I have survived my first winter in Cornwall. Hooray!
To celebrate Brogan and I went on holiday! Annoyingly, our annual leave was booked during half term, so flights were expensive. But that didn’t stop us. We got the plane to Lisbon, in Portugal, to begin our week away.
We didn’t actually spend any time in Lisbon as we were eager to explore the coast of the Algarve. We headed straight to Odeceixe. We arrived before sunset, eager to squeeze in a surf, but the surf was massive and no one was out. Not knowing the beach we decided to give it a miss and have a stoll on the beach before finding a room for the night in the village and grabbing dinner. The village was super pretty but really quiet. I’m presuming it gets quite a bit busier in the summer months. After a not-so-great dinner we found somewhere selling Pastel de nata’s. We grabbed one for pudding – our first of many on this trip!
The next morning was a beautiful one. We had breakkie where we were staying and then headed to the beach. The surf was still big and blown out so we had a beach run and then a bikini swim in the river. It was cold in the water, but stunning and exhilerating. Next stop, Arrifana.
Again, the surf was too big for me here. But Brogan went in while I sunbathed. We had a yummy lunch in the town nearby before heading to Sagres. We spent a couple of days in Sagres, exploring the beaches in the region. We had such a lovely time. We stayed in the same place we stayed in 3 years earlier. The apartment was great, and we made breakfasts there and dinner one evening. It also had an outdoor pool and sauna which of course we had to use before leaving. The pool was freezing, but the sauna was dreamy.
From Sagres we moved slightly along the coast for one night in Luz. We ate a a super yummy restaurant, Chicca’s, which was amazing for veggies and served loads of organic produce. I was in food heaven. https://www.facebook.com/Chiccas-Restaurant-Praia-da-Luz-102446873174764/
From Luz we made the journey to Seville in Spain. We knew the journey would be a few hours, but it took a seriously long time. We (tried to) avoid the toll road in Portugal as we didn’t have a pass to use it. That meant taking the more coastal main road. It took bloody ages. Once we were finally in Seville it was a nightmare. The roads in the old part of the city were super narrow, the locals constantly use their horns, and there’s pretty much nowhere to park. I was stressed and I wasn’t even driving! We finally found our hostel and paid €18 to park our car in their stupidly disigned indoor parking lot for the night.
Feeling tired, hungry, and slightly stressed we wondered around the streets on the hunt for food. We stopped in two tapas bars and had a selection of veggie dishes from each, including battered sticks of aubergine, patatas bravas (of course), risotto, and some tasty fried vegetables. We had a reasonably early night as we were both so tired. However, we didn’t sleep well as a couple of guys came beack to the hostel late and pretty drunk. One of them thought it would be a great idea to have a phone call just outside our room for half an hour – nice one!
The next morning was a new day! When we finally found somehwere to park our car for a couple of hours, we got to wonder round the city and admire the sights in gorgeous sun light. What a stunning city! So much beauty around every corner. It made the journey there so worth it. I would recommend anyone to visit Seville – but don’t drive here!
Next stop was visiting our friend Hugo. Hugo is teaching English and living in El Puerto De Santa Maria. When we arrived he was still at work so we visited El Palmer and soaked up the sun whilst lounging at a restaurant, eating yummy food and admiring the view of the sea. We headed to Hugo’s local beach in time for when he finished work. It was so cool to see him again. We all had a sick little body surf. In the evening we headed out for tapas and beers (quite a few).
The next morning we actually had a lie in (probably because of the beers)! And it was raining! The first bit of rain we had on our trip. But not just normal rain. It was basically raining sand. We came up witht he theory that it was sand which had been blown over from the Sahara. All of the cars were covered in a thick layer of sand. Once the rain had stopped Brogan and I ventured over to Cadiz by train.
We had a wonder through the streets of Cadiz, eventually reaching the sea. It felt odd standing in a city, looking down a big wall, into the calm sea. We then headed back into the centre of Cadiz and found a veggie Paella from a restaurant with views of the Cathedral. During lunch we eavesdropped on some other English people who had just been inside the Cathederal who said it was spectacular, so we decided we should go inside too.
The Cathedereal cost €5 each to visit, including a visit up the tower. I am so glad we did it. It really was spectacular. One of my favourite authors is Ken Follet, and being in the Cathederal made me think of his book; The Pillars of the Earth. One of my favourite parts of the building was the crypt underground. If you stand in the centre and clap, the noise echoes all around you. If you have the chance to go you sooooo have to do it. After our audio tour around the Cathederal we marched up to the top of the tower. After calming my nerves from the height I was at, I was blown away by the incredible views of the city and the sea.
We finished that day off with another body surf session. That night we had another boozey night with Hugo. Which led to another lie in… The next day we were lucky and got some sunshine, which meant chilling on the beach, a mini beach run, and a bikini swim. Then for the long drive back to Faro.
Once in Faro, and we had checked into our room in the lovely Faro Vintage guest house, we had one mission: to find the best ever pizza restaurant which we had eaten at 3 years ago. We couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant so we just had to walk around, trying to retrace our three year old footsteps. At last, we turned the corner and, “Aaaahhhhhh, this is the one!”. It is called La Pizza. The pizza is amazing. Just a simple Margarita with olives on is divine. The chips are yummy. And the salad was scrumptious. So stoked we found it again. What a perfect way to end our Portugese and Spanish road trip!