Bye Bye Beaches

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August 3rd 2013
Published: August 3rd 2013
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Arrafina Beach - take 2

Looks far on the map, right? Nope all those west coast beaches are < 1 hour. And that's with me (Nigel) driving MUCH safer/slower than these Portuguese madmen.

Pose 1Pose 1Pose 1

Remember how I mentioned Rachel mimics every statue. Here's a few more from our first day in Portugal (Monchique).
We took a vote last night to decide which beach was our favourite and Arrafina won! So, that is where we headed today for our last west coast beach day. It was busier than last time for a few reasons: 1) It was a Saturday 2) It is now August and according to the people we have met here, on August 1st (could be any day of the week, it doesn't matter), the Algarve suddenly fills up with tourists and Portuguese from the north on vacation. We have definitely noticed an increase in traffic since the 1st. Having said that, we have yet to really deal with any slow downs whatsoever. Traffic here has never been a problem, even today. But the beach was definitely a lot busier. Still, we got a good parking spot and made our way down the 6 switchbacks to the beach. We set up in a great spot and I got a beach run in before we all hit the waves. The waves were even bigger today but this also meant more surfers. They are cool to watch but it means you have to be very careful when swimming. Although there are designated areas for the
Pose 2Pose 2Pose 2

Who is holding up whom?
surfers and the swimmers have a designated area too, the surfers sometimes get carried away on a wave and although they bail in time, their board often flies another 10 feet which can come close to the swimmers. So, Nigel and the kids were being very careful and didn't stay in as long as there were so many surfers today. We still had a great time and soaked up the sun and the scenery (again, this is a gorgeous beach). There was even a vendor selling jewelry on the beach today (another sign that it is busy season).

Back home, we did more swimming and ate a delicious seafood pasta dish on the back patio. We also enjoyed some Sangria (which meant I almost didn't stay awake to blog......).

Note from Nigel - We took Lori's camera to the beach today. When I downloaded her photos I found a few from earlier in the trip that I've included. Scroll down for more photos (20 total) and click them to enlarge.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


Pose 6Pose 6
Pose 6

Eureka! I have an idea.
Pork jointsPork joints
Pork joints

You see these all over Portugal and in the supermarkets. Very proud of their pork.
Silves combatSilves combat
Silves combat

Russell and I sparring at Silves last night. (I won, Russell's only 10 so I smoked him with a solid blow to the head, sucker).
Arrafina take 2Arrafina take 2
Arrafina take 2

We voted on our favourite beach and returned for one more visit.

Russell buried his low legs. Made fake legs of sand under the towel. Then when an unsuspecting pedestrian ambled by he would spring up.
Surfer dudeSurfer dude
Surfer dude

Lori hanging 10. Just kidding. She took the photo though. (And she actually has 11 toes so...)
Me and RussMe and Russ
Me and Russ

Catching some rays.
Arrafina from switchback 3Arrafina from switchback 3
Arrafina from switchback 3

There were 6 switchbacks in total to get down to the beach. great views at each corner.
Beach girlBeach girl
Beach girl

We voted that Rachel tans better than anyone else in the family. If you look closely you can see the loose tooth she won't let us yank.

Russell doing sprinting drills to keep in shape for soccer (he has a rep game 60 minutes after we land in Toronto this Tuesday - yikes!)
Russell in Stig's bedRussell in Stig's bed
Russell in Stig's bed

Russ like to lie in the dog's bed, with or without Stig. We feed him denta-bones and pigs' ears for treats.
Homemade sangriaHomemade sangria
Homemade sangria

We chopped up limes, lemons and Algarve oranges and made a jug of sangria tonight. Holy crap it was good!!!! Lori almost had a whole half glass. Nigel finished the jug and made 2 more.

3rd August 2013

THIS is the best blog yet. Great adjective choices, great photos - including the much requested family beach shot (at least the clothed photos), amusing captions.... You'll have to extend your vacation by another week - you are finally getting in the swing of this blog thing.... Hmm... Maybe it was the sangria! Nice! From Newcastle.
6th August 2013
Homemade sangria

Sangria looks awesome, and you guys look so relaxed. Seems like it was one of your better holidays.

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