A Spontaneous Road Trip

Aljezur is a small market town of whitewashed houses and cobbled streets located about 110 km from us an near the border between the Algarve and the Alentejo in south west Portugal.

It Straddles fertile river valley, famed for its sweet potatoes, the town is dominated by the ruins of a tenth century Moorish castle, which sits at the top of a narrow and very steep cobbled hill.

Joanne had never been, Marc and a “day off” from any commitments and very spur of the moment we hopped in the car and headed off. Turned out to be a perfect choice as it was 18 degrees in that part of the Algarve and we were craving the warmth.

We stopped in the mountains just above the Caldas de Monchique (Thermal Baths) and enjoyed the vista and a leg stretch. That’s when we discovered how warm it was compared to what it was like when we left the house. Jackets came off and were relegated to the trunk. The mountain road was winding and lined with residue from the trimming of the eucalyptus trees. We saw the men at work and the neatly piled evidence of their labours all along the route.

On arriving in town we parked and started up the winding cobblestone streets to have a look at the old castle, which both Marc and I have visited in the past.

We had already discovered that the place we wanted to go for lunch was in fact closed for the entire moth of January but we did have a plan B. Sadly plan B fell through as it too was closed but we noticed the tourist information was open and popped in. The woman there kindly suggested a “very local” place three doors along and we lucked out in more ways than one.

First off: we managed to secure the last available table in the place that was packed with only locals. There was a significant line up once we were in and was still there when we left an hour and a half later! Secondly, the food!!!!! WOWSERS. Both of the daily specials were advertised plus a full menu. We three opted for the “filetes de pescada” (fish filets).

The meal started with a large salad each that I am fairly certain came from the family garden. Fresh spinach, arugula, onions, lettuce, and cucumber….all of it crispy, and tasting of the earth and sunshine. Then the plate above……I don’t know if you can quite see it but I had seven generous portions of sweet, thick, white, very lightly battered fish that was one of the moistest and flavourful I have eaten. A local sweet potato that tastes like candy, and the rice contained green beans, spinach, carrots, corn, and was cooked in a dense flavourful broth. As if that wasn’t enough……

Maçã assada….baked apple. Joanne and I practically liked our plates. All this was €8,50 each. We left there completely satiated and smacking our lips. Definitely worth a return trip.

A walk back to the car for the ride home and of course there is always something to slow us down and phtotoworthy.

Along the route a stop to take this photo as it begged to be recorded! I can see a few of my friends rushing out right now to buy up all the old plates they can to “brighten up” their exteriors!!

We three had a grand day, loads of giggles, and a few all out belly laughs. What a way to celebrate the end of our third full week here…….where does the time go. And in closing, a favourite shot of mine today……..not much bigger than the top knuckle of your tiny finger.

14 thoughts on “A Spontaneous Road Trip

  1. HHHOW was it? It was a great day with great friends!


  2. Great pics ! Love the one of you and Marc. Mr. Puss in Boots looks very chill. You did indeed luck out based on the pics of your lunch. What a generous portion! I almost drooled over the baked apple. What was the tiny flower at the end? Looked similar to Fresia . I’m so glad you’re enjoying yourselves. Keep on keeping on!! XO


  3. I’m not sure what it was, trying to find out. It looked like a weigela bush but obviously wasn’t. Very tiny and delicate and the entire shrub covered in them,


  4. Well it sounds as if you had another beautiful day wandering about. The sunshine sure looks lovely, it’s pretty scarce around here that we get the sun beaming down on us.
    So when they’re doing the eucalyptus trees or if you’re walking and there are eucalyptus trees around can you smell the eucalyptus in the air? I would imagine you could really smell it if they’re cutting into it but how about if you’re just walking along?
    Your pictures are lovely, you know me, I love the kitty cat on the wall.
    Sounds like you locked out by having the first two choices of lunch venues closed. My goodness, when I saw the plate I wondered if it was a plate of fish in the middle of the table for all three of you. LOL it sounds delicious. I wonder what kind of fish it was.
    The house with all the plates on it, can you just imagine seeing that around here anywhere. LMAO not likely. Yet to see it down there is just a normal thing. I’ll have to start collecting at the Goodwill another second hand places and maybe do up my end of the apartment building for spring. Hahaha 🤣


    1. Yes, the eucalyptus smells heavenly. We’ve picked it up from time to time and hung it in the shower. The hot water and steam makes it smell wonderful in the bathroom. The kitty cat is laying in a tree, not a wall. It was pretty well ignoring me the entire time I chirped to it!!


  5. Wowsers…amazing and wonderful day. A blessing when it all comes together like that.


    1. Yes, it was all kind of perfect especially with all that heavenly sunshine and warmth. I finally got my old bones all warmed up!


  6. Sounds like a great way to spend the day with the pictures to prove it. Lunch has me drooling!


    1. Twas lovely and yes, the food was certainly a special treat, especially after having found the first two places closed. We thought we were doomed when it fact it was one of the best meals in recent memory.


  7. What a marvellous day, so picturesque, really pretty flowers! Your last shot reminds me of a sweet pea or a bean derivative, a gorgeous colour regardless. Your lunch looked delicious! I was happy to see you posted a photo as food pics remind me of such wonderful Portuguese cuisine, it brings back fond memories and inspires and motivates me to be more creative in the kitchen….there will be no stopping me in the Spring!
    So glad you got warmed up!


    1. A grand and lovely day it was and we found ourselves still feeling full early evening, which meant a light simple dinner as we weren’t hungry. Another gorgeous day today, lots of domestic energy being put forth.


  8. Love those daises so much! Just think they grow wild in Portugal and we pay to have them as annuals in Canada. Your meals looked so delicious, always good meals where the locals go!


    1. It’s funny you say that about the flowers as I always say the same thing. There are so many varieties here that grown wild and we pay a fortune to have them in our house for a week or a bit longer if lucky. I enjoy them while I can.


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