25th September 2021 by emmadurnford

25th September 2021

1 year, 181 days since the start of the 1st lock down in March 2020

Today was out last full day in Portugal and Colin has been determined to see the sea before we lave. We rose early and after breakfast headed down to the Algarve. The car was still in position at the steep angle on the cobbled street but not too much clutch burning today.

It literally took less than an hour and a half to get to Manta Rota which was a lovely small resort, low level and with a vast golden sandy beach. We went wild and hired a couple of sun beds and an umbrella. I had made no more promises than that I would paddle but in the event the sea was so warm that we braved a swim and it was lovely. We even sunbathed afterwards to dry off.

Afterwards we drove into Tavira which we had visited back in 2001. Apart from the Roman bridge I could not really remember any of the town but it is a nice town and we had a lovely lunch - I had a large tuna steak and Colin has swordfish.

I drove back to Mértola and coped with the narrow streets to our new parking area which was actually very easy and there were plenty of spaces. To top it off, the parking machine was broken so we did not have to pay. As I was driving I realised that I really should have put on sun cream when on the beach - I now appear to be wearing a white bathing costume with a red body!

We are heading up to Lisbon tomorrow for our evening flight at 6.45pm so despite not wanting to, we started to pack so we’d have less to do in the morning. It never goes in as neatly as when flying out and I have added bottles of olive oil, wine and presents so I suspect it is considerably heavier than when flying out.

We went out a bit later to get a snack for dinner which was not that successful but we did get a pancake after a long wait and Colin had brought along a lemon as well to pep it up. On our last walk back in the dark we had some great nature ‘spots’ - I saw a massive Death’s head hawkmoth on a wall. It was literally almost 4 inches long and very impressive. Afterwards we saw a number of geckos including a little one that we named stumpy as he had lost his tail a while ago. A good last evening.
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