Sunday, August 12, 2007

Portugal... hot!

And sunny... and the food is very cheap and quite yummy.

I´m sitting in a little internet cafe in a small town on the south coast somewhere near Lagos. We´ve been travelling through the hilly countryside of Algarve for the past few days - countryside which is surprisingly similar to Australia, actually. It is very dry, rocky, red-brown earth, with orange and olive orchards in amongst the scrub. There aren´t really any big trees, and the few sizeable trees around are eucalypts, which all the Europeans think are very exotic, but for me is quite normal! Everything else about the place is very different from anywhere I have ever been, though...

Last night we stayed in a little town called Silves. Like most of the towns in the area, it has a moorish heritage, little winding cobbled streets, different coloured houses with shuttered windows and thick walls, old churches and lots of British tourists. After securing accomodation for the night in a little guesthouse run by a local Portugese equivalent of an Italian nonna (with whom we had to communicate via a mixture of sign language, random English and Spanish words and a lot of nodding and saying of ´si, si´) we discovered that this was the week of the Silves medival fair. I was quite entertained by the little stalls run by people in assorted styles of medieval garb, which ran the gamut from belly-dancing attire, through biblical shepherd costume, to a very convincingly made up ´leper´ outside the castle gates.

Oh yes, there was also a castle in Silves. A red castle! Unfortunately the buildings which once stood inside the castle walls were long gone, but I enjoyed walking around the ramparts and peering out at the surrounding countryside through the battlements...

Must finish up now before I run out of time, but before I go I just want to set the record straight... sorry to disappoint you, Becky, but no, the reason I haven´t been posting is because of a distinct shortage of internet facilities in this little corner of the world, not because of anything else more exciting!!

1 comment:

mur said...

The leper get up would be perfect for Halloween! With detachable parts...I will go now.