Day 19: leaving the Algarve, what a day!

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August 8th 2022
Published: August 9th 2022
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We had to pack up early and be out of the airbnb at 10am this morning since the ladies that run this one own 20 of them and they do all the cleaning themselves. They had even sent us a message earlier asking if we were flying out that morning, probably hoping to get in as early as possible to start cleaning. Anyways, we got out on time and since our Lisbon checkin was at 3pm we went to Lagos to see the town. We parked the car in an old part of the city and stumbled onto a surf shop where we bought some cool souvenirs of our surf experience. We got some good tips of where to go from the lady at the cultural center so we did some visiting and shopping, getting souvenirs for people back home and we drove to the southern tip of Lagos to see the Ponte de Piedade. Apparently on a clear day, you can see over to Morocco. Anne snapped a few pictures but I'm not sure we could see across.

We got a bite to eat and were off to Lisbon to meet our airbnb host to checkin. It was a nice drive on the highway but at one of the final toll stations we had a big fee- €26 or something close to that! Damn. We're a bit nervous about what the final amount will be! On the route back, we crossed the April 25th bridge we were staying under and passed next to Jesus. We drove into town and ended up on a very narrow road that went by a bar where a bunch of locals were outside drinking and playing soccer in the street. We passed through and didn't see our place but Google said it was there. There was a car behind us so we kept going and had to do a 7 minute loop to get back to the same spot. Of course we had to drive through the drinking crowd again. They looked annoyed. We finally managed to find the spot and Anne and Camille had to jump out to meet the host while Cameron and I tried to loop around and find parking. Anne's phone died so we couldnt reach each other for the next half hour. The place from the neighborhood didn't give off a good vibe and we were a bit nervous about carrying all our luggage into the place through the locals. When Cameron and I finally parked there were a few odd looking guys watching the street doing laps on a scooter. We didnt feel that safe leaving the car with part of the luggage still in it. We might have been over reacting because we were tired, or because of the locals in the street but again we didnt have a good feeling. Cam and I walked down to the airbnb and Anne and Camille were a bit nervous. They showed us the place and the outer door to the place didnt lock and there were garbage bags in the hallway. The front door to the airbnb itself locked but it was unsettling that anyone could get into this weird area. On top of that the rear patio door wouldn't lock and the handle was broken off. Of course the place looked nothing like the pictures and the rear patio area had been unusable for over 2 years because of construction. The listing didn't reflect this. Essentially the pictures of the place were a few years old, probably from when he bought the place as it looked newer, decorated, and staged with furniture. It didnt look that way when we were there that's for sure. Camille said that she saw peeling wallpaper and dirt in the corners of the rooms. We all just had a bad feeling about the place and the location. We decided to trust our instincts, leave and find another place, and deal with airbnb to hopefully get a refund or something later. We just needed to get away from there and regroup. We drove outside the city center towards the airport and Googled some hotels. We stopped in at a Holiday express and were thinking, phew, at least we will have a room. Turns out Holiday express has a maximum of 3 guests per room, meant for business travelers. Urgh! After some more Googling in the lobby we finally found a spot at a nearby hotel for the 4 of us. A quick drive later and we had secured a very basic room at a 2 star hotel. It was basically a room with 4 single beds in it, and a rather spacious bathroom. It had a small tv and an air conditioner so we made it work. We were going to stay both nights but we found a Novotel hotel nearby for the same price and it included the pool, and had a fridge and coffee maker in the room. The bed was much nicer too so we reserved a room at the Novotel for the second night. With that all taken care of we went out for a meal amd our cabbie recommended a place to eat. He said he goes there for their steak so we went to check it out. Turns out it was an iconic restaurant called Galeto, open for 60 years and an amazing place. The kids and Anne got fish and chips and I got the special Galeto steak. Being Portugal it came with an egg on top of the steak and had a delicious sauce. It was so good! We noticed all the locals ordered fries with a green cream and we were wondering what it was. I asked the lady next to me and she told us it was creamed spinach and offered us some to try. We couldn't say no. It was a good way to eat spinach but not super great, in my opinion. Different though, never seen that before.
We walked back to our airbnb and played cards again with the kids and finished a stressful day with a great experience.
In hindsight we probably should have booked a place outside the city and closer to the airport in the first place as we weren't going to be sightseeing much anyways and with the rental car it was much easier to deal with parking. At least we didn't have to stay in that airbnb. Too bad it ended on a bad note as all our other airbnbs were great!

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