Exploring the beaches

Trip Start Dec 05, 2011
Trip End Feb 23, 2012

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Where I stayed
albufeira camping

Flag of Portugal  , Faro,
Friday, December 16, 2011

We get sunshine everyday sometimes enough to sunbathe for a couple of hours but mostly patchy sun with a brisk breeze especially down on the beaches.
We went exploring today along the coastline only as far as Carvoeira trying to see how many beaches we could access easily, which can be difficult because of the high cliffs and a lot of private housing barring access.  Shame really I think all beaches should be the public domain.
These cliffs are particularly stunning apart from the wonderful golden colours in them they are riddled with potholes, the result of the implosion of the soft limestone. The sea erodes them and forms incredible, arches, caves and stacks that small boats can sail into. I expect when it's really warm they are favourite places for diving and snorkelling, the water is so clear .
Right now the pull of the waves is too strong for swimming and the drag on the sand too much to withstand, we brought our wetsuits but at the moment it looks far too rough to risk a swim.
We are content to just clamber across rocks and enjoy looking at the fishing boats so brightly painted. I even found one called Helena.
Carvoeira is a pretty village right by the sea and today they were preparing for their Christmas market and there was a jolly atmosphere with music playing in the streets. It is very picturesque with the houses built on the cliffside right down to the sea although we think the cliffs look a bit precarious in places and wonder how long the houses will be there.
There are lots of little beaches and coves all along the coast here and we had the benefit of finding most of them empty, I'm sure it's a completely different story in the height of the season.
Apparently the whole stretch is 150 miles of beach but we will save exploring the rest when we move camp further up the south west coast where moorish fortresses and spa towns await us.
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