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Taking a Break / Kicking Back in Luz

By Hannah and Ben

semi-overcast 14 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Taking a Break

My parents decided to separate themselves from Abby and I today, and we both enjoyed our breaks from one another. Abby and I rose very late, as the whole family had stayed up past one o'clock the night before, and were up and about for less than an hour before Mom and Dad headed out the door. We enjoyed our lazy start, reading and chatting and eating breakfast, and finally decided to get out and about by taking a look at the pools that are located at the back of the apartment complex. Dipping our fingers in, we found the shallower of the two to be mildly heated, while the other was rather frigid. In the end, we decided to go out on a walk up the cliffs by the beach, and maybe even take a small tour of the town. The view from the top of the bluffs was just as incredible as it had been before, though the sky was a little cloudier, the wind a little nippier. We sat there for awhile, looking down at the grey-blue waves and quiet village below. It's not a view that grows tiresome quickly.

Algarve: on top of the world

Algarve: on top of the world

Eventually, we headed back down the cliffs, and meandered for a bit, stopping to watch a sand sculptor and looking for an open shop to take a look inside. The only stores that seemed to be open for business were a pharmacy and a cramped shop selling various odds and ends, like jewelry and hairpieces. On the way back home, we stopped to take pictures of some of the colourful blooms outside people's houses, and only took one wrong turn. When we arrived, we were saddled with the task of preparing dinner, which I think we did well and without complaint. No dishes for us, at least.

By Hannah

Just Kicking Back in Luz

When we first planned to visit the Algarve we were only going to stay for four days, but after having the kids input we decided to extend our stay to a full week—why would we leave sun and luxury prematurely? Today and tomorrow are to be our lazy days. Muriel and I promised to leave the kids to their own devices until dinner today and we would do our own thing. I slept until after 9:00 and enjoyed some coffee on the balcony and then got caught up on some international news. We are on the Sky cable service in our apartment which gives us news channels from around the world and many are in English. I watched Russian News, Chinese News, South African News, French News and British News. It was very interesting to see the differences.

After Muriel got up we had a fruit salad made from fresh pineapples, mangos, and a few other fruits. It seems that frequent trade between Portugal and Brazil make for some very inexpensive prices on mangos and pineapples so we are taking full advantage.

Algarve: overlooking Luz

Algarve: overlooking Luz

After a leisurely breakfast Muriel and I went to hike up the lower and upper bluffs above Luz, which Hannah and I explored a few days ago. The sun was warm and the view free of any mist. We lingered up top for a long time just sitting on the rocks and enjoying the view. We sauntered down into town to look for a cafe for a lunchtime snack. I was nudged out of my laid back state when I found out I had left my sunglasses on top of the bluff. But since time was not really an issue I just took it as second chance for a work out and jogged up and down in about 20 minutes.

Algarve: Yum

Algarve: Yum

I now felt entitled to a Sagres Beer.
We found a homey looking sidewalk cafe and sat outside. Even though it was getting a little cooler it was still comfortable to sit outside. Muriel had a coconut milk shake and tomato soup complete with an egg floating on top (standard practice for Portuguese soup as we recalled from 20 years ago). The bowl of soup was just 2 euros. I ordered my beer and a bifana, which is a pork sandwich. I remember these sandwiches fondly from visiting Lisbon 20 years ago when every street cafe served them for about a dollar apiece. I was not disappointed, although the price had gone up a fair bit.

We wandered the streets a bit, finding most shops closed for the Christmas season. Muriel talked to a local and found that there will be no increase in tourists here over Christmas vacation and that the area really only fills during the summer months, when the town population increases tenfold. It seems that the price of our accommodation goes up proportionally as well. We are paying 63 dollars Canadian, and in the summer our place goes for about 325 dollars Canadian. We are really enjoying the benefits of the off season.

Abby and Hannah cooked us a salmon dinner with wild rice and sautéed carrots and peas. It was delicious! It is so great having the kids doing their share of the cooking, dishes and shopping. They really are growing up and are great travel companions.

We have made plans for leaving the day after tomorrow. We are heading for Tarifa, Spain for a night and leaving from there the next day for an overnight trip to Tangiers, Morocco. We will leave our car and most of our gear back in Spain. It should be quite an adventure. We will return and spend one more night in Tarifa, head off to visit Gibraltar for half a day and then go to Granada. We will visit the Alhambra there and make for Valencia for a three night stay before we go to Barcelona for a weeklong stay over Christmas.

by Ben

Posted by KZFamily 12.12.2012 13:14 Archived in Portugal Tagged cliffs beach walk portugal algarve luz

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Comments

Sounds like you guys have really settled in to traveling together. It's amazing how easy it is to get used to! I'm enjoying reading about your travels. Gibraltar is a really neat place, make sure you drive up the "rock" and see the chimpanzees and caves.

12.12.2012 by Christine

That supper you all cooked for your parents sounds wonderful.
Looking ahead your weather for the next few days might be in the 16C - 19C range and Gibraltar is great cruise port for folks from the UK to escape the rain and snow , they are in -6C right now. Watch out for the monkeys as they are known stealers of anything loose on your person. A toursit train ( on car wheels) I believe is free or not expensive that takes you on a tour.
Great writeups by both of you.
Cheers

12.12.2012 by RobBar

Hi Ben and family,
I'm not sure if I finally got into the Travellerspoint. Anyway, it was quite funny, when I checked your demo about joining (in our library), your voice came on the air. I guess I was using the "special" computer. It was lovely hearing your familiar voice, Ben.
Once again your travel reports allow one to get a wonderful glimpse into all the amazing and wonderful adventures you are enjoying. I can imagine that the girls love doing their own exploration at times and the grown ups also get a little break from the kids! Of course you are staying in a very peaceful and safe part of Europe.
I can imagine how peaceful it must feel, spending some carefree days in such a beautiful area.
Also you are missing the Christmas rush, which no matter how hard we try, is not always possible for us who are left behind in Victoria!
I look forward to reading about your Christmas in Barcelona. For now safe travels across the ocean to all of you!

13.12.2012 by Edith

Both of your days sound so wonderful - relaxing and enjoying the beauty atop those cliffs by the beach! I love the sisterly bonding time that you girls got, and other than the egg floating on your soup, Muriel, I wish I was right there feasting with you hobbits! Today something made us think of your 'rustic' experience trying to make dinner while getting electric shocks and having your cold water explode from the very useful plastic bag holding it all together! What an experience! I won't tell you what we had for dinner, it was nothing as yummy sounding as the feast you girls prepared - way to go! Micah and I did explore some new terrain today though, new to us - Jocelyn Hill - it was an awesome 2 hour hike up to the peak during which we heard and saw several kinds of birds and mushrooms (well, we didn't hear the mushrooms :) Gorgeous views of the gulf islands and the Goldstream area. Just trying to make you want to come home!
Judy

12.12.2012 by Judy Aalders

10:38 pst 13/12/12
Ha ha, you guys fooled me, same article I read yesterday but pictures changed

13.12.2012 by RobBar

Judy, we aren't familiar with Jocelyn Hill but it sounds great. You will have to take us up there when we return (yes, we ARE returning -- who could leave beautiful BC for long?)
Muriel

13.12.2012 by KZFamily

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