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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Western Algarve, Luz, Portugal - Apr. 29 - ?





A couple more pictures here!


Now that we have arrived in the famed Algarve region, I can say what I have read is true:  The coastline east of Luz is covered with beach-front apartments and condos.  That is the unfortunate side of this location.  The fortunate part (and one for which I am ashamedly grateful) is the ability to speak English in every shop is clearly a job requirement.  Indeed, we haven't seen so many Great Britain's since leaving The Island.  


We knew travel would become more difficult when we reached countries in which we didn't speak the language, but we clearly were not prepared for how alienating it is.  Not being sure what type of milk you are buying just adds to the adventure (and occasionally the waistline) but when that same processes happens at the meat counter, well, let's just say we don't feel quite so adventurous.  In this popular Algarve region, not only do the clerks speak English (making you feel confident that you are indeed not buying a pig's head) but you are likely to find your favorite foods (a Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix will likely land in our shopping cart soon.)


We had a couple of requirements for our first Algarve base camp; it must be a location where we'd like to stay for at least a week and it must have a WIFI service.   The first option, an Orbitur camping spot in Sagres, had a very unappealing location; although the beaches that far west are uncluttered with condos, the geography was not very interesting and the park itself looked uninviting. Due to the larger than normal waves, the beaches on this western tip are a surfing mecca so Salt was quite at home with all the VW Vans, receiving more waves and "surf's up" signals than we have since leaving California.


But not liking the campground enough we continued to option number two; driving another 20 minutes east to Luz where we were immediately happy with the clean appearance of the Camping Touriscampo Bungalow Park.  Like most of our stops, this is a caravan park (RV park) versus a campground, but it has a nice rustic feel once you are back in the pitches, a lovely swimming pool and, most important, a decent WIFI connection.


We'll be busy with some hikes in the mountains, visits to the beach (although the thunderstorms are still around so sun time comes and goes-- for which my pasty white skin is thankful) and maintenance on Salt.  Our plan is to remain in this Western part for a couple of weeks then try out the eastern side of Faro, down by Tavira for a few weeks before heading back north in June or July . . . or . . . hey, life is good in southern Portugal.


(Knowing now what we left behind in Zambujeira [the uncluttered and gorgeous coastline], we will likely return there for a longer stay when the time comes to head north.)


I cannot sign off without a special shout-out "Giant Thank You" to our connections:  Mobom & Bob for my laptop return; Delores for our mail; and Airstream UK for our new window.  This life would be impossible if not for a strong network of support back home.  I hope at least one of us has some stock in FedEx.


-K


PS:  Jay, we actually are bringing out the P90X again!