A boat, a town and a few beaches – Algarve, Portugal

I’ve already blogged about our scenic cliff hike and climbing on rocks while in Portugal, so this last post will cover a boat trip, a day at the beach, and an afternoon in the town of Silves to wrap up our time in Portugal.

First up, because I like to be chronological, is the trip we took to Ponta da Piedade and Lagos, Portugal.  Ponta da Piedade is considered one of the most beautiful places along the coast, with the wind- and water-worn limestone cliffs curved into all sorts of amazing formations.

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My attempt at capturing how scenic it is, but, I will be honest, if you google Ponta da Piedade, you will find this exact same shot, taken by better photographers than I.  Oh well. Stay tuned for a family selfie next – you can’t find that on google images!
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As successful as usual with our family selfies – one kid with eyes closed, and we are completely blocking the background.  Plus, this was the photo that made C realize he needed a hair cut (whoa boy, spoiler alert – wait ’til you see that hair cut!)

IMG_0441 (2).JPGWe were planning to take a boat ride from here, which seemed possible while I was doing my internet research. However, there was clearly no boat tour leaving from here, so we hopped back in the car and headed to the marina in Lagos for our boat ride along the cliffs.IMG_0603 (2).JPGWe rode on a small speed boat with a driver, the 5 of us and a German couple.  Our boat driver/tour guide spoke excellent English and some German (and Portuguese of course), and had a sailboat, sailing competitively since he was kid.  I felt like we were in good hands with him, as he weaved in and out of grottos and along cliffs.

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Do you think we can make it through that crack? I didn’t think so, but apparently our driver did!
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Duck!  Glad the Germans went through first!

Though the tour was nice, I would have preferred to go at a different time of day – at 1pm when we were on our tour, the sun was directly in front of us, making it hard to get good pictures as we cruised along the coast.

It would have also been better to not be on the tour during high tide.  There were some caves we couldn’t get into because the tide was too high.

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We couldn’t get into this cave during high tide – it was hard to image the tide being low enough to get in there, but apparently it is!

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In fact, here is a video of us going into a cave during our high-tide tour.  We really bobbed up and down as the tide came in and out of the cave.

About an hour into the trip, we were still heading away from the marina, so I was kind of wondering if the tour would end on time.  Well – no worries – once we turned around to head back, our tour guide/boating professional gunned the motor and we took off absolutely flying!  The driver was spinning us around and driving as if he was going to crash straight into a rock before swerving to the side at the last minute.

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The boat driver aimed straight at this big rock, and only swerved at the very last minute. This was the best picture, because as we got closer, I was becoming less certain that he was really going to drive around it! And then he swerved around it the opposite direction that we thought he would, so that was kind an unsettling feeling as we started to bank hard left.

N was sort of freaking out, but, considering how he normally is, was holding it together fairly well.  The big boys (in the row in front of us) were laying down on their bench, and I jokingly told N that the driver didn’t like that the boys were sleeping on his tour, and was trying to wake them up.  N leaned over to his brothers and in a nervous, yet bossy voice, told them they better get up!

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N believed the driver would drive really fast until his brothers got up. 

IMG_0598 (3).JPGOverall, a fantastic hour and a quarter on the water, enjoying the lovely views!

Praia da Marinha

We spent one day playing in the surf at Praia da Marinha.  We had been there for a quick stop a few days earlier, when we hiked there from our Airbnb.  However, the first time we didn’t stay, or even go down to the beach, we just turned around and hiked back.  Today, though, we were ready to dedicate a whole day to playing and splashing on the beach.

Our first glimpse was from the parking lot above the beach.IMG_0623 (2).JPGNext, we headed down a set of steps to an opening in the rocks.

 

Then, the boys stake claim on a rock on the beach to stash our stuff.

 

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the boys are on the beach waving to me still at the top of the stairs

Then, the boys stake claim on a rock on the beach to stash our stuff.

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Boys at the rock on the right – looks far from the water now, doesn’t it? Just wait….

Before the boys hit the water, I asked them to walk with me to explore the other end of the beach.  C decides to make it a race – with staggered start times based on perceived speed (I get to go second – I think I’m a bit insulted 😕 )

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L catches up to N and had already passed me – but I gave up my shot at the win in order to take pictures #momsacrifice

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I was curious to see if we could get past the rocks under the arch, but it didn’t seem possible, unless you dug under them.

Then the boys raced back to our rock….

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C may have given the boys a head start, but he is NOT going to let them win!

…and playing in the surf commenced.

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They took breaks from the surf to play in the sand.IMG_0678 (2)

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But, like Cinderella and the clock striking midnight, we also felt the passing of time as the tide rose towards our rock and the beach got smaller and smaller.

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Do you see where that lady is walking through the wet sand? My (now wet) towel had been laying there next to the rock, with my phone and kindle while I was helping A bury himself.  Luckily, a friendly lady next to us grabbed my phone and kindle before the water could wash them away!

Soon after the picture above, the big boys headed out, and I let N play for a few more minutes in the surf, before we reluctantly left the beach.

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Run, N!  He is still a bit of a scaredy-cat about the waves, but has come a long way since he was a baby and didn’t want his feet to touch the sand (or grass or snow…)! Overly cautious or not, he was still having an absolute blast!

Strolling around Silves, Portugal

After lots of time on the beach, we took an afternoon to head to the nearby (and in-land) town of Silves.  Though currently a small, charming Portuguese town, it was actually the capital of the entire region during the rule of the Moors, about a thousand years ago.

We drove straight up to the area of the castle (of course, like any good castle, it was up on top of a big hill).  We certainly didn’t see all the sights of Silves, but had a nice walk around the castle area, and stopped for lunch in the shadow of the castle.

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That wraps up our road trip to Portugal!  Back to Spain we go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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