We had an early start to travel from Porto to Sines and the journey down included fog which kept us on our toes. We were entertained by a whole fleet of dolphins that swam across in front of the boat, probably about 30 of them and some stayed to play with us for a while before swimming off to join the others.
Sines is a quiet, pleasant town at the centre of which is a Moroccan looking castle. On my morning jog I managed to get lost as I have an appalling sense of direction and as the town is built on a hill I certainly had a good workout.
After just one day there it was time to move on to our final port in Portugal, Lagos. It has a decent sized marina with plenty of bars and cafes and the town is only a few minutes walk away. There’s also a beach nearby and we’ve had our first swim in the sea, the first of many. We’ve managed to chill out for a week and had some good dining experiences ranging from a fish”shed” known by the locals as providing good rustic food in a shed like environment, to our meal of Chateau Briande in an upmarket restaurant in town which was comparable to any 5 star hotel back in the UK both in the quality of food and the impeccable service.
The Portugese drivers are respectful of cyclists so our trips out to explore have been enjoyable and stress free. They also have an over zealous attitude with pedestrian crossings and stop if you’re anywhere near them even if you don’t actually want to cross the road. (That has actually happened to me and I felt obliged to cross!)
There are some good fashion items to be had here including some interesting and stylish shoes that would really tempt me if I wasn’t a ‘live-aboard.‘ Mango posters are everywhere so its obviously a popular shop here.
One of the cocktail bars that we go to has started to put blankets out in the evening for people sitting outside. They obviously think it’s getting chilly but I’m still wearing vest and shorts at 9pm. My favourite cocktail is spicy mohito. Havana rum, fresh ginger, fresh chilli, lime and sparkling water. It’s gorgeous and has quite a kick.
It’s our youngest daughter’s birthday this week and as she’s working somewhere in the South of France the logistics of getting a present to her have resulted in me being really boring and transferring some money to her. It’s also our eldest daughter’s wedding anniversary coming up but at least she’s got a postal address so no excuse there.
We leave for Porto Santo tomorrow (Wednesday) and from there to Madeira. When we get to the Canaries we’ll have until November to pootle about before prepping for the Atlantic crossing.
On our last day here in Lagos we had a food parcel from home. Another friend has a boat here and drove down from Wales to do some prepping for the ARC so we took the opportunity to get eldest daughter to collect some supplies together. Not only did she get everything we asked for but she included some treats for the boys and a few chocolate treats for us (including a chocolate moustache lollipop from Lewis’s.) The most treasured of all though were some more photos of Luke to go in my album and a print of his foot at 5 weeks. He looks adorable!
It’s the end of an era today as Kika is heading off for Morocco and we won’t see them now until the Canaries. They’ve been good company and invaluable support since we left Wales all those weeks ago.