Arriving at the coastal town of Armacao de Pera seemed a great relief as we felt relieved to be back on tour. At an arranged meet up we blew off some steam with new friends Wendy and Rob who were nearing the end their 3 month tour of Portugal. Armacao I was a pretty holiday town and our parking spot on the old football ground gave us front line seats to watch the water birds feeding in the small estuary. The troop of spoon bills were our favourite.
After Pera we moved aimlessly west down the coast staying at Farol de Carvoeira. Here we had a stunning free parking spot for three nights, next to the light house on top of the classic Algarve coast line. This coast line was the main feature of the Seven Valleys walk that we completed on one of the days.
On top of the cliffs at Carvoeira
Views on the Seven Valley’s coastal walk
On a personal note I have been feeling a little strange, it is as if I can’t get into this trip and it feels different to before. After some deliberation I think it is the absence of an overall plan – before we have always had a top level view where we were heading even if just directionally. At Carvoieira we spent some time looking over the maps and the camperstop Europe book and drafted out a rough route which will take in the majority of the Algarve during the remainder of Jan and all of Feb, leaving March and some of April to crawl back up the west side of the country taking in Lisbon and Porto.
Hill top track outside Silves, part of the Via Algarviana walking trail.
With this new plan being used as a guide, we stopped two nights at inland castle town Silves and a further 2 nights at the near by Barrargem do Arade. At the Silves we completed a rugged walk through nearby hills and at the Barrargem I managed at lake side mountain bike ride. We are determined to keep what is left of our Camino fitness. Next was the town Sao Bartolmenu des Messines where we stocked up on food using the large Intermarche. Annoyingly, as we later toured the town on foot, we found that there were a number of smaller independent supermarkets, some with their own butchers even. This reminded us that we should be using these in an attempt to keep them in business so as a consolation purchase we used the bakers in the market on the following morning for our daily bread purchase.
Barrargem do Arade. It was frosty up there in the mornings.
Campers parked up at the Barrargem
The tour is now taking an eastern direction as we head towards the Portuguese/Spanish border where we will stay at some favourites from our short 2016 Portuguese taster, Mertola, Alcoutim and Castro Marim.