The Algarve – enough sunshine to burn my nose

The last two days have been spent in Lagos, Southern Portugal.  For the first time since I started traveling I have finally experienced warm weather, warm enough that it was comfortable beach weather. 

Lagos is this wonderful little tourist town where almost everyone speaks both Portuguese and English, at least all those I’ve run into.  There are cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops on every corner.  There is lots to do here but it is more activities than traditional tourist sites like museums and cultural sights.  I advoided them all the whole time I was here.

My first afternoon was spent entirely on the beach reading.  Not going in the water because I’m not overly fond of swimming, but there were lots of people in the water. 

Today was spent touring the nearby grottos by boat.  This was fabulous! One of the guys on the tour hopped in the ocean and the look on his face when the freezing cold water hit him was priceless.  Before he jumped in the skipper informed him that he should watch out for sharks about 4m long, but not too worry because the skipper would pick them up on the sonar before they were a problem.  We didn’t know if he was joking or not.

Later, my two new Ontario friends and I hiked the same cliffs by foot.  We were able to head down to a vacant beach.  The beach was surrounded by cliffs and there were rock formations partially blocking the ocean from view.  It was like something out of a pirate movie.

Lagos’ chill atmosphere is very tempting.  Some of the people in the hostel have been here for weeks, unable to leave.  There are lots of water sports such as kayaking, deep sea fishing, surfing, wakeboarding or paragliding to take part in.  But most people spend their days on the beach and their nights in the bar.  Also, there are an amazing amount of Canadians, from all across the country, in the same hostel as me.

As relaxing as Lagos has been, I am excited to head to Coimbra tomorrow and then Barcelona days later.  For all of you who don’t know where Coimbra is (which I would guess is most of my dear readers since I had no idea where it was until I was picking a place off of the train map), I suggest you look it up and improve your knowledge of European geography! See this whole trip is all about education!


April 15, 2008. Portugal.

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