Monchique and area

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July 19th 2013
Published: July 19th 2013
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Road to Monchique

Drove through the mountains to Monchique. Hillsides similar to Jamaica except more arid. Drove to the apex in Foia without Lori as it was too high up for her.

Orange treeOrange treeOrange tree

Our first orange sighting.
GPS can sure take you off the beaten track sometimes!! We started off today's adventure heading to a small mountain village (it is not the Alps, thankfully) called Monchique. Well, the GPS took us the most DIRECT route and not knowing the local roads, we crossed over a small bridge and the road became a cross between a garbage dump and a minefield of gigantic axle-breaking potholes and uncovered manholes! We eventually found a place to turn around and made it back to the real road unscathed.....

So, on to the real adventure.....we arrived in Monchique which was a lovely village. There was an old Cathedral and cobblestone roads throughout. The roads were single lane with 24 inch sidewalks so the cars came pretty close! We sampled the pastries nada (a traditional Portuguese pastry - kinda like a custard tart with a brulee top). Another truck carrying cork drove by so fast that a chunk of cork fell off. Nigel dodged a few cars and managed to grab the chunk of cork (it was like watching frogger - quite hilarious!)

After walking the entire village and seeing all the lookout points, we drove to the Caldas de Monchique which
Outdoor ovenOutdoor ovenOutdoor oven

Everyone in the Caldas do Monchique village shares the same outside bread brick oven.
is a natural spring that flows down the mountainside. We got up close to a cork tree with a big number 3 on it. That must have something to do with when it was "uncorked" last. Then back into Monchique to walk around the "Festival of Medronho" which is a celebration of the spirit made from the Medronho fruit. Nigel and Russell also drove to Foia which is very close by and very high up (which is why Lori stayed in Monchique with Rachel) where they got a view all the way to Portimao and the Atlantic Ocean.

We ended the day with dinner at Rouxinol Restaurant and enjoyed Chicken Piri Piri (hot hot hot) and shrimp crepes. Delicious!

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Additional photos below
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Recently harvested cork tree.
Robin HoodRobin Hood
Robin Hood

Russell shot 10 arrows and nearly got a bullseye.
Lori 'lanticLori 'lantic
Lori 'lantic

Lori framed by a Yucca plant at the Atlantic ocean. Near downtown Portimao.
The view from dinnerThe view from dinner
The view from dinner

Ate dinner on the patio at Rouxinol half-way up the mountain side. Gorgeous views, great temperature with no humidity. I had Piri Piri Chicken - hot!!!
Pierced RockPierced Rock
Pierced Rock

Sandstone rock worn through by Atlantic waves.
Caught one!Caught one!
Caught one!

The largest fishing pole I have ever seen.
Rock holeRock hole
Rock hole

Posing in the pierced rock.
Cliffs at PortimaoCliffs at Portimao
Cliffs at Portimao

Sandstone cliffs. Sunset. Gorgeous.

The view from Monchique.
On your marks, get set, goOn your marks, get set, go
On your marks, get set, go

Raced up these never-ending flight of steps, in the hot sun. Russell beat me (Nigel).

Local artist's work.

Very old church in Monchique.
Giant YuccaGiant Yucca
Giant Yucca

We have one in our backyard that grows 3 feet. This one was 25-20 feet. Yikes.

20th July 2013

Beautiful scenery
Looks lovely with beautiful blue skies. I love those Portugese egg tarts with the brulee top! I'll bet you're loving the warm weather - not quite like Scotland is it? :)
20th July 2013

Tarts etc
Yes the tarts are awesome. It is VERY differrent to Scotland. We don't really have to check the weather to plan our days. It is always sunny and warm. But not humid which makes Nigel very happy. Thnaks for your messages!
22nd July 2013

I can't believe that mural has a picture of a kid that looks just like Russell in it. Amazing!

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