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A Sunday at Praia do Faro

A return to Faro day four


View A return to Faro on ToonSarah's travel map.

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Praia do Faro

There was a bit more cloud around this morning so we went to a different cafe for breakfast where we could sit inside. And joy, they had my favourite Portuguese treat, pastel de nata! The coffee however wasn't quite as good as our previous choice, nor as generous.

Despite the clouds we decided to follow our plan to go to the beach. In Faro that means catching a bus or ferry. We opted for the former, as the bus terminal was so close to our apartment. We were at the terminal in good time and the bus left promptly. All went well as far as the airport, where unsurprisingly the majority of passengers got off. The driver continued to the roundabout from which a road leads across the flat coastal strip to the bridge connecting the mainland to the barrier island where the beach, Praia do Faro, lies. The exit from the roundabout was blocked by a police car; we couldn't turn off. The bus driver retreated to the previous stop where he explained as best he could (he didn't speak much English) that the police hadn't given him a reason for the road block nor said how long it would last. We could walk the three kilometres to the beach or stay on the bus and return to town. He assured us that he wouldn't charge us the return fare if we decided to do that - I should hope not! Chris and I discussed our options briefly and decided to go back to town and try catching the ferry instead. But as we set off the driver clearly decided to give the beach road one last try, and it was open! So he managed to complete the journey to the terminus which is at the land end of the bridge. A short walk along the bridge and we'd arrived, finally!

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Praia do Faro

The first task was to have a coffee, and although the cappuccinos were disappointing (they seemed to have been sweetened) the sunny table with a view of the sea was not. Yes, a sunny table; during our elongated bus ride the clouds had parted and the weather had turned perfect for a spring outing!

We set off on a walk along the island, at first following the only road that runs along its spine between the mainly holiday homes that cluster either side of the bridge. Those on our right as we walked faced the lagoon, those on our left the open sea.

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Some of the holiday homes

As I had been some years before on Farol, I was captivated by the traditional chimneys and took lots of photos.

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Some of the chimneys

Soon we left the road to follow a boardwalk on the seaward side.

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The boardwalk

There were bright purple, yellow and white flowers everywhere.

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Some of the flowers

The sun came and went but for the most part shone brightly; and the sound of the waves accompanied our walk. Although it was a Sunday the beach wasn't at all crowded. A few people had settled down to sunbathe, others were walking their dogs or like ourselves simply walking.

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On the beach

After a while the holiday homes petered out and we were among the much simpler fishermen's houses. Dogs barked as we passed, a rooster crowed, and the sun grew hotter.

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Fishermen's houses

Taking lots of photos as we went, we eventually reached the point where all the houses finish, as does the boardwalk, and the nature reserve begins. It was at this point that we turned and retraced our steps.

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The boardwalk ends

Just before we reached the central point, by the bridge and parking area, we spotted a small beach-facing café with a shady table available. We ordered sandwiches which were huge and very good - generously filled and on homemade bread. It was such a treat, in early April, to be able to enjoy this simple but tasty meal accompanied by the sound of the sea!

After lunch we sampled the walk in the other direction but found it less interesting. There was no boardwalk so we had to follow the road, and much of the route was taken up by a rather dull looking campsite.

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Campsite water tower

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View towards the airport from the bridge

Still, we got a few more photos before again retracing our steps, this time in search of ice cream. By now the cafés around the bridge were busier but we managed to find some shade while we ate.

By now it was mid-afternoon and we'd been in the sun a long while, without hats (neither of us had thought to pack one!) So we decided to catch the next bus back to town and to relax for a while in our cosy studio.

In the evening we had an aperitif in the appropriately named Aperitivo bar on the main restaurant strip. For dinner we went to the casual restaurant owned by the driver of our boat tour on Friday, Tiago, which he had enthusiastically promoted. It proved a good choice as we had a very pleasant meal there. Tiago was in the open kitchen area at the back (he is the chef) and recognised us as we came in, which was nice. We shared some bread and cheese to start with as well as a delicious tuna stew. We both chose the same main course, a traditional Portuguese sausage with egg and chips - not my usual fare but I fancied a change from fish. For dessert we both had chocolate mousse which was served with a small shot of a bitter orange liqueur to pour on top - wonderful! And the bill for all of this, with a large glass of wine each too, was around 40 euros!

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Sausage, egg and chips, Portuguese style

Posted by ToonSarah 14:07 Archived in Portugal Tagged flowers beach houses portugal faro

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Comments

Another cracking read, Sarah.

I wonder what the cops were up to blocking the road.

I do love those chimneys, very Moorish which I suppose is to be expected in this part of the world.

by planxty

Thanks for blog , love the blue skies.

by alectrevor

Glad you both enjoyed this Fergy & Alec :) We never did find out why the road had been blocked off!

by ToonSarah

Love the chimneys. I have lots of chimney photos too. They are so dull here in the USA and so fun in Europe. Your flowers are beautiful.

Fun day . . .

by Beausoleil

Thanks Sally - yes, it was a lovely day!

by ToonSarah

Beautiful flower photos. Love all the colours.

by irenevt

Thanks Irene - the flowers here were stunning!

by ToonSarah

At least the watertower doesn't look dull, it's quite pretty actually :)

I have to ask, what is an pastel de nata? :)

by hennaonthetrek

Yes, the water tower is very nicely painted. A pastel de nata is a Portuguese custard tart - I assume you will have had them as they're popular everywhere now, but at their best in their country of origin 😀😀

by ToonSarah

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