As you can probably gather, the weather has turned somewhat inclement and what should have been a pleasant couple of days meandering around the pretty whitewashed medieval town of Lagos, watching the Italy vs Ireland Six Nations Match in a Sports Bar, having already perused the weekly farmers’ market, turned into a wash-out! Our drive down from Alvor on Friday morning was short, sweet and pretty much uneventful, other than driving around Lagos looking for a free sleepy spot that wasn’t on a steep incline nor in a swamp of orange muck. Eventually, we found a compromise somewhere halfway between the two, just a ten minute walk from both a suitable beach on which to give Harley a run and the town centre. Phew!
Harley was delighted with his run on said beach though he wasn’t too keen on the Atlantic rollers crashing on it and managed to resist going in for a swim – he really is such a wuss sometimes!
With “The Child” suitably worn-out and fast asleep in his bed, we took our chance to get a bit of “adult time” and wandered out down the town to see a few sights, find a phone shop to top-up our data SIM and, probably most importantly, to suss out an Irish bar for The Match on Saturday afternoon. Typically, Murphy’s Law dictates that one can never actually find an Irish bar when looking for one! We managed to find the phone shop so that was one thing sorted! We now have a further 30GB data, valid for up to a month. Happy days!
Finding Tourist Info proved to be even more difficult than the Irish bar – two attempts to use Google maps and CoPilot failed miserably but, by this stage, we’d already walked the length and breadth of the town and reckoned most of it was actually closed for renovations/holidays. At this point it started to rain and, just as we had come to a mutual decision to find a bar into which to retreat for shelter, I spotted the elusive Tourist Info office right in front of us! We had actually walked past it several times already! Doh! In we went (I know, horse and stable door situation!), got a map and the location for the farmer’s market and a recommendation that we visit the museum at some point before leaving. Of course, we should have asked him for the location of the Irish bar….but we didn’t! Doh again! No matter, we found Eddie’s Bar – a tiny hole-in-the-wall kinda place where the clientele were a selection of English guys, with hairstyles ranging from short back and sides to full on dreadlocks, drinking bottled beers with Jaeger chasers BUT the music sounded good so in we went….. it kinda reminded us both of our nights out in Dublin a few years ago …..our last drinks before the last LUAS (or, on occasion, taxi!) home were, inevitably, had in The Gypsy Rose Blues Bar! It was showing Sky News and we were pondering the chances of them showing The Match on Saturday afternoon…..or that was our excuse for staying for a couple of pints each before meandering back to Sebo for dinner.
Unfortunately, the light drizzle that had been falling intermittently through the evening turned into a torrential downpour, with thunder and lightening, which persisted through the night and into the next morning! Neither of us could face walking down to the market and, with the knowledge that there was no parking for Sebo in the locality, we had to make the decision to forgo said trip to market and be content with driving to a supermarket instead! Our parking spot was also getting sloppier by the minute so, sadly, we headed-off down the coast to find a better place out towards Sagres. Finding a better place in the lashing rain wasn’t easy! A few free spots we’d found were also turning into orange quagmires and the campsite in our ACSI book was even less suitable as Reception was closed for lunch when we arrived, the barrier was down so we couldn’t get in to have a look around – although I did get out and walk down the steep and narrow access road in and had a quick look but the motorhome parking pitches were grass (now mud) and the surrounding trees were unpruned and would have taken every rooflight off Sebo’s roof! Back to the drawing board! By this stage, kick-off in Rome was looming ever closer and one last frantic look at our Park4Night app pointed us to the Fortaleza De Sagres car park – a “tolerated” spot (i.e the cops don’t do the rounds issuing fines or moving yee on!) on hard ground! Yippee! Just a few minutes after kick-off, we parked-up and Roy was sitting watching it on his iPad with a beer in hand! Well Done You Boys in Green – 10-63! Result!
With a victory like that, our spirits couldn’t even be dampened by the howling wind and further rain that battered us for most of the night! We managed a quick walk along the cliffs between showers and hoped Sunday would bring better weather so that we could walk the 6km to Cabo de São Vicente – the most southwesterly point in Continental Europe!
As luck would have it, we awoke to almost blue skies this morning and the wind had eased considerably so, after demolishing a good old-fashioned Ulster Fry for sustenance, we packed our waterproofs into the rucksack, donned our walking boots and set out along the clifftops for the lighthouse at Cabo de São Vicente. The coastline is breathtakingly spectacular here – high cliffs, with rich shades of ochre glinting in the sunshine, caves carved out by constant movement of the Atlantic, beautiful sandy beaches and all totally unspoilt by tourism. No Health and Safety warnings along the cliff paths here – no barriers to stop you falling or being blown off! I have to admit it was a tad scary in parts – keeping Harley away from the edge being the scariest of all! Photos cannot ever do this place justice but here’s a few to give you some idea….
We managed to avoid the rain for most of the day – only needing to don the waterproofs on the return journey . We extended the walk to take in the town of Sagres and it’s working fishing port – no marina full of flashy yachts and gin palaces here, just fishing boats!
16km, a couple of pairs of sore feet and a very tired dog later, we’re now back in Sebo and about to eat the last of our Duck Confit stash which we picked-up way back when we were in France in November. Tomorrow sees our 100th Day in Mainland Europe! How time flies when you’re having fun! Life continues to bring a new adventure every day. New places, new cultures……lots of new experiences to be had! Bring it on!