Project 365 2018 Week 22-23 Days 147 – 160 and we got to revisit Portugal and spend time with my parents.
Sunday 27th May – Day 147
I was the only one who’d been awake listening to the thunderstorm in the early hours. The rest of the household would clearly sleep through a bomb being dropped on them.
We were invited over to the first Land Rover Legends event at Bicester Heritage, so Daddy P was in heaven. He’s owned Land Rover Discovery’s for years so it was just his kind of event. It’s always nice to see what’s been developed on the Bicester Heritage site since our last visit too.
My son, is just as addicted to his camera as his mother is.
Monday 28th May – Day 148
Bank Holiday Monday and a day for us to get sorted ahead of our holiday. There was some serious construction going on throughout the day.
While I got sorted for the week ahead Daddy P got his miniature steam traction engines out and got them running in the garden for the first time since before my son was born. You can imagine the squeals of delight.
Tuesday 29th May – Day 149
We took Brewster to the cattery first thing so he would be settled and wouldn’t get stressed with all the packing. After we’d sorted some last minute things it was time to have some fun. We’d been sent the Stikbot Castle set to review and my son loved putting together his own stop animation, quite the young director now.
Wednesday 30th May – Day 150
We got up early and headed to Birmingham Airport for our first flights with Jet2 as we headed off to Silves in Portugal. It’s become a bit of a tradition to have breakfast in Giraffe and we got a message to say that my brother was flying out to Dublin just before our flight was due to depart. So we got to have a catch up with him before boarding.
Once we’d picked the hire car up we headed off to meet up with my parents, who’d already driven over from Spain for the week. We’d all stayed together at Hotel Colina dos Mouros this time two years ago, so it was nice to know where we were heading and the layout of everything in advance. The only thing that had changed was the weather. Two years ago we had wonderful blue skies and really hot weather all week, this year was a bit of a shock. Clouds, lots of clouds.
Once we’d had lunch at the hotel we all decided to walk into Silves and walk along by the Arade river for a while. My son discovered this little climbing area and was eager to try it out. Blimey!
Thursday 31st May – Day 151
We woke up to blue skies and decided to get out and explore a couple of new places for us. First stop was Fiesa Sand City – International Sand Sculpture Festival. It was in its 15th year, my parents had visited before, but it was new for us, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
From there we headed into the fishing village of Ferragudo, just across the river Arade, from the larger town of Portimão. We explored the back streets for views across the estuary, and towards an old fort before heading into a square for lunch. Freshly grilled sardines were delicious.
A later afternoon relaxing by the pool, which we had to ourselves. My son was straight in, followed by his Dad and even my Mum. But blimey, the water was freezing and they were all soon shivering and wrapped under towels.
Friday 1st June – Day 152
We headed to the coastal town of Tavira, which is east of Faro, heading towards the border with Spain. It was somewhere my parents hadn’t been to in 20 odd years and a new discovery for us. I loved it, lots of rambling streets, a ruined castle which was free to explore, and an old Roman bridge crossing the river Gilão. It had something for everyone.
After a lovely meal, we headed inland to explore the Roman ruins of Milreu, just outside of Estoi. There were some lovely remnants of mosaics and it was well worth stopping off for a visit.
In the evening it was Daddy P’s choice for dinner, so we headed up to the castle in Silves for a meal at Cafe Ingles. The grilled octopus was just as good as I remembered from two years ago. But the weather was somewhat colder and the service was really rather poor.
Saturday 2nd June – Day 153
With a changeable weather forecast, we decided to revisit Zoo do Lagos, a favourite of Mum’s and my son’s. They’ve added a new penguin pool and beach area since our last visit. It was rather cold when we were there, but on a warm day, you can paddle in a pool right next to the penguins, build sandcastles and enjoy a snack. It looks like a great addition.
My son was happy snapping away as we walked around the zoo and we had a quick lunch there before heading into Lagos town to explore. We all like our cakes and the Pastelaria Mimo was a great find, divine chocolate cake.
