May 22

Portugal, The Algarve

Portugal is famous for it’s surfing beaches and rocky coastline. We certainly saw both of these. The sandy beaches are deserted apart from black dots in the water – surfers riding out beyond the breaking surf, waiting for that big wave.  When we were there the swell was not very big.


Away from the beaches the coast is rocky

Inland at this time of the year the ground is bone dry and the few planted crops of oats and barley are almost ready for harvest. There is a lot of scrub and these rock roses were abundant.

There was the sound of birdsong accompanying us all the time we walked.  I saw a stork in the distance. There were also lots of wild flowers in bloom and empty roads.  Our track led us past some ancient cork trees.  You can see the cork bark on the upper part of the trunk and the lower part where the bark has been removed. Goodness knows how the trees survive.

We had a wonderful days walk.

We ventured to the most westerly point of Europe – Cape Vincent. Beyond here lies the Atlantic Ocean and foreign lands…..

There are parts of Portugal that are more touristry

We stayed in the town of Lagos. I can recommend the place.  It is picturesque and has a wonderful selection of restaurants serving excellent fish menus.

There are obviously some benefits to tourism!

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Statistics

Days spent sailing – 52
Miles (nautical ones) sailed 6,700
Kilometres sailed 12,000
Species of whales & dolphins observed 13
Loaves of bread baked – 89
Chocolate bars eaten 210
Estimated tea bag usage an unbelievable number
Shortest time in port 19 hours (Cape Verde)
Longest time in port one week (Salvador)
No of times boat was vacuumed 55
Longest length of rope on the boat 95m (main halyard)
No of seals used on toilet seats 2
Smallest country we visited Cape Verde
Most number of bottles of white wine drunk in one evening lost count