Taking to the water

Trip Start Nov 09, 2007
Trip End Feb 03, 2008

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The day started with morning tea at the Gumba. We had reserved two meringues the previous day so we were ready pretty quickly. The day before they had looked most yummy, but unfortunately they looked better than they ended up tasting. Never mind, the coffee was still excellent.
We walked to the bus station to compare bus and train tickets to Lagos, the to the train station to ask about prices (silly me I had forgotten to ask the price the previous day!), The train ticket was 50 euros and the bus only 24, so despite taking an extra 90 minutes we decided to save the money and take the bus. So back to the bus station to buy our tickets for Friday.
On our way back we enquired about a boat trip to the grottos around Lagos. We found one guy who was offering a one hour trip for 10 euros for adults and 5 euros for the kids, which sounded like excellent value. The next trip was starting at 12.30 so we grabbed a quick bit to eat at the marina at a place called Lite Bites - a nice chicken tikka wrap and then went back down to the pontoon to climb on board.
The boat trip was great. We were the only ones in the boat and our skipper, although not speaking much English, was entertaining anyway, and as it turned out he was very good at his job. As we rounded the first headland the girls were amazed to see some nude sunbathers - naturalists as they like to call themselves, or rudie nudies as the girls call them. Even at a distance we could tell they were fairly droopy old codgers and codgettes. Bizarrely, they appeared to be playing bocce or boules or some such and the women was bending over to pick up her ball, offering us a full view. Lucky the boat was some distance off shore or it may have scarred us all for life.
It was a pretty choppy day and we were in quite a small boat, so we were feeling the effects of the waves. The skipper took us right in to the rocks and we entered a couple of the grottos. He had to time his entry with the waves so as not to crash into the rocks. The whole effect was both scary and exciting.
On our return we thanked the talented skipper and headed back to town. We had not yet explored the fort which is the most prominent 'old' thing in Lagos so we thought that we might as well have a look today. It is very small and... quaint would be the right word. Inside there were a couple of exhibitions including some amazing windmill things up on the terrace. There is also a large penis-like thing on display which apparently is some kind of ancient fertility symbol. The explanation of where it had come from and how old it is were lacking so we had to guess. There is also a movie on the early explorers of Portugal - Henry the Navigator and such which was quite interesting. Most of the crew members of the tall ships appeared to be school children for some reason but it was informative.
After our fort exploration we went to the beach right beside it. While Jess watched the girls playing at the water's edge, I explored some of the coves nearby. Tunnels have been drilled through th headlands so that you can reach one cove from another. This way you can work around 4 or 5 beaches. Really I was hoping to get back to that rudie nudie beach to join in the game of bocce. Much to my dismay I couldn't get that far.
That night we had dinner in a place called Imperado do Mar. There were great cocktails and an excellent chicken soup for just 1 euro. It seemed to me that this was a real back packer kind of place and I wondered if maybe Jean had been there the previous year. After two cocktails each Jess and I were ready to roll under the table. It was a combination of quite alcoholic drinks and quite cheap drunks. We staggered home to catch up on the latest instalment of 'baby borrowers'.
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