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Olhao, Portugal

Written on: Sunday May 3rd, 2015

A journal entry from: South Africa, Europe 2015


May 3


From Seville it was on to Portugal, a country we last visited 37 years ago. Of course things have changed enormously since then. We were here at the very beginnings of democracy in this country and before its entrance into the European Community with the resulting unprecedented economic growth. The Algarve, the first region we visited has been made completely unrecognizable with its sunny climate and beautiful beaches attracting hordes of visitors and much development. We are finding that we cannot camp on the coast now as the coastal campgrounds have been replaced by hotels and time share resorts. There are golf courses everywhere and the ugly face of globalization is evident in the fast food restaurants and car dealerships that line the entrances to the major towns. The first part of the Algarve coming in from Spain has been spared some of the worst of this commercialism because of a string of sandbank islands that separate the coast from the beaches. This is the heart of the Algarve fishing industry and the variety of seafood available at the beachside restaurants and in the local markets is amazing. We chose the towns of Tavira and Olhao as bases for our explorations and found their largely pedestrianized old towns still retain a flavour of the past.

We did a lot of cycling up and down the coastal bike path and took trips to a couple of islands to soak up the sun on their virtually deserted beaches.



From Anne and Pat on May 6th, 2015

Great to get your updates and photos. Portugal is such a diverse and interesting country and glad to see you are revisiting it after 37 years! We've just returned from four weeks in Italy - loved it!

From Rick and Glenna on May 7th, 2015

Wonderful pictures. Jealous. Happy birthday Bev. What a wonderful place to celecbrate