And now we're off to the sun...

Trip Start May 16, 2013
Trip End Jul 19, 2013

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ouropraia aparthotel

Flag of Portugal  , Algarve,
Sunday, June 2, 2013

From Lisbon, it's about 250km tothe Algarve and we're heading for a week's respite and to get the laundry done. The toll roads are only 45 minutes quicker than the trunk roads so we've opted for the scenic route. What a fantastic decision!! We sat, with the roof down of course, doing 60 to 70 mph on single carriageway roads and tree lined avenues with hardly a car or wagon in view for most of the time. The countryside was beautiful. "Perfic" as old Pa Larkin would say!!

At about half distance, we looked for somewhere for coffee so we could take the necessary
comfort break and change drivers. On spotting a big supermarket, I whipped the front end in at speed only to subsequently realise that there was no left turn permitted and I'd broken the law somewhat!

So, after the short break, again faced with breaking the law to continue our journey, I said I'd get us out and pointing in the right direction before swapping over drivers. So I pulled out - legally -
and then spun the car round on this deserted road before pulling up on the shoulder with the car pointing south. Sadly, the place I'd elected to stop (having carefully considered the pantechnicon parked 400 metres before) was on a narrow shoulder with a steep gritty verge. I manoeuvred successfully between driver and passenger seats but Jane found it necessary to use both her face and her left wrist to avoid total horizontality! Result - one stormer of a black eye and six hours the following day in A&E to get her wrist checked out.

So the day lounging by the pool has had to wait a day. We spent just about all of yesterday in the
local public hospital where, it appears, they did actually forget us for a while. The wrist isn't apparently) broken (though Jane's still not convinced). 

As of now, the laundry is almost finished and I will soon be heading back to the pool for the mid-afternoon Magnum!

Well, we've nearly done our week here now and having had a look around, I think it's reasonable to say that the Algarve is suffering quite badly with Portugal's long recession.  The old town of Albufeira is fine, not much different to the last hundred years, I guess, but the miles and miles of hotels and apartments are looking decidedly tired, empty and neglected.....   A lady we were speaking to while in the A&E suggested that she thought the numbers of tourists were down maybe 30% on previous years....

Still, it's been a nice break though the weather has been "mixed" varying between sunny, windy (and a touch cold), with even the odd spot of rain...

That's it from here.  Next stop Seville for a bit of culture!
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Becks on

I'm sure Jane was not amused but at least such incidents give us a break from the "monotony" of walled towns, jaw-dropping scenery and what sounds like increasingly glorious weather... Try to avoid any criminal behaviour for the rest of the week, Jones!

Liz Smillie on

Very briefly Phil, you take your car registration documents to any post office/pay station and they will tell you how much you owe on tolls. It usually takes 3 days to register but don't wait for them to catch up with you. You should be ok if you go to a post office now but don't leave it much later.

cotysmore on

Thanks Liz, but I'm afraid the nice lady in the Post Office confirmed that foreign registered cars are not able to pay their tolls "post travel". Looks like I pay the fine...

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