With time in the Algarve running out for Laurie, our focus these days is checking a few things off her wish list, which she now realizes she has to come back a second time to accomplish!!! I love this country very much and am more than happy to play tour guide and driver and share in the immense pleasure she is taking in exploring and discovering.
Marc enjoys time at home while we do this, which is wonderful for us as it implies returning home each day to a fabulous meal, a warming fire, either lit or ready to have the match put to it and of course, a good bottle of vino. Life as I know it is grand.
Marac had an appointment in Olhão on Monday. We dropped him off then Laurie and I wandered for a couple of hours until he caught up to us, which was around lunch time. Monday and open restaurants in the Algarve is sometimes an issue which turned out to be true for us and so we wound up at Doca, a place we had eaten and enjoyed early in our trip here this year.
I can only imagine how amazing this place must have been with the entire facade tiled in these richly coloured tiles.
In the not to distant future this will be flowering and simply add an additional element to this already tranquil and elegant entryway.
I love how the door has individual panels to open in the door itself. The colour of the blue is also a big drawing card for my eye!
Laurie and I explored all the tiny winding alleys and I tried to steer her towards all the sculptures that I knew existed..
Chimneys in Olhão and the clear Moorish influences.
I don’t know how many photos I have of this door but it calls out to me each time I walk past.
Found these lovely wall murals.
Miss Laurie enjoying the sunshine and a brief sit from all the walking.
Another segment of the wall murals.
Blue door in a stone wall. Sounds like a great title for a novel.
Laurie enjoyed penne.
Marc had a ham, olive, onion and I can’t recall what else pizza!!
I had something called Troika…….prosciutto, olives onions and cheese.
The sun was still blazing when we arrived at home which motivated me to suggest a hike in the nearby mountain. Laurie was all game and off we went. A great outing…my Fitbit was happy!!
We also had a great evening meal out with Bonnie and Ken………..took us three attempts at three different places to find a restaurant open but hey…..it paid off. They leave tomorrow for Lisboa then back to Canada on Sunday. We’re going to miss them.
Today brought us unexpected sunshine and not wanting to lose out on that, Laurie and I headed off for a day trip to Monchique. It couldn’t have been more perfect if we had planned it that way……….we stopped at the Caldas de Monchique for a coffee, it was 15 degrees. We then drove up to the top of the mountain to take in the view and it was 8 degrees and blowing icy winds…….happy to see it and happier to get back down!!
Marco bidding us goodbye for the day. He had opted for a day of “domestic bliss”, lunch with Gwen and some quiet time.
Laurie as we arrive at the Caldas de Monchique
Enjoying our coffee and delighting in the weather .
Near the outdoor oven. This is where they keep the firewood for baking the bread.
We enjoyed a leisurely walk through the trails along the stream at the Caldas. It was tranquil and quite lovely as usual.
Another shot along our hiking path.
Laurie and the eucalyptus.
Randy and the eucalyptus. Aren’t they just wonderful?
I love this small staircase at the side of a private home.
Wisteria is in full bloom.
The colour of the blossoms against the sky was quite contrasting and complimentary to my eye.
Love that somebody took the time to paint this and not simply close up the hole in the fence to keep the cats out.
I wandered through an open door and found myself in this large empty room with these doors and this view. How could I not take a photo?
Again, Moorish influences are evident throughout the entire Algarve.
Looking back down on the Calda de Monchique as we drove away.
High in the mountain the heather was abundant and in full bloom. If you look you can see the cluster of white heather in the background.
This is looking out from on high and that is Portimão in the distance.
Just to prove that Laurie was actually there on the top of the mountain!
I promised a photo of a baby stork but this is the best I can offer up to this point. This nest was the lowest one I have seen and I stood there waiting for something but……….I’ll keep trying!
We drove slowly down the mountain through huge groves of eucalyptus and cork. Some of the damage from last years terrible fires was still evident but much regrowth is happening which made it look less devastating that it must have been. By now we were hungry but I had a plan and with that in mind we headed off towards the sea and a stop at Porches and Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha, which is a small fishing community.
Look at that smile!! We had just finished a light lunch and we were heading for a walk along the cliffs and down to the beach.
The marvelous Algarvian coastline.
Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha
A flower amongst the cactus.
Huge patches of this wonderful flowering succulent called Hottentot Fig. Iove the name.
A close-up of the Hottentot Fig!
We walked down, then obviously up, the 93 steps leading to the praia (beach)
As you can see, the beach was practically empty.
We drove a little further along the coast and stopped in Quarteira, which to me is not that interesting but I wanted Laurie to see different aspects of the Algarve, including the heavily touristed ones such as this. Didn’t take any photos.
A grand and wonderful day is now winding down for us. Marc was quite productive…..laundry done, tortiere ready to go in the oven…….I can taste it now, fire all set and lovely music,not to mention hugs to greet us. It doesn’t get much better than all this.
And just before home, as we stopped at a red light, I looked out and saw this……….how I would love to see inside.