Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saying good-bye to Portugal

I thought that I'd be posting this from Spain, but we decided to stop at the marina in Vila Real on the Portuguese side of the river Guadiana for one last night in Portugal. I'm playing catch-up on our time on the south coast of Portugal, the Algarve. Other cruisers we met on the way here raved about this coast, and now we understand why.

From our anchorage at the cape, we proceeded to the marina at Lagos. There we were able to replace the broken reef outhaul and get a new inline blower for our engine. We also managed to make reservations for the winter in Cartagena on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, south of Barcelona. Our first choice, Rota, was fully booked for the winter, but we were able to reserve three nights so that we can spend time with our friends Richard and Andrea of Saeta, another Sceptre 41 from California.

Chores done we treated ourselves to a guided tour of the grottos on the point outside Lagos. We could have taken our dinghy and followed one of the guides, but then John wouldn’t have been able to get as many photos. Once we got around the point we were especially glad to be in a bigger boat since the afternoon winds had kicked up some chop.

Looking out of one of the grotto caves

Shirlee enjoying the ride

The next day we took care of our insurance for the coming year and then explored the town. Once you get away from the marina and the street along the water, it’s pretty interesting. The Romans were here in their time, and a big piece of city wall is still standing. We don’t know if it’s Roman, but it certainly looks old.

Municipal market

Old city walls

Public art

Since we left Lagos, we’ve been anchoring out. The first night was at Portimão, the second near Faro, and the third up the river Guadiana, which forms part of the border between Portugal and Spain. The cruising ground reminds us a bit of the Pacific coast of Mexico with warm weather, diurnal winds, cruisers at anchor, and snippets of music drifting from the beachfront bars. It’s a pretty nice place to be in October.

1 comment:

Nick Matyas said...

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