After a surprisingly good night’s rest, Tim and Shaw ventured out first thing to round up some breakfast. Apparently, the place was dead even at 8 a.m. — not a soul in sight! (I had assured Tim he would be able to grab a few things from a fruit stand — oops. They eventually found a grocery store.)
After Soren and Paulina finally woke up (teenagers!), we headed to the “tourist train.”
Tim was quite skeptical of a “train” that is more like a little tractor pulling a few passenger cars and driving on the main roads. But the kids loved it, of course, and it took us on a nice little tour of the town. We hopped off at Ponta da Piedade. Absolutely stunning!
The western Algarve is loaded with vast sandy beaches and sky-high cliffs, and Ponta da Piedade is the best of the best. There are cliffs, grottos, tunnels, and rock pillars as far as the eye can see. And the contrast with the blues, greens, and turquoises of the water? Amazing! We climbed lots of big rocks, took lots of selfies, and prayed our kids wouldn’t run straight off a cliff. Europe doesn’t child-proof quite like the US of A.
After checking out Ponta do Piedade we began the long trek back to the house. (The tourist train wasn’t coming back anytime soon, so we were on our own.) We passed a few beaches along the way, including Praia da Dona Ana, ranked on some websites as one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
We grabbed some popsicles at a nearby shop then kept walking. Saw some neat houses and fun street art on our walk.
Once we were home and practically melted, we changed into swimsuits and headed out to walk to Restaurante Piri-Piri for lunch — our first official Portuguese meal. (Piri-piri is a local specialty — sort of a spicy fried chicken.) Tim asked the waiter/host how he was doing, and he said, “Not good. I am supposed to go home.” So… not the best service, but the food was pretty good — grilled prawns, grilled sardines, and piri-piri chicken.
Then, we were off to the beach — this time to actually DO the beach. A quick walk brought us back to Praia da Batata, the beach we’d briefly checked out the day before. Tim and Soren quickly went off on an adventure to explore the caves and secret tunnels to other beaches along the coast.
Tim said it might have been the best day of Soren’s life. Perfect blue water and amazing beaches at the bottom of enormous cliffs. Tim told Soren he should write about it in his travel journal. He said, “Maybe we should write about it in the Wall Street Journal. Just kidding!”
The water was chilly, but we swam!
It eventually became our private beach as everyone headed home for the day. We closed it out and then ventured back into town to get dinner.
No idea what this public body of water was, but Soren made it his personal bathtub.
Tim introduced us all to kebabs. The kids loved it (and we ate it many more times on the trip). We capped off the night with gelato. Could the day have been more perfect?!