Saturday, 3 September 2016

Portimao and Albufeira

Note: south of Lagos, we entered an internet dead zone.  We've only been able to get text emails and basic weather info for the last 2-3 weeks on the boat, and even the cafes and bars seem to have very limited internet.  The next 3 posts, coming in rapid succession, are brought to you from the fantastic staff of the Cadiz tourist office, who have let me sit in their air-conditioned waiting room.

The anchorage at Portimao is fantastic, with beautiful ocre-colored cliffs, good holding, and plenty of room.  We were looking forward to a few calm nights after the chaos of Lagos and its nightclubs around the marina.  Unfortunately, even though we were quite far away from the actual town of Portimao, the sound from the techno-club carries over the water and we were treated to another few nights of boom-boom-boom.  We tried to get into the spirit of the thing, telling each other is was summer in the Algarve, we could catch up on sleep during the day, etc.  That attitude exercise worked until 2 a.m., when we decided that we really were bothered by the noise and would leave earlier than planned.

Albufeira is a marina nestled in a crack in the cliffs with wonderful protection from the wind, although it does get a lot of swell if winds are southerly.  We pulled into our rather narrow spot without any misadventure (Patrick checked out the spot before we even left the welcome dock).  There is nothing in the marina area of Albufeira except restaurants and nightclubs.  As a treat after more than a week of techno and dance music, we were treated to a night of “best of Sting” followed by a drunk Irishman screaming out pop songs from the Irish pub.  Mercifully, they ended their shows at midnight.

We knew we would be anchored for many days at our next port and had friends coming in, so we needed to load up on food.  We ended up taking a bus into town to a major grocery store and made our way back to the boat in a tuk-tuk taxi just in time to cast off the lines and make it out of the marina for the hop down the coast to the Ria Formosa near Faro.  As usual, the option was to head out in a rush or to stay for 3 or 4 more days because of bad weather.  It feels like we’ve been pushing ahead like this for weeks.  I found myself getting very frazzled and knew I needed a long rest.