Portugal 20060903

We arrive and get to bed in the early hours of the morning. It’s a long enough journey, about 8 hours from door-to-door, but at least it’s a single flight from Belfast International Airport.

In the morning, Pops gives me a tour around the complex. If this complex was the only one in the area, as it was when Mum and Pops bought their 25-year timeshare, then the development would have been fine. But inevitably much has changed and the area is well overdeveloped. The only vacant land is a former German-owned beer garden next door.

By the time I get all the essential groceries and everyone gets ready, it’s time for lunch, which we take at a lovely beachside hut-style restaurant. It was once nothing more than a literal shack, but has been upgraded tastefully with lots of wood and sea motifs. Madame Oui and I order too much food but enjoyed it all the same.

The beach is good and long, and the rocky cliffs provide some protection from erosion. We find a spot. I am aware that we have no sun umbrella, which I will fix.

Swimming in the ocean on a hot summer day feels so good. Pops and I swim a good distance out then freestyle back in. Jim’s a good swimmer and it takes me some effort to keep up with him. I collapse on my beach towel and let the sun dry me off.

For dinner we go the strip and Mum and Pop’s favourite restaurant. It’s good food and the portions are generous. I struggle to finish my spare ribs (which were lacking a sauce). Afterwards, we stroll up for some late night shopping. I bought a small bottle of port. We also call into a good ice cream parlour. I had a large cone of Kiwi and banana scoops. Yummy.

We took a long stroll via the back road to our complex. A good full first day on holiday.

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