Breakfast. Boys only 10 minutes late.
We did a quick trip to the supermarket. After the trip to E.coli Service Station, everyone is a bit sensitive about where our food is from. Bought a range of breads and crisps and plastic looking cheese slices. My bread rolls have a use-by date of Jan 2019, so I’m not convinced they have much that’s natural in them. But hopefully that includes bacteria.
Left the Sheraton, Lisbon, at 11:30. The resort in the Algarve only had a P.O. box address, so Husband looked on their website and entered the town name—Praia da Falesia—into the SatNav. All seemed fine.
After driving for about an hour, the SatNav directed us off the motorway. J checked, and said he thought it was probably avoiding the traffic queues which were ahead. The roads grew smaller and smaller. When we were directed down an unpaved road, we began to suspect something was wrong. Could the SatNav have been tampered with by a gang of criminals, who were waiting to rob and kill wealthy tourists they had led to remote Portugal? No. There is another Praia da Falesia, a farm, in the middle of nowhere.
We found a very long route back to the correct motorway (some of the roads needed tarmac, but Husband didn’t comment). We passed several trees, which we worked out were cork trees, as all the lower bark had been removed.
We stopped at services for petrol and washrooms (not food). There were many queues. Husband had to queue before he could fill with petrol, then fill the car, then queue again to pay. This took 20 minutes, Which meant the people 3 cars behind had an hour’s wait. Crazy system. The washrooms were awful—over used and under supplied.
J touched a remaining half-Twix which was bought at the food-poison services. Why? Why do we even have an E.coli-Twix in the car? Is this normal? We showered him in hand sanitiser.
I’m not sure what happened to the E.coli-Twix. Sometimes I block things.
We found Pine Cliffs Resort in Algarve. Had rather more trouble finding reception. Drove 47 loops of the resort. It looks very lovely, with white buildings and fountains and beautiful gardens. Shortage of useful signage though. Eventually we found the reception, and received the keys for our ‘villa’.
We are staying in Pine Cliffs Residences, which is a little flat with hotel services. We have 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a lounge/dining room, and a kitchen/utility room. They clean and change the towels and replenish the toiletries, just like in a hotel room. It’s pretty.
Unfortunately, it also has quite a lot of ants.
The resort has several restaurants, but they were very expensive (we were quoted €40 per person). A short walk away, there are several restaurants and a supermarket, so we used those. They were much cheaper, and still nice—in many ways they were better, as the resort is full of English people, and it was nice to eat in places that Portuguese tourists ate.
We had dinner in Ristorante Pizzeria S. Martino—a nice Italian restaurant with a good selection of pizzas. I had a nice gnocchi dinner, followed by a horrible marshmallow ice-cream (which tasted of bubble-gum).
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I have always written a diary on holiday, so last Christmas, I decided to find all my old diaries and blogs, and make a book for my children. However, several other people also asked for a copy, so I have written a public version – it’s available on Amazon and has been described as “The Durrells meet Bill Bryson”!
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