90km Monte Gordo to Almancil
Today we saw a naked cyclist.
Now that we’ve got your attention we’ll admit the truth: he wasn’t entirely naked. But even half-naked cyclists are quite a sight to remember! At first glance this man wasn’t naked at all but wearing the racing cyclist’s typical top and lycra shorts. Obviously it was his favourite outfit though because as he zipped by us on the road to Faro we got a full view of his pale backside; betrayed by lycra that had worn too thin. We had a good laugh as we watched his bottom speed away and then vowed to replace our shorts regularly. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you on the road!
Our day continued to be adventure-filled. Rally cars flew by us on the back roads, en route to the next stage in the Portugal rally, and when we weren’t car spotting we breathed in the scent of orange trees in bloom all around us. Lemon and avocado trees also filled the fields. Around lunchtime we arrived in Moncarapacho, a small town we’d visited a few years ago during our first trip to Portugal. We remembered a good local restaurant so we tracked it down again and tucked into a lunch of bread and olives to start, followed by fish and pizza and two beers to wash everything down. Grand total €12 – we like this country!
Not long afterwards we rolled into the seaside resort of Vale do Lobo. It was time to find our friends Rich and Paula, who had invited us to join them for a few days in a home Rich’s brother owns nearby. A luxury treat for us, but first we had to find it! As we write this on Sunday morning, a few days after the event, we are still teasing each other about who was at fault, Rich’s directions or our inability to read a map. The end result was the same. We spent over two hours going up and down hills and around in circles for about 20km without ever finding the house or even the area it was supposed to be in. A lack of any payphones in the area made the situation more difficult. We were luddites without mobile phones in an area filled with golf courses and luxury homes. After backtracking out of the resort we finally found a payphone and called Rich who came to the rescue. A few beers later and we sunk into bed, a very nice change from the tent.