This is my sixth visit to Portugal, and in all the previous trips I have mainly gone along with my husband and MIL and trailled along to where they have always gone in the past. This has meant eating at the same restaurants on the same evening of the year, going to the Country Club barbecue on Wednesday evenings, going for early morning walks along the same part of the beach, visiting the same Michelin star restaurant on our last evening here. It is very pleasant, but hardly adventurous. It took my husband around 25 visits, before he managed to get to Lisbon, with me, and see a different part of Portugal, away from the Algarve.
This year, with having my daughter with us, has meant that she and I have managed to get away and do entirely new activities, like taking the Buggy Safari Adventures, up into the hills around the Algarve. What a thrill that was. Due to the amount of dust that this trip involves, there are no action shots at present, but our wondeful guide took numerous photos, which they assured us they would edit and get up onto their facebook page in the next few days.
There were 3 couples on the tour, and I bet they took one look at me, and decided to put me at the front as the slowest driver, and let everyone go at my pace. Well they got a shock once I got the hang of the steering, I can tell you, I was off! A pro they said, making their best efforts to keep up with me.
The view was superb, although there was little chance for me as the driver to stop and admire it. The smell of the foliage was also devine, when it wafted into the nostrils, but was unfortuantely drowned out by the smell of the fuel fumes of the buggy.
I saw the most amazing colours on 1 plant, which appeared an incandescent blue, which I assumed was due to the amount of azulene in the plant. It reminded me of the Blue Mountains in Australia, which are named after the blue haze from the Eucalyptus trees. There was more than the blue haze to remind me of my time in Australia. There were areas here where the dirt was red, like the Outback around Alice Springs too, and one of the few times I have swum in a river was in Oz.
Our time in the buggy was interspersed with stops at places where we could grab a drink and a bite to eat, at places that MB has never dared to venture near. One such stop was in Querenca, a pituresque town situated on a hilltop. We stopped for a coffee and cake, and I discovered the most delicious cake imaginable, it was so moist. I think it had honey in it, as well as almonds. I bought 4, to bring back to the villa and let everybody have a taste of our adventure.
If you ever find yourself out here in the Algarve, I would highly recommend this trip. We did the 6 hour adventure, which was possibly a tad long. The final part was a “lap” in the dust, well to be honest I had had enough at this stage. We were running late, and I was beginning to get concerned about MB who was waiting for us, to pick us up. He had been told to be there for 4.30pm it was already ten past 5 and we were still a little way away. He would probably have told MIL that he would be gone an hour, and we were now looking at a couple of hours, so I was anxious to get back, not to drive insanely in the dust. We had had our swim in the river to cool off, and were slightly damp, the sun was now lower than the shade on the buggy, and getting in my eyes triggering the start of a headache,and I was beginning to feel hot and bothered. I watched and waited whilst the other 2 did their laps, but I was glad to get back, to get my dusty body in the bath.
For Algarve Buggy Tours check out their website http://algarvebuggytours.com/#_=_
Weather; 28 degrees celsius
Book; The Sea Lady: Margaret Drabble
Swimming; Zero, bath straight after getting in from Buggy Tour.