A Travellerspoint blog

Gypsy Market

We got going early this morning to make sure we had lots of time to travel to Loule and spend the morning browsing the Gypsy Market. Row on row of purses, jewelery, scarves and clothing all being offered at reduced prices by aggressive gypsy vendors calling out “5 Euros – very cheap – very nice!” We stocked up on the goods enjoying the atmosphere but Jack questioned the authenticity of the gypsy vendors!
Decided to head east down the coastline to a small fishing village I had heard of called Cacela Vehla. It must be Portugal’s best kept secret because the road signs were few and far between but between Greg’s navigation and Jack’s driving, we finally arrived at a quaint village with a beautiful old fortress.
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The tide was out and the shore was littered with boats that seemed helplessly marooned on sandbars. It was difficult to imagine that later in the day, the tide would find it’s way to all of them.

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Enjoyed lunch at a restaurant in the village where the menu was only in Portuguese – I asked the waiter to help me sort out the fish selections but his English was about as good as my Portuguese so he led me inside the restaurant to a glass case where all the fish was on display (head, eyes, tails and all!). After a lengthy description of all the fish available (sardines, sea bass, eel, oysters, mackerel and more) I decided to order chicken. The waiter laughed and teased me mercilessly throughout the meal.

Posted by merlendson 10.04.2011 12:46 Comments (1)

Sail Boat Amorita!

We had been planning a sail boat coastline cruise for several days so we were disappointed to awaken and discover high winds. However, we headed down to the Marina ready to face the choppy waters (Jack and Darlene both downed some gravol in preparation for the trip). About 30 of us (including an Icelandic soccer team) boarded the Amorita and set sail. The young men had obviously had some liquid courage before boarding and when we hit the high seas – there were many “green” faces! Actually, several people took full advantage of the “blue bags” provided. Luckily we all were fine and enjoyed the trip up the coastline through the cave’s area to Olhos de Aqua. No luck seeing dolphins and the weather wasn’t conducive to stopping for a swim, but we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Posted by merlendson 10.04.2011 12:45 Comments (1)

Picnic at Carvoeiro

We packed a picnic and headed west to Carvoeiro on a sunny morning. We spent some time browsing shops and then enjoyed a delicious lunch of wine, bread, cheese and Portuguese ham on the beach. The Carvoeiro beach is sheltered by towering cliffs that are dotted with homes and restaurants. After dozing on the beach we meandered up to Smiler’s bar to join the Canadian tourists only to find that all the Canadian snowbirds had flown home on April 1. However, we tried to hold up the Canadian’s reputation and valiantly toasted Portugal with beer and sangria before heading home!

Posted by merlendson 10.04.2011 12:44 Comments (0)

Golfing for boys – Portimao Shopping for Girls

Greg and Jack drove the girls to Portimao for some shopping at the Algarve’s largest city and then headed off to Gramocho golf course at Carvoeiro. Darlene and I enjoyed the shops and had a lovely lunch before heading home by bus – it was a challenge to find someone who spoke enough English to direct us to the ticket office and the correct bus but we finally made our way back to Albufeira – just another adventure!

Posted by merlendson 10.04.2011 12:39 Comments (0)

Cliff Drive and Indian Cuisine

Cliff Drive and Indian Cuisine– Near the marina at Albufeira, we ventured the winding roads along steep cliffs to see the mansions that overlook the ocean and marina. Along the way we encountered gypsies who have taken over deserted homes along the banks. It is quite a paradox to see abject poverty just a few feet from posh vacation homes. After a hair raising tour along steep cliffs we came back to Old Town Albuferia to enjoy a wonderful Indian dinner at Jaipur Indian Restaurant. The young waiter picked out several dishes including lamb, chicken and prawns for us to sample. It was by far the best meal we have had in Portugal and we promised to return before we leave!

Posted by merlendson 10.04.2011 12:32 Comments (0)

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