Day 20 & 21
Saturday – Portimao, Praia de Rocha ,Alvor,Lagos old Town
Sunday Costa da Caparica
It’s the last day that we have hired the “Go Cart” so we decide we should really make the most of our well spent Euros and take a chilled drive back in the Faro Direction. There are still a few stops on our Portugal bucket list we want to see so we are leaving no stone unturned. We have the usual slow start camp site morning, today is a bit overcast windy (in reality the leaves are gently swaying, nothing to rival a Cape Town windy day)
First stop is Portimao. We have driven this freeway so many time over the past week and each time we drive past Portimao we see the most beautiful bridge that I have fallen in love with. The boys now call it “moms bridge”.
Portimão is the largest city in the western Algarve, and was traditionally a centre for sardine fishing and processing. Besides the bridge the rest of town was a bit of a let down as it felt like a mix between Faro and Cape Town CBD. So we kept on driving towards Praia de Rocha.
The town of Praia de Rocha had really peaked my interest as it was described as a buzzing lively town perfect for 1) families with young children and 2) stag and hen party celebrations! What a contrast. Driving into the beach town didn’t disappoint either. The first thing we noticed were different groups of men and ladies walking down the roads, beers in hand and all wearing the same style and colour tshirts celebrating a soon to be happy occasion. A few strip joints on the main road and even a wedding celebration happening at one of the local restaurants. All while the families with young children ran riot along the long sandy stretches of beach!
The beaches along this area have also been different. Less rocky coves and just miles and miles of open beach as far as the eye can see in both directions.
With the kids both now passed out for their afternoon siesta we decide to carry on to a town named Alvor. Back in the direction towards Lagos.
Alvor is known as one of the “best smaller town resorts for a mature and relaxing holiday”
We drove along the coastal road and it was really just dusty with high rise apartments randomly built In the middle of no where. We reach the beach and the one car park is filled (and overflowing) with a camp site community of caravans and camper homes, settled in for the summer. The beach was another beautiful looong stretch of sandy beach with plenty of multi colorized umbrellas dotted along the shoreline for as far as the eye can see.
Last stop before home is to the Old Town area in Lagos. We drive up and down every small cobbled road, taking in the historical monuments and sights. Watching the people passing by, carrying on their daily lives in Portuguese style.
Sunday: with only a few more sleeps in a Portugal we have decided to make the long haul treck back to Lisboa area and setup camp in Costa da Caparica. In hindsight the 2hr 40min Drive would not be one we would ever do again. We find our new home base and I head out for our usual rekkie run.
Down through the local park, along the beach front, back past a traditional Portugese market and Back to the campsite to take the boys to my new latest Discovery! The park is geared up to be every child’s dream play area.
I have realized that the Portuguese culture is very inclusive of children and welcoming of families. As we enter the park there are hundreds of kids running in every direction and behind every child is an exhausted looking mom or dad running or chasing behind them. Shrieks of laughter and joy abound and it’s a wonderful sound to hear.
We head back to the campsite for the evening and begin to plan our last few days in Portugal.