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trish & pat’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007

Location: Salema, Portugal

MapWe have spent the last week on The Algarve, on Portugal's south coast, in a fishing village come beach resort called Salema. It is not yet too touristy and still has the feel of a fishing village as it would have been a hundred years ago. However, this doesn’t stop the local momma and poppas getting into the swing of things and hawking their quartos (bedrooms) each day to anyone and everyone passing by the village. The owner of our place still gets approached and he has lived here for 7 years!

Whilst the landscape that we have seen so far has been flat, dry, rocky and unremarkable, the coastal scenery is superb and just waiting for the developers to move in. There are signs of this happening already with the development of over 30 golf resorts along this coast of only 200km. Apparently Portugal is becoming the golfing holiday destination for many Europeans as it is a cheaper option than nearby Spain.

The beaches here, unlike the Mediterranean have lovely white fine sand (just like Aust.), but the downside is the wind and the cooler water of the Atlantic (locals say ‘refreshing’, we say, ‘bloody freezing’).

We have stayed in a tiny fisherman’s cottage which is very basic but comfortable and has wonderful views from the terrace overlooking the beach and the rest of the village.

Obviously we have dined every night on fresh seafood which you chose when the waiters bring around the catches of the day on large platters – it is so fresh!

We drove around the coast to the southern tip of Portugal, Cape Sagres — what was considered to be the edge of the world 500 years ago. The rest of the time we have been taking it easy lazing on the beach and enjoying the fine food and friendliness of the locals.

We leave here tomorrow to head north and spend four more nights in Portugal before heading back to France via Spain.