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Published: October 30th 2006
This is day 4 of my little sejour
in Portugal so here´s the story so far...
Left home at 3am on Thursday morning (after having had a lovely dinner for my Grandad at a pub in Meopham the night before). Drove to Luton airport - had plenty of time and only a momentary panic that I wouldmn´t make it when the M25 got closed ahead of me because of an accident and I was stuck still for 40 minutes. All ok though and got to Luton Airparks well on time. Shuttle bus took me to the airport where I checked in straight away and got a Boots mealdeal (of course!). Got on the plane, which was delayed on the runway for an hour, but eventually got to Faro. Warm but overcast.
Took a bus to the centre of Faro and then stumbled upon the Tourist Info office where I asked how to get the youth hostel. Very friendly, english speaking man gave me a map and pointed me in the right direction. Took a small detour but got there easily enough.
Was allocated a bed in room 12 - a 6 person room but there were only 2
The deserted island of Ilha Culatra
others girls in the room. Neither really spoke to me! Dumped my bags and then went for a wander around Faro. Bought some bread rolls, chouriço and mayonaise to make sandwiches with from a supermarket. Mostly just mooched around for the rest of the day.
Got back to the youth hostel and sat in the common room reading and trying to understand Portuguese TV. Got chatting to Ines, one of my room mates (Portuguese, didn´t speak much english) and Jeff, an american guy who I later discovered to be one of the most boring and up-himself people ever. Anyway, went out for a drink with him and one of his room-mates, an Italian guy called Stefan who spoke German. Went to a bar near the centre of Faro and had a couple of beers before heading back.
On Friday I got up, had breakfast and took a train to Lagos. I took my back pack and packed my towel and bikini just in case - good job I did because it brightened up and I spent a lovely afternoon on a beautiful beach basking in the glorious sunshine! Had a good wander around Lagos and the marina -
Caged birds in the park next door to the hostel.
enquired about going on a dolphin-watching boat trip but the sea was too rough. There was a festival of some kind going on in the town - not really sure what exactly they were celebrating, but I think it was a Saint´s day or something. There were lots of people dressed in medieval costumes and stalls selling traditional portuguese food. In the square there was a stage where some children did some traditional dancing and there was a parade through the town as well with jugglers and acrobats. Really good to watch! Had to get the last train back to Faro at 7pm so couldn´t stay to watch the fireworks which was a shame.
In the evening I went for dinner at a restaurant in Faro (grilled sardines and a glass of wine) and walking back to the hostel I met Stefan and another Austrian guy (whose name I can´t for the life of me remember, but I´ll call him Heinz cos that´s a good stereotypical German name (no offence intended!!). They were sat in a cafe having a coffee so I joined them for a chat for a while. Heinz is a bit of a geek bless him.
I just liked the colour of the clouds as we flew towards London on the way home!
On Saturday I got up and had breakfast then lounged around the dorm reading for a while. Eventually got up and out and decided to walk to Olhªo. Barely got out of Faro when I came accross a boat trip vendor doing tours around the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, so I signed up for that. 2 and a half hour boat trip on the Reserve - saw lots of different birds including a huuuge vulture! The tour guide got very excited about this as he had never seen one before and they normally feed on rotting meat in mountainous regions, not on shellfish in the salt marsh! We alighted for a while on Ilha Culatra, one of the inhabited islands around Faro - really weird as it was a bit like a ghost town since most of the inhabitants only live there in the summer. Officially, it is illegal for people to live here, and one by one the houses are being knocked down, but the people have been there so long that the State has permitted them to continue living there as long as they don´t sell their house, make any modifications or improvements to it, and sell it straight back to the state when they leave or die.
After the boat trip, I mooched around a bit and read some of my book in the park. Went out for dinner that evening to another restuarant in Faro, this time not so good food. I had "pork meat Alenjo style" which turned out to be 4 or 5 pieces of pork surrounded by lots of very small and very salty clams, with chips. Ah well. Heinz spotted me and sat down with me for a while chatting. He´s quite hard work.
Yesterday was Sunday so pretty much everything was shut. I intended to go to Olhªo but didn´t make it that far again. Instead I did a lot of lazing around in the hostel dorm, went for a walk around Faro and had lunch at a cafe on the harbour (chicken buckwheat pancake and chips). Lazed around some more in the hostel and a bit in the Alameda park next door to the hostel, then dragged myself out of bed again to have some food. Went to an Italian restaurant and had spinach lasagne followed by an ice cream sundae. Surprising, since I wasn´t really that hungry!!
Today I am resolved to finally make it to Olhªo and maybe also go to Tavira since a guy I got chatting to at the railway station on Friday told me that these towns were typically Portuguese and much better than Faro or Lagos. Anyway, till next time, ta da.
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British rain sucks also!
Hi there, glad to know you're enjoying your trip here in my birth city called Faro :) Faro is not a touristic city, more a services and business city, if you want to see the real Algarve Lagos is good, Silves is nice, Tavira for sure is great and maybe Carvoeiro for a short stay here. Have fun here, I live near Faro youth hostel btw Luis