We started out the day planning to go to Sao Teotonio. I needed to get fuel in the car; I donâ€™t like it when it gets below a quarter full.
Carol wanted to go to a place called Orada – she thought it looked really interesting and was in the middle of nature.
First because we were thinking of lodging for next year, we thought weâ€™d look and see where the two bedroom apartment was, that LuÃs’ mother has in town. On the way we stopped in front of the bakery, so Carol could go in and get some bread and maybe something else. We were later than the usual buyers – I wondered if there was anything left. Carol did get a loaf of bread, and two of the last little pastries.
Then we drove through a couple of the town streets to see where that apartment was because it apparently backed onto Zambujeira cliffs, and you could just walk out and sit at the edge of the ocean. It had an interesting description, and the rental is slightly cheaper than what we are in now, and youâ€™re right in town. Not that I complain about what have now! I think itâ€™s top notch, but Luis is not ready to open up the rental for next year. I suspect heâ€™s going to raise the price.
Anyway, driving slowly through those narrow streets, we came up to a turn; it was cobblestone. I was driving. I started to turn left and then realized there was a sunroom jutting out in the way. Oops! So I decided to back up. I couldnâ€™t get the car into reverse so that I could back up. Every time I started to release the clutch and accelerate thinking I was going backward, it slid forward, closer and closer to the wall. I was starting to panic. Charlie asked if I wanted him to do it; immediately I said yes, but even the handbrake wasnâ€™t holding properly on the cobblestones, so switching Charlie into the driver seat was a very quick treacherous move. He couldnâ€™t get the gear into reverse either and inch by inch that low wall was getting closer.I yelled at somebody walking by for help to push. And then somebody else came up to help. One of the fellows offered to get in the car and back up, but then he realized he didnâ€™t know how to drive standard. Charlie got back in, and we started to push and gradually it moved off the cobblestones. The tires just werenâ€™t gripping – it was an awful feeling , Charlie had to back down the narrow street, back around the corner to get the car turned in the right direction. Then he stopped. He got out handed me the keys. I think we were both very tense.
Next time we will look for the apartment on foot!
We went off to towards Sao Teotonio, and on to Carolâ€˜s retreat. The description on their website, which I found later in the day is here: ( I might have tried to change Carol’s mind if I had read this before!)
Monte Orada is an old twelfth century sanctuary, a place for contemplation and connection with nature and water. It is a place to get inspired to redesign life’s attitudes on Earth and manifest that awakening. Orada is a family run, eco-sustainable, community based soul retreat centre, nestled in 71 hectares of nature and privacy, created with the aim of expanding health and proposing purposeful transformational moments. Nestled in the heart of a nature sanctuary in the woods of Odemira, Alentejo, South West Portugal, bordering Algarve.
The road downhill was sandy, potholed, steep and winding. Halfway down, we decided to stop and park and walk. ( I think we were remembering our earlier morning escapade). It was 3/4 of a kilometre down according to Google maps and we arrived at the retreat in the middle of the valley. Carol asked questions of a young woman who was coming down to work;she said the place had been booked for a retreat and no visitors were allowed.
Charlie offered to hike up the hill to retrieve the car and we enthusiastically took him up on it !
Not long after Charlie picked us up and we went back up the road and into town looking for place where we could sit in the patio outside. In the centre of the Sao Teotonio we found a little Indian restaurant, picked up a beer and a samosa each. The joke was on Charlie and I, because we had pointed to the beer bottles we wanted, since therestaurant owner didnâ€™t speak English and the beer we got was sem alcohol!
Later, I wanted them to go up to a small town Cavaleiro, this time not to see a beach, but to experience eating barnacles. I have talked about barnacles before in this blog; theyâ€™re a delicacy here. They are very expensive because they are very difficult to acquire. They literally have to be scraped off the rocks, and when you cook them, you prepare them in salt water and donâ€™t overcook them. They cost about â‚¬42 a kilogram. We just had a taste, about three or four each, and a beer, of course. What do they taste like? The sea! That was the description I was given a month ago and it is accurate. Carol and I really like them but I am not so sure about Charlie, though he did like his beer.
Next stop was home to pick up all our equipment for painting, drawing, and photographing, and we went down to Zambujeira to the main beach to see what we could come up with. It was warm out but, when you get down there the wind was blowing and the tide was coming in.
Returning home we sat around and drank wine on the patio.Later on we had some soup and salad and that was the day. We started a series called Bad Sisters, on Apple TV. We were all tired, so it was early to bed.