Expeditions along the coast have been the order of the afternoons and the first trip was to Carvoeiro, five miles east from Ferragudo. This is an old established small resort popular with the British, Germans, French etc judging by the languages you hear as you perambulate along it’s narrow streets (and the range of sports being shown on the bar TV’s.) It also has a wealth of restaurants with photographs of the food they serve. Who doesn’t know what a burger in a bun looks like? If there was ever a signal not eat at a restaurant then photos of its dishes is it.
I can imagine at the height of the season it’s prettiest hellish although I note above the town just to the west the villas and settlement in general are a lot more luxurious and well healed.
A longer drive to the west brought us to Salema which we last visited some time in the last century. Anna reckons it was the in mid 1990s. It’s proverbially off the beaten track with a wonderful beach and the restaurant we fondly remembered is still there. We revisited and the lunch was as good as my memory recollects.
This slightly out of season ‘feel’ means that everything is so relaxed and there are no queues for anything. I wonder whether the hospitality industry here is glad to have the season run on to make up for presumably financially thin pickings in 2020?
On another day driving a similar distance to the east we met a school friend of Anna’s, Lesley, who is coincidentally over here from chilly Derbyshire.
We met at Quinta do Lago. This is the most plush area of southern Portugal with properties over £1m being ‘ten a penny’. The focus of the town is the beautifully manicured golf complex where the well healed smack little white balls before climbing on board electric buggies to pursue them. It’s popular with Premiership football clubs grabbing quick winter breaks and there are some large international hotels in between the courses. We met at a cafe where £30 barely covered a few coffees and three cakes! From here it was back onto the motorway to head east to Silves. As I’ve posted earlier there is a splendid castle where in hot sunshine we walked its fortifications.
Later we attempted to get our 10,000 daily steps by a walk into Ferragudo as dusk turned into darkness. Some of the photo opportunities are exceptional.
Interestingly there are many camper vans hanging around the town with owners from Belgium, Germany and France. The parking around here is cheap and they can’t get further south in Europe! Not the worst winter migration I can think of.