The morning began with a good breakfast and then the plan was to cover as much ground as possible on their last full day in Portugal. We headed south to go to Odeceixe, the amazingly wide beach that has a river running into it.
The countryside around the town is large rolling hills. It is the Algarveâ€˜s northernmost coastal settlement. The small town clings to the side of the river Seixe valley that divides the two regions. Itâ€™s considered pretty sleepy during the season now, but it gets packed with the summer surfer and tourists from the north. I took Ross and Irene out to the beach which feels much more expansive and calmer than ones we had been at before. The beach, about 3 kilometres from the main town of the same name, has a fantastic setting at the river mouth river. Of course the river is not salty and itâ€™s a good option in the whole area for family because you can actually swim in the river because itâ€™s gentle and paddle or kayak.
There is a surf school here at the beach as well. After Ross and Irene got their feet, well soaked in the water we walked back across the expense of it and up the stairs to the roadway and then up again to where the car. Itâ€™s a lot of walking and climbing!
Then I wanted them to see Aljezur, a town Iâ€™ve gone through several times on the way south. I thought maybe weâ€™d stop and have a beer there. Of course as you go down the hills you see the castle up above and I did want to find that. That was one of those holy shit rides, trying to find it and then into it on the narrow steep roads.
Ross, especially was fascinated by the age of the Aljezur castle.
Aljezur castle is supposed to have been built by the Arabs in the early 10th century however, an archeological dig performed at the end of the 1990s revealed that it dated back to the Bronze Age. Thatâ€™s about 3000 BC. Among the objects found were many manufactured items from the Muslim period as well as two silos with wheat for wheat storage. The river around the city was navigable until the 16 century. Lots of ships used to come in to drop off goods. Itâ€™s not navigable because of the silt is all built up. Itâ€™s actually quite a small river now.
Coming down into the town from the castle was a really interesting ride again. There were a few swear words expressed by me, because of the narrow roads; between the houses it is two-way driving so when youâ€™re going downhill, I just had to be a little aggressive if a car was coming up, they had to either back up or figure out something else because I was coming down. It was quite the experience then we arrived in town, parked and walked back to her an interesting little restaurant with a patio beside the river.There was a German couple sitting there and of course, Irene immediately started the conversation, telling her whole history! Ross ordered beers for all of us (a little one for Irene of course) and then Irene went and got some squid! I hadnâ€™t eaten squid before but they were really good.
It was a lovely spot to sit in the sun and just rest for the end of their touring holiday; because it was getting late in the day we didnâ€™t spend too long there. The drive back was about 45 minutes and then we sat out on the patio at home until just past 6 oâ€™clock.
For dinner, I took them down to another highly praised restaurant that I wanted them to go to on the first day they arrived, Restaurant Odesus.
Irene and I shared a big casserole dish of seafood rice. You literally had to take all the varieties of seafood inside out individually cracker shells and then eat the food. It was hard work but my god was delicious. Ross ordered Sea bass. The presentation was incredible and he said it was really really good and thatâ€™s something I think I will get the next time I go there. Everything was so fresh itâ€™s so amazing, but then itâ€™s only caught that day. The rest of the evening was spent just sitting and chatting. I was tired so I tried to get this blog done then, but I had to wait until this morning early. Itâ€™s now a few minutes before eight and I will post this.
Ross and Irene are catching the 12:30pm bus up to Lisbon and then an 8 oâ€™clock flight out to Dublin. They plan to stay in Dublin for two days and then fly home to Toronto.
On Tuesday my American friends arrive. In between and I will be washing sheets preparing for them and just relaxing. it feels like my time is flying away.