Saturday, April 11, 2009
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Instead of driving back on the motorway from Lisbon, we decided to drive all the way down the Alentejo coastline. We pottered back and it took us about 8 hours in all, stopping off wherever we felt like it having a look at pretty little beaches and villages.
After we left Lisbon, we headed for Sines, which is the birthplace of Vasco da Gama. It could be a very pretty little fishing village if it weren't for the dirty great oil refinery lurking in the bay! It was a very nice place despite that, and the bayfront area is very well kept - maybe kept in good condition by the oil refinery, I don't know! After that, we drove down through Porto Covo and stuck to the old road which goes all the way to Sagres in the far southwest of the Algarve.
We "nipped" in to a beach called Praia de Odeceixe too - well, nipped is a bit of a bad word to choose. The track bumped its way round the river and hills for about 20 minutes and when we got to the end of it, there's a very pretty little cove. There were a fair few campers there, most of them parked away from the "road" as it was just a very dusty dirt track. It made us proud to be British though (not!) when we spotted right on the turning point at the end of the track, a pair of idiot Brits parked and eating their sandwiches. Where they'd decided to camp in this pretty cove was the spot where every car that went past covered them and their sandwiches in clouds of dust. Given we went past twice, their sarnies can't have tasted too good by the time we left :-)
I'd recommend the drive along this coast as part of it's a national park and there really are some beautiful places to stop and enjoy nature. Our last stop was in Aljezur before we headed back down to the start of the motorway at Lagos to take us back across to São Brás de Alportel up in the hills behind Faro.