01 March 2020 – 06 March 2020
We left Lagos behind and only drove an hour up the road to Praia De Pera, the reason for this was our friend Jorge had invited us to Decante 2020. The most prestigious wine event in Portugal for the trade to taste the new wines from the vineyards of Portugal. It was held in the stunning Vila Vita Resort & Spa. We had such an amazing time, beautiful food and beautiful wines, David was in his element. David loves his wines and has educated himself on the French wines as we have spent a great deal of time in the country, but never really delved into the Portuguese wines. We tasted the whites and was following with the rose and then the reds. I am not a big drinker and but the end of the white tastings I was drunk. David told me to keep eating to soak up the alcohol and not to drink anymore but to pour it away, but Jorge says drink, drink and so I did. David continued and after 5 hours we left full of beautiful wine, food and company. We certainly needed the 50 minutes walk back to the van, to sober up. We were so lucky to get invited.
The next day was a wash out, not with the weather but with a hangover, we stayed local and with the beach on our doorstep we had a lazy day. There is a small inlet, that has the most amazing birds, Herons, Glossy Ibis, black birds with long beaks that each morning were feeding on the grass next to us. Little White Egrets, Cormorants, Mallards and your local Seagulls. I took hundreds of photos, just to get one decent one. I was also very intrigued by a man’s pair of leather sandals that has been on a bench by our Motorhome since we arrived. Two days passed and they were still there. I often wondered how someone could forget their shoes and thought what had happened to the person, they were quite good sandals to be honest. I had also seen a red pair of ladies high heeled shoes abandoned in a forest aswell whilst we have been in Portugal. Anyway, the day we left, the shoes has disappeared. I often wonder if the owner had remembered and come back, or someone had pinched them. I will never know.
We headed East when we left to Santa Luzia, just outside Tavira. We have stayed here last year and it is a beautiful unspoilt little coastal village, famous for it’s Octopus. After afew days of not doing any exercise , Mr and Mrs Joe Wicks has gone out of the window since we have left Lagos, we thought we would walk into Tavira, taking an hour and 10 minutes according to google. We set off and remembered that there was a bus stop in the village, and low and behold there was a lady waiting. We looked at the timetable and there was a bus due in 10 minutes. So, what did we do, we caught the bus. We are so lazy ! We has a wandered around Tavira and of course was going to walk back, but guess what we had another bus trip ! We stopped for a wonderful Octopus lunch, in Santa Luzia came back to the van and slept.
We left the next day and crossed the border into Spain, sad to leave Portugal behind and even sadder when the journey time nearly doubled due to well we do not know what, roadworks we think, but there was a convoy of police cars coming up on the hard shoulder. I don’t think we have seen that many UK police in over a year, let alone a convey of them. Anyway, we finally arrived at our destination Jerez de la Frontera. In the province of Cadiz in the southern western area of Spain, Jerez is known as the city of flamenco, sherry, horses and motorcycles. Now we are not great sherry drinkers but we felt that we must indulge whilst we are here. We caught the bus into the town and meandered around the old part, stopped for lunch and sherry of course, one dry and one sweet. We thought we would give both a try but sent the dry one back and had two sweet. Let me put it this way, we will not be buying a bottle to bring home !. What I will remember from Jerez a city filled with orange trees lining the streets, is the sweetest aroma of the orange blossom, it just filled the air as you walked under the trees, just beautiful. As usual we were in awe of the food market, bursting with life, lots of little stalls and the most amazing varieties of fish, fruit, vegetables and meat. We couldn’t believe how cheap the fish was, I had to drag David away. As usual, I would have given anything to have my Dad with me, he would have so loved all the varieties of the fish, the freshness and the market buzz. We noticed that Jerez is made up of an elderly population, or is it that all the young people are at work ? Anyway, everyone was out, I only saw one person in a face mask and they were Chinese, but there is no anti bacterial hand gel to be had in the city of Jerez. It’s not only the U.K. that are hoarding, I will be investigating the toilet roll situation in the supermarkets tomorrow! My brother has told us to dump everything in the van and fill it with toilet rolls before we come back.