Monday, July 15: Jo makes me a lovely Continental breakfast, and we linger over it and several cups of coffee, chatting about possible things I can do in Portugal. She suggests going on a day trip from Lisbon to Cascais and taking a walk from there to Estoril along the seafront. She tells me to visit Torre de Belem in Lisbon. She recommends the Monasterio de Belem, with its cloisters and Manueline-style architecture. She tells me I should sample pastel de nata. She thinks the logistics of the Obidos trip from Evora might be quite complicated and wonders if Obidos is worth the two nights I have booked there. She wonders if two full days I have planned in Lisbon is enough.
After breakfast, I show Jo the Spanish skirts I’ve bought, which of course I’m very excited about. She thinks they’re nice too, but she notes the amount of stuff I’m carrying in my bag. It is quite heavy, I’ll give her that! This luggage dilemma becomes quite a source of teasing during the rest of my stay with her. She wrote quite a funny post about this, and about our visit, in her blog: restlessjo: Meeting a Catbird.
The first thing Jo has planned for us this morning is a bird-watching and historical boat tour. Before we go though, she walks me to the bus station so we can inquire about buses to Evora. When I was at Marianne’s house, since I knew Jo wouldn’t have internet at her house, I went ahead and booked hotels for the 16th & 17th in Evora, for the 18th & 19th in Obidos, the 20th & 21st in Sintra and the 22-25 in Lisbon. I wasn’t really too sure about these plans, as I didn’t really research them much, but at that point, I figured I needed to make some decisions. At the bus terminal today, we find out the facts about the bus departures from Faro (9:45 to Evora) for my departure tomorrow. It’s sure a good thing I have Jo there to help me figure things out. After tomorrow, I will be on my own again.
I also ask her if she’ll mind walking with me to the post office so I can inquire about sending a package home. I have too much stuff in my suitcase now, after buying all those Spanish skirts, despite the fact that I discarded stuff in Mollina before I left the Andalucia tour. We go to the post office, where we pick a number and wait, for a long while. To kill time, I ask some random person walking around if they sell boxes. I get the box and when my number is finally called, I ask about a surface shipment to the U.S. They tell me there is no surface option, only air, for my estimated 7 kilos; by air it will cost me 78 euros!! I say, never mind! I’ll just deal with it. I’m not going to pay that much to send a bunch of dirty clothes home. I know it will be a pain hauling that stupid suitcase through the rest of Portugal, but I just don’t want to waste that much money!
So, after all that waste of time, we head to the dock to take the fabulous Ria Formosa bird-watching and historical boat tour.
It’s a lovely day for a boat ride, and Jo and I are ready to go!
I love being on a boat. I grew up near the York River in Yorktown, Virginia, and I spent a lot of time on my friends’ boats: sailboats, rowboats and motorboats. My neighborhood, Marlbank Farms, was on Wormley Creek and I still retain my childhood love of the water. 🙂
And Jo absolutely adores the beach, the ocean, the river, and Tavira. Plus, she’s very happy to be out of that post office!
On the boat ride, we see cormorants, storks and egrets. We see colorful fishing boats, many of which are used to fish for octopus. I love the smell of the salt air and the feel of the cool breeze and the picturesque village of Santa Luzia sitting prettily along the coast. I love the sailboats, catamarans, motorboats and fishing boats.
It’s a blue sky day on the blue, blue water. The scavenger seagulls even love the day.
We take a lot of pictures of boats, boats and more boats. 🙂
After our cruise down the inland waterway, we go through an opening in the islands to the Atlantic Ocean, where we see lighthouses, fishermen, sunbathers and swimmers on the sandy stretch of beach.
And then we head back through the opening and down the Rio Gilão to the dock at Tavira.
It’s a lovely 1 1/2 hour boat ride that gives me a great experience of the shoreline of Tavira. I love it!
After we leave the boat, we get in the car for a ride to visit two of Jo’s favorite towns in the Algarve: Alte and Silves.