Published: July 15th 2006July 10th 2006
Sagres - Mile Zero
Once thought to be the End of the World
Took a (4) hour train from Lisbon to Lagos and immediately we knew we had died and gone to the Algarve. This part of Portugal is absolutely beautiful and is a must for sun worshippers that like warmth, guaranteed sun and over a 100 beaches to chose from along the 190 km Algarve coastline. We stayed in Lagos, which is a beautiful little party - beach town, that has received the full brunt of the UK invasion. Beaches and loads upon loads of little bars make this a very happening place. The Aussies and Irish keep the bars full of staff and there´s never a empty beer glass to be seen. English is spoken by everyone who lives here which is great, making getting around and ordering food very easy. Unfortunately, getting the traditional portugese fair (boiled cod, rice with seafood & sardines) that we were able to eat in Lisbon is difficult as the restaurants really cater to the deep fried and more deep fried with ¨chips¨that the British like so much. On a positive note, there a few great curry houses thanks to the Brits!!
We rented the only scooter available which happened to be a wee 50cc
The End of the World
Thought by the Portugese to be the End of the World
scooter. With the two of us on the scoot we toured several recommended little towns and visited many beaches - to many to name or count. At the end of our two day rental we had driven approx a little over 130km´s - most of which was along the shoulder of the highway as cars, buses etc going 150+km/hr wizzed by doing their best not to blow us off the road - good thing we had lots of weight on the wee scoot!
We have seen many beaches in our present and past travels and it is very evident that the Algarve competes with the best of them. It is very reasonable to stay here and the towns are at the beckoning call of tourists which makes your stay more enjoyable. We stayed in a residential (Casa Amarela), not quite a hostel, where there was three rooms and a shared kitchen and terrace. We met a couple from Quebec city which made the evenings drinking on the terrace more enjoyable that sitting around staring at each other as we drank our sore assssses off!
Of the places we visited on our scooter excursions, Sagres, otherwise known as The
End of the World was the nicest drive. It took us along the coast west of Lagos and provided us with spectacular views of the rugged coastline and the beautiful beaches that lie in the many bays. One of the highlights of the excursion was our trip to Portimoa and its beach, Da Rocha beach, where after walking out to the edge of the cliff to take an overview shot of the beach, Isabel was dive bombed my numerous seagulls and in fact recieved a fairly good cut on her head either from one of its beaks or claws. Running with her day pack over her head she not only had to avoid the diving seagulls but more importantly not fall the 120 feet onto the beach below - seagull and Isabel are doing well!! On the positive side Isabel was able to find her ¨women´s¨size Brazil jersey - better late than never!!
The other places we visited were: Cabo de S. Vincente - just around the corner from Sagres and is Europe´s southwestern most point. On our way back from Sagres and Cabo we stopped into the tiny towns of Salema and Luz.
Heading in land from
Portimao - Da Rocha
Miles& Miles of Beaches
Lagos we visited Monchique which is set up in the forested Serra de Monchique, the Algarves mountain range. On our way back to Lagos we stopped in at Silves, once the Moorish capital of the Algarve. Tiny streets, unfortunately they were laying sewer pipes so all the roads were in disarray - hence we lasted 10 minutes there.
We watched the World Cup final on one of the many Big Screen tv´s in the town centre. The heavy fan favorite was certaintly Italy, but that was for the most part due to all the Scots and English in the crowd. Personally, I loved the Zidane incident, it was the first time all World Cup where a player fell to the ground screaming bloody murder, when he had actually been touched by another player. We´ve looked all over South America and here in Portugal for the skirts the players have been wearing along with that magical shite that they use when a player breaks an ankle or blows out his knee and incredibly gets up within minutes of receiving the magical spray - needless to say we have been unsuccesful in finding either.
On our last day which was
West of Lagos and near Sagres
supposed to be our ¨Beach Day¨the rain, thunder and lightning came. Needless to say we did not hit the beach, but instead did a boat ride along the rugged coastline of Lagos - good tour despite the weather, and would definetly recommend it.
Sorry to leave the Algarve but we are off to Seville for the Tapas, warm weather and the bull fighting......
There are more photos below