No place to go but south at this point.
Since we left the Algarve region in a rush to get to Lisbon last week to meet our friends, we're going to return to see it properly. Neda says she feels that her cold (or bronchitis we suspect) is in its final stages, so we both agreed that we shouldn't travel any more until she is 100% better. I think all this moving around and going out sightseeing in this cold and wet weather has actually prolonged her illness.
Heading south back to the Algarve
On the way, we pass through some quaint Portuguese towns...
...as well as some picturesque roads
After a prolonged absence, the sun joined us on our travels. The last couple of weeks without the Pula Girls have resigned us to rainy rides and when the weather actually clears up we are pleasantly surprised.
Our destination in the Algarve region is the very popular tourist town of Lagos. Tripadvisor says it is the #1 vacation destination in Europe. Which means that we are staying just outside of it, in a tiny beach-side suburb called Luz, because our Canadian pesos have informed us that we can't actually afford to be swanky, European vacationers...
I forced Neda to do this for a few days. There was little resistance
This cold/bronchitis has lasted for two weeks now. While her chest still hurts, at least the coughing has subsided and no more dark green loogies. We think the worst has passed, but just to make sure she is confined to bedrest, or patiofurniturerest in this case. We're getting a lot of sun down here, which is also helping to lift Neda's spirits.
Hiking around Ponta da Piedade (Mercy Point)
When Neda is feeling better, we ride down to Ponta da Piedade, which is a small cape overlooking very scenic beaches 60 feet below some spectacularly-striated cliffs, with the same patterned rocks rising up just off the coast out of dark blue-indigo waters.
The sands collect in beaches between the cliffs like the webbing between your fingers
Pillars of rock poke up above the waters all along the shoreline with the city of Lagos in the distance
In the summer, these beaches are packed to the brim with tourists
Because we are traveling in the off-season, it's not warm enough to go swimming or lie on a beach towel in a bathing suit. But part of the reason we are even able to stay here is because the prices are so cheap this time of year and we have the entire place to ourselves!
A break in the cliff walls lead to the next beach
Birds have a nice place to hang out
We were hoping to get some nice views of the beaches at sunset, but we should have checked a map to see how Ponta da Piedade was oriented: the sun sets on the other side of the cape! All we saw were the shadows of the cliffs. So we rode back the next morning bright and early to catch a sunrise:
The only picture that worked out because 10 minutes later, it started raining. Of course.
The next day we headed into the historic centre of Lagos to check it out
More of the pretty Portugeuse ceramic tiles covering most of the buildings here
The reason why Lagos is so popular with tourists: lots of restaurants, bars and nightclubs here
We splurged a bit and found a nice Indian restaurant down here. Indian food is one of Neda's favorite foods, so this indulgence was purely medicinal. Hopefully it'll help flush (literally) whatever is making her ill out of her system. :)
The older part of Lagos is walled off, and they've put some funky lights on the top of the walls
Looks like a video game!
Ok, I think we're done here.
I've reviewed the last few entries in our blog and it seems we've both hit a low point in our travels with all the bad weather, illnesses and our gear falling apart. Perhaps we need a change of scenery? We are at the western-most tip of continental Europe. We've already explored most of Southern Spain and it's too early in the season to head north.
Only one option left, really...