I’d read about the Barragem de Odiaxere (also known as the Barragem da Bravura) and wanted to have a look round. It takes 8 hours to walk around the whole reservoir, which I knew my Mum wouldn’t manage, but it was still nice to find it and enjoy a few views before heading back to the hotel.
Sunday 3rd June – Day 154
We headed off for the day by ourselves to explore the western tip of the Algarve. The weather forecast was for heavy cloud, but as we approached the Fortaleza de Sagres, the rain clouds appeared. I’d left our raincoats at the hotel. Luckily we managed to avoid the rain all day, but it was certainly chilly at times.
The fort is only a facade but it opens out onto a large area at the tip of the coastline with plenty of wildflowers, views and insects to spot. My son loved running along the paths.
We grabbed a quick lunch in Sagres before heading onto to the most westerly point and the Cabo de São Vincente lighthouse. Sadly you can’t go up it, but it was still a good vantage point for views.
We followed the main road heading north and stopped at Carrapateira. There’s a wonderful beach that reminded me a little of Perranporth in Cornwall. A massive expanse of sand and lots of surfers enjoying the waves. Time for sandcastle building before getting back in the car.
We ended our day in Aljezur, exploring the castle ruins, finally in the sunshine, before heading back to Silves for the evening.
Monday 4th June – Day 155
We had hoped to spend the day on the beach, but it was really chilly so we headed inland to Loulé instead. We’d not been before, and there was a lovely indoor market to explore. Sadly the small castle was closed on Mondays and after a coffee stop, he headed back to the car and decided to drive along some of the country roads inland before heading back to the hotel in Silves. We stopped in one of the villages for lunch and spent the drive listening to my son reading to us (yes reading!!) from my travel guide.
In the afternoon my son spent a few hours with his grandparents while we went off and explored Silves. It’s a pretty town, with lots of rambling cobbled streets. We’ve visited the castle before, and remembered the excellent Cafe Da Rosa pastelaria close by, so stopped there for a bit of cake before exploring some more.
Tuesday 5th June – Day 156
The weather forecast for the afternoon looked a bit better than we’d had all week so we decided to spend the morning in Portimão before heading to the beach for lunch and the rest of the afternoon.
It worked out perfectly and the sun actually came out for a few hours too. Dad and I went for a walk along the length of the beach, Mum sat with her puzzle book on a lounger and Daddy P was instructed to help with a massive sandcastle build. My son ran in and out of the sea for hours and was so happy.
Wednesday 6th June – Day 157
Time to fly home. The week had flown by, and even though the weather wasn’t brilliant we’d all had a good time. We sad goodbye to my parents at the hotel and headed back to Faro airport. Saying goodbye to them never gets any easier.
Back to reality with a bump when I opened my emails to a catalogue of problems at the house I rent out. It wasn’t quite the welcome home I needed.
Thursday 7th June – Day 158
Back to school and time to pick Brewster up from the cattery. One very grumpy cat came home from the cattery. He spent the day ignoring me or biting my feet.
I’d had a sleepless night and was shattered, so decided to give college a miss and catch up with house jobs instead.
My son was happy to be reunited with his best friend, but he was clearly tired after school. A good nights sleep was in order for both of us.
Friday 8th June – Day 159
Our neighbour had taken in a parcel for me while we were away. It’s a Millennium Falcon for us to review, with lights, sounds and movement, I had no chance of getting my son to practice his time’s tables this morning.
I’d made a decision before we went away that I wouldn’t officially be back at work until Monday, but I did turn on the laptop this morning to go through some admin and get a few posts written up.
Saturday 9th June – Day 160
Too much to ask that my son would sleep in this morning, but we had a lazy start to the day with our traditional breakfast in bed, of croissants. Popped to our local shop to get something for lunch and came home with a new Orchid, only £8, which I thought was a bargain. It’s been a stressful few days, I needed a bit of petal therapy!
The sun is out so I think we’ll lounge about in the garden this afternoon now my son has actually done some of his homework.