Tavira – October 6

Today was our vacation from our vacation! We had a full day to do absolutely nothing and so that’s pretty much what we did! After a brisk walk down the hill to the main building, we ate a wonderful breakfast and then asked the owner to call us a taxi to take us into Tavira. The driver who came gave us his card so we could call him when we wanted to return.

The drive down to Tavira took much less time with a taxi driver who knew the way and very soon we found ourselves in the heart of sunny little Tavira, which turned out to be a beguiling little town split in two by a lazy river spanned by a Roman bridge. The sunlit cobbled streets sprinkled lightly with tourists invited ambling and so amble we did, stopping for a cappuccino and then to buy ourselves straw hats to protect against the strong sun.

Downtown Tavira
Fishing boats in Tavira
Gregg’s new hat

We took a taxi out to the ferry dock and hopped a small launch for Illsa da Tavira – Tavira Island. The ferry ride lasted all of five minutes across a bright blue channel rippled with leaping fish. We’re not sure what the fish were—perhaps some kind of sardine—but there were thousands of them jumping out of the water all around the boat.

Tavira Island is just a long spit of sandy beach looking out to the ocean and backed by a forest of pine trees. We wandered over to the beach and had a quick dip. The water wasn’t exactly warm—probably about the same temperature at Bowen Bay in late July. But the water was incredibly blue and the beach a fine golden sand. Finally we had made it to the fabled Algarve! Our trip this time is much too short but at least we know where we can return to.

Bathing beauty on the Algarve
Endless sand and sun

We had a good hearty lunch – I actually had a hamburger, fries, and a coke that were very tasty if not exactly low calorie. But the cafe overlooked the beach and the warm wind felt glorious. We slowly made our way back to the ferry and from there to the mainland and our waiting taxi.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out at our hotel, lounging by the pool, chatting with the people from Huddersfield, catching up on a bit of work, writing the blog, and that’s about it. Gregg got lots of drawing done and I made friends with the massive Great Dane belonging to the hotel. At just eight months old, he’s still a puppy!

The Great Dane puppy and the cook at the inn

Following yet another great dinner, we chose to walk the kilometer back up to our room. After two weeks in cities, we’d forgotten the beauty of the night sky in the country! The twisted cork trees silhouetted against the starry sky gave the walk an eerie feeling. I half expected to see the ghost of a Roman legionnaire or an old Portuguese sailor home from his travels to the new world appear in front of us. But no – just a lovely walk on a warm evening with only the sounds of night birds and dogs barking in the distance.

Tomorrow, it’s off to Libson and phase 3 of our adventure!

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