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Portugal - Algarve

To end my trip, I decided to "take it easy" and settle in the Algarve, more precisely in Armação de Pêra. It's a small village that explodes with tourists in the summer and... it's the main reason I visit Portugal in the spring. The hordes of tourists have the same effect on me as the hordes of Mongols... they make me want to run away.




After settling into a cute apartment, I set off in search of deserted beaches... and pirate caves.


Portuguese pirates wreaked havoc on all seas for many years.They were particularly active in the Caribbean, where they attacked ships returning to Europe loaded with spices, gold, coffee or cocoa.


The most famous Portuguese pirate was Bartolomeu Português, a ruthless captain but he valued honor and his word that he would never break. He was the one who wrote the famous Pirate Code, which was a set of rules and guidelines intended to civilize relations between lawless sailors.



On my first outing, I found the perfect beach, praia (beach) das Furnas.



Praia das Furnas was thus the first in a series of magnificent, almost deserted beaches...


And, unlike the mayor of Montreal who decided to remove trash cans from parks in order to "raise awareness" among Montrealers, the Algarve has installed trash cans everywhere and... the beaches are clean and without ANY waste.


The Algarve is the southernmost and warmest region of Portugal. It is also the sunniest with an average of 2800 hours of sunshine per year... while in Quebec we have a meager 1600 hours of sunshine. This magnificent sun, however, is not enough to warm the water to an acceptable temperature for my fragile skin. The Atlantic is very beautiful but it's chilly.



Caldas de Monchique

Today it's hot... it's very hot. So, what's better than going to the mountains, where the temperature is a few degrees cooler.


I am heading towards Caldas de Monchique. This village has been famous for its thermal waters since Roman times. There is a pleasant freshness under the trees.


I take the opportunity to taste the famous alkaline water of Monchique at the source and, while I do, I rub my knees with it, hoping that they will regain their 20-year suppleness.


To end the day, I go to the highest point in the region, Pico da Foia (902 m). A restaurant, Luar da Foia (Moonlight of Foia) is installed there. I sit down and enjoy the view while tasting a pork shank and, of course, a bottle of Alentejo wine.



Epilogue

I love Portugal, the Portuguese and Portuguese gastronomy. This blog has made you discover only a tiny part of this country, it is now your turn to explore it.


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