Sunday 14 November 2010

Over another border

We like Portugal. On Thursday afternoon we crossed the bridge out of Spain at about 1.30 and had our first taste of the Algarve.
By 2.30 we’d driven into Castro Marim, parked at a campervan service area, been given a map of the place by a very helpful lady in the tourist office, and were wandering round the castle, having paid our 1€ admission. We stayed there that night and had a good wash-out and re-fill on Friday morning. While that was going on we met Ange & Barry, who were lovely. (We knew they would be; when Ann-Marie first saw Ange she was holding a tea-pot.) They told us of several useful places to stop, and after a good natter we set off along the Algarve coast. We didn’t get far; Altura was 7kms down the N125 and there were a bunch of vans from a variety of different countries in a big parking area right behind the dunes. The beach, Praia de Altura, was fantastic;
acres of soft sand with boardwalks through the dunes, and although the town was small, it had a little supermarket, a Chinese everything-shop, a good selection of cafes and bars and a free wifi zone. We can see why people spend the winter here. It was very tempting to stay for a long time, but it’s only a couple of kms into the country; there’s still the rest of the Algarve and Portugal to go and have a look at. We’re going to stay for two nights, on Sunday morning we’re going the 7kms back to Castro Marim for a refill and then off to have a look at Villa Real. It looks fab on the postcards!

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