For our last planned excursion away from Carvoeiro I decided that we should visit the Roman Ruins at Estoi (gave up trying to find it after 45 minutes and several sweeps of the countryside) and then drive into Faro to see the 11th century gate into the walled part of the city, Faro Cathederal, the Fado Museum and the convent where the Fado Museum is located.
Carol wanted her salad photographed as one of the nicest presentations of a Caprese salad. I had goats milk cheese with honey and slivered almonds, roast chorizo, and olives. The highlight of the meal for me were the carrot pickles (1/8th inch slices, slightly cooked and served in olive oil with oregano). Then off to the Fado presentation.
We will be returning from Portugal on Monday, March 16 and once we arrive home we will be imposing a precautionary self-quarantine upon ourselves to protect Canadians from any coronavirus that we may have come in contact with while travelling through Portugal and Lisbon and Toronto airports. Although this will be inconvenient, it is the appropriate and prudent action for every traveller at this time and we would not think of avoiding it.
All preparations have been made:
- Glenn has stocked our pantry with the necessities for a 2 week quarantine
- my pharmacy and doctor have worked out how to get our needed prescription refills to us when we return
- barber has been contacted to reschedule my hair cut appointment
When the two weeks are up we will reassess.
I took Carol dancing for the 2nd night in a row. Back to the Jailhouse, a pub owned and operated by a couple of Brits. Mark is also the entertainment rattling off songs from the 1950s though 1990s. On the nights that we have been there about 50% of the audience were Canadians, the rest Brits. Mark is a good guitar player, has a great voice and he engages the people really well. Ali runs the bar, usually by herself, and keeps track of everbody's tab.
Mark and Ali are a lot of fun and make the evening pass very quickly.
We drove to Portimao today with friends Don and Cindy. Through the miracle of telecommunications we were able to find Sue and Paul, other friends from Stonecroft for a lunch on the beautiful beach. About the beach - beautiful. The hole in the cliffs is how you get from one beach to another so long as the tide is out.
We had managed to stay away from the cliffs for a few days and concentrate on some inland touring and walking. But they called and we were weak. We drove over to Lagos, through the town and out to Ponta da Piedade. I knew that there was a staircase down to the water - it would be 185 stairs down and then the real test of getting back. What we did not realize was that there would be a small boat at the bottem that would give us a tour of the cliff faces for 40€. We hopped (somewhat literally) into the bobbing and weaving boat for a very exciting tour. We thought the cliffs good from the top - from the bottom they are spectacular.
I just kept the camera going not knowing where it was pointed at times, hoping to get some good photos. 95 taken, here are a fast 6.
- 2 is our captain coming to get us
- 3 is the dock (upper left is a chicken tourist)
- 5 braver kayakers
I had been trying to knock-off a potato recipe that we had a week ago in Silves. I tried a couple of variations of cumin, green chilli, onion and ground pepper. Not really close.
Yesterday I went to the cook and asked for the recipe. I do not have quantities but the ingredients are garlic, onion, tomato, carrot, fresh cilantro, white wine vinegar, and garam masala. Now I just need to work on the quantities.
Segredosmouros Spicy Potatoes
A small portion of the lyrics from Fred Eaglesmith's song White Rose. Fred is from Port Dover Ontario. He does a great family picnic.
it was all we knew
it was all we had
it was all we wanted
it was good enough
We just walked up the hill to get the car and go grocery shopping. The car had two flat tires. Looking around I realized that most of the cars parked nearby also had two flat tires. Then I saw the slash in one of my tires. Down the hill we went to the GNR station to report that our tires had been slashed. I kinda thought they would want to know. There were a total of nine cars with slashed tires. Back down the street to the local market for bread, and ham. Carol made lunch while I talked to Avis on the phone. They will take the car today and arrange a taxi to the rental office for us to do a new car. "Near perfect" I suppose.
Update: This did go pretty well. Avis came and got the car (the tow truck driver was rubbing his hands together in anticipation of more business), and there was minimal paperwork. The taxi driver showed up and took us to Faro (this was a surprise but I suppose that that is where they had a spare car.) The lady at the Avis desk made it as simple as could be (just crossed out the license plate number on the original agreement and put us back on the road.) For something that could have included lots of wrangling about insurance, and deductables, and claiming it on my insurance when I got home, and how much gas was in the two cars - it was almost a non-event. Cudos to Avis.
Drove to Lisbon on Wednesday to visit with Marcia and Jamie and their friends Gord and Lynn. It was a 2.5 hour drive with about 20 minutes of that driving in circles in Lisbon before we realized that we would not be able to drive right up to the hotel.
On Friday we rented a driver to take the six of us out to Sintra for a 6 hour tour of the area. It is very beautiful and if in Lisbon one of the "must do" tourist things. Lots of shops, gardens and scenic views. The main attraction for our group was the Quinta da Regaleira a beautiful grounds full of whimsical trails and landscape features - almost a 3 dimensional maze. You will see Carol hiding from me in some of the photos.
We are now back in Carvoeiro, ready to fill the fridge with edibles and get back to walking.
There would be pictures of the group in Sintra but those are in Marcia's camera. As soon as she sends one along, I will post it.
Here are some photos from a trip to Silves to look for pottery. After trudging up the hill to the various pottery stores we decided that we should have lunch in a little tapas bar that I had discovered on a previous visit. To find the place you follow the cardboard signs pointing down an ancient street. These photos follow our trail to the bar. Once you are there it is lovely. Carol went for the Sangria and I a small beer with a nice tapas tray - 3 different chorizos, three different kinds of cheese, a rocket salad, a small bowl of couscous, a small bowl of tandoori spiced potatoes, and bread. Condiments were Portuguese olives, olive oil and balsamic reduction. It was quite delicious and with a great view.