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20 travelers at this place

  • Day55

    Travel Day - Azores to The Algarve

    February 23, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Travel days are always stressful. Today was catastrophic. We packed last night and planned to get up and go this morning. We had a 7 am flight and had to return our rental car at the airport so I set the clock for 5, double checking the settings. I woke up once at 3 am and promptly fell asleep as we’ve had really sleepless nights with all the coughing between us. The next time I awoke it was 6:50!! I found John in the living room and yelled, “We missed our flight”!! For someone who is a very anxious traveller, he didn’t seem too concerned. John is usually my back up plan as he normally gets up to pee very early in the morning. On a travel day he would always check the clock and wake me up even before the alarm went off. This morning he went right back to bed without checking the time. So we had a malfunctioning travel clock that eventually went off at 5 pm even though the alarm was clearly set for 5 am and my usual human backup also failed. We’ve taken many early morning flights and have never had an issue. This was the absolute worse place for this to happen I would soon find out.

    We had to return the car before 9 so we headed straight for the airport and returned the car without any issues thankfully. Then my nightmare began. There are only 3 airlines that fly to the mainland. The 2 cheapest, Azores Air and Ryan Air, told me all flights for the day were sold out. For security reasons they no longer sell stand-by tickets. I made 3 phone calls to Air Portugal seeking solutions and was informed that my original flight had been cancelled so I would have to purchase new tickets. She then said she can’t sell tickets over the phone but was unaware that they had no ticket office at this airport. I explained that we were both sick and needed to get to the mainland. After some pleading she got special approval to sell us the last 2 tickets on the 13:20 flight. The cost was $990!!! Ouch.....that hurt my cost-conscious brain, not to mention our bank account. I had already paid $320 for our original tickets which came with no refund. Our only other option would have been to stay another night and get a cheaper flight the next day. But our accommodation in the Algarve was pre-paid and it was too late to cancel, plus we would have the cost of a hotel in Ponta Delgada. We were sick the whole time we were in the Azores and we just needed to get to a drier climate.

    We had a 6 hour layover in Lisbon and fortunately were able to use our last two lounge passes. We couldn’t even take advantage of the free wine and beer as I was on antibiotics and John wasn’t interested, so you know he had to be sick. We finally got to our resort at 12:30 am and I was glad I had arranged a van transfer directly from the airport to the resort, a 30 minute drive. Our early morning flight had been planned to avoid this very late arrival. I’m trying very hard to put my nightmarish day behind me.

    So we are now at the Four Seasons Resort in Vilamoura for 8 days. This was one of my timeshare deals...less than $400 per week. Vilamoura is a purpose-built resort community started in the 70’s. It’s known for it’s golf courses and marina. Our resort is full of mostly British people and a lot of the condos in the area are owned by Brits, as well as Irish, as they try to escape their wet winter weather. We have more English TV channels than I have at home. It certainly is lacking any Portuguese charm but that is not important right now. I think we are going to take this opportunity to relax and get better. We’re both sick of being sick.
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  • Day60

    Vilamoura Convalescent Home for Seniors

    February 28, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    Also known as the Four Seasons Vilamoura! We enjoyed our first two days here as it was a warm 20 degrees and the sun felt so good. The first day we walked into the main village to buy food at the supermercado as we planned to make use of our well-equipped kitchen. The next day we walked to the marina which is lined with shops, bars and different ethnic restaurants. I had finished my antibiotics so I could resume my self-guided Portuguese wine tasting tour. The 8 days of Clarithromycin left a metallic taste in my mouth and killed my appetite so my first glass of wine tasted horrible. We really enjoyed our relaxing afternoon in the sunshine.

    Then the “Beast from the East” arrived, which is what the news people are calling the cold front that is affecting all of Europe. We have had 3 days of temperatures around 17, grey clouds and light drizzle. It seems to clear a bit around 3 or 4 so we’ve walked to the village to pick up supplies and, more importantly, just to get some exercise and fresh air. It is a 4 km round trip. Then it rains again in the evening. They are predicting this weather pattern is going to persist until next week. Portugal has had drought conditions for months and we were told they lost 80% of their forests to wildfires. So they need the rain more desperately than I need sunshine, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    John has made an almost full recovery from his bronchitis, although he still has a strong exercise-induced cough. It doesn’t help that our resort is at the top of a hill again! Two days ago I thought I was almost back to normal but today my cough has been worse. My chest is sore from nearly 3 weeks of coughing and I can tell when I’m due for my puffer. There’s not much to do here, particularly in this weather, so it’s a good time to rest. The car rental clerk in Ponta Delgada said the humid weather is hard on tourists. So when we went to pick up our car the next day he gave me a little bag of eucalyptus leaves with instructions to pour boiling water over them, cover my head with a towel, and inhale the vapour. I don’t know if it will cure me but it sure feels soothing just before bedtime. I was very impressed with his thoughtfulness.
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  • Day61

    Wild Waves

    March 1, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    Clouds and rain persisted throughout the week. Today we walked beyond the village and marina to the beach. I have never seen such wave action where the huge waves rolled in to shore one after another, affected by strong winds, high tide and a full moon. Even the locals were out taking photos so the ocean must have been acting unusually wild this day.

    When it started to rain heavily we went to the casino that was situated ocean front. It was a small, typical and smoky casino so we didn’t stay very long. Between us we lost a whopping €5 and by then the rain had stopped so we carried on our way, making it back home just before the next downpour. We walked over 11 km and that final uphill stretch was a challenge, with both of us feeling that we had overdone it today!
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  • Day7

    Praia da Falésia

    March 25, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Nächster Stopp: Australien.
    Naja nicht ganz, aber es sieht immerhin so aus.
    Wieder ging es zu einem etwas abgelegeneren Strand, welcher berühmt für seine rotgefärbten Felsen ist.
    Hier fühlt man sich tatsächlich etwas, als wenn man in Australien wäre.
    Warum diese rot sind für einige Meter, weiß man nicht genau.
    Sieht aufjedenfall spektakulär aus.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Vilamoura, Виламура

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