.  Next up was the “main” course…..scrambled eggs, bacon, sauteed mushrooms and a broiled tomato…..with glass after glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.  But were we done?  Oh, no…..not yet.  A plate of fresh fruit…..oranges, melon, kiwi…..was delivered.  A feast worthy of the gods.  As we were leaving, our server/chef smiled and said, “See you tomorrow, Room 304.”  Oh my God, will we ever be able to eat again?

Today’s itinerary started with a walk through Lagos.  Like Tavira, it’s a city built on the mouth of a river that flows into the Atlantic.  We crossed the river on a pedestrian drawbridge and walked along the river promenade…..spying little crabs, large fish and a replica of a caravel…..

the boat used by the Portuguese during the Age of the Discoveries.    

We continued on the promenade walking out to the old fortress at the harbor’s entrance.  

Around the bend, we found the sandy beginnings of an exquisite beach, Praia de Batata.

Feeling the wind on our faces and listening to the soothing sound of the aquamarine waves, it was hard to leave…..but new destinations called so we put on our shoes and started the walk back into town.

The town….with its mosaic sidewalks, outdoor cafes, quaint shops and intriguing sculptures….was an absolute delight but, alas, our cameras had exhausted the last bit of energy in their oft-used batteries and would no longer cooperate.  A stop at the local mercado was in our near future.

With our cameras fully recharged, we headed to the car for the short drive to Cape Sagres, at the southwestern tip of Portugal, to the fortress on the site where Prince Henry established his School of Navigation in 1420.

Built high on the cliffs along the sea, the views from this windswept promontory were spectacular. 

Signs warned people away, but men were fishing from its rocky edge.  How they got their lines down to the water….and kept them there…. is a mystery.  

A large wind compass, shaped by small rocks and pebbles, was the primary feature in one corner of the flat landscape.  It was found during an excavation in 1921.  

The views from this side of the fortress show a calmer but still spectacular sea. 

We had one more place to visit before we left the Algarve…..Salema, a small fishing village on the coast.  On our way, we finally saw the picturesque windmills that are one of the mainstays in every souvenir shop…..but, until now, the real thing had eluded us.  

Salema, only a short drive off the main road, was warm and inviting.  We parked the car in a small lot near the center of town, spied a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the ocean and decided it was time for a a light bite. 

The food (a Seafood Salad and Ham with Melon) and drink (Vinho Verde, of course) was delicious and perfectly suited to the surroundings. 

From our high perch, we watched the beachside activity…..a father taking his two young children for an icy swim, a honeymooning couple drawing hearts in the sand, teenagers scouring the beach for firewood, a lone surfer and dogs playing catch with the waves.     

We soon joined them, walking along the beach searching for dinosaur footprints…..they’re there somewhere but we never found them.  

We strolled up and down the beach, enjoying the serenity the sea provides.

Fishing boats, safely stowed away for winter, were scattered throughout the town while the fishermen sat on short stools mending their nets. 

The gritty, narrow streets weren’t for everyone…..but for us, the allure of everyday life in this working village was a hands-down winner over the pastel high-rises and pristine golf courses that we had passed yesterday. 

Sadly, we had to leave this enchanting village too soon…..twilight was coming and we had a date with a laundomat.

And, with due respect to Bobby Darin, our clothes will be……                                                  A-splishin’ and a-splashin’,                                                                                                         Reelin’ with the feelin’
Movin’ and a-groovin’                                                                                                            Rocking and a-rollin’ 

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About Languedoc Lady

I'm a newly retired woman from California getting ready to spend a year (or more) with my husband living the good life in Languedoc in the southwest of France.
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