We decided to move the short, 17 mile hop down the coast to Albufeira. Jan had to take a train back to Lisbon and the Faro to Lisbon train ran close to Albufeira, so it was a convenient place to spend a few days until Jan’s departure. We left Portimão in beautiful sunny weather and managed to do a bit of sailing before the wind dropped and we were back to the engine again. The entrance to Albureira Marina is through a narrow cut and the swell was quite large even inside the harbour and, as we arrived at reception, the pontoon was moving around quite alarmingly.
Having completed the formalities we made our way to our berth, moored next to a live aboard boat with a young Portuguese mum with 2 young children on board. In side the marina we were protected from the swell and while Jac and I tidied Synergy away, Jan went for an explore and reported plenty of facilities. It seemed quite a lively place with some very listenable-to music coming from one of the bars. All was quiet by 10pm we had a great night’s sleep.
30th August 2015 Albufeira
We had 2 days to kill before Jan took the train to Lisbon, so we decided to go and explore Albufeira town which was a couple of miles from the marina. We grabbed a taxi to avoid a walk in the heat, armed with sandwiches that Jac had prepared that morning. The town proved to be just as ghastly as I remembered from a visit in 2003! Albufeira must once have been a pretty little Portuguese fishing village and a delight for early tourists. Sadly, the appeal that brought the first tourists there led to overexploitation, as in so many Southern European resorts. All that is left is a vestige of its former charm and all the tourist bars, cafes and other places of entertainment that can be found all around southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Very sad! I wouldn’t recommend it.
After a drink at an “English Pub” we made our way back to the marina and found a bar with a very talented English guitarist, playing some great music. On the way back to the boat we found “Sharkey’s Bar” run by Lynn, a very bubbly and outgoing Asian lady who made us very welcome. The short stop for a nightcap turned into a longer session when we got talking to a couple, Lesley and Dai Douglas who were Portuguese residents. Dai had been an air electronics operator in the RAF and it transpired that we had some mutual acquaintances. The short stop became a long one and Jac and I escorted a giggling Jan back to Synergy to make sure that she didn’t fall in the water. A great night!
31st August 2015 Albufeira
The engine needed a service after all the running that we had been obliged to do thus far but we needed oil. Jac and I walked round to the chandlers where they had gallons of the stuff. We had spare filters and drive belts on the boat so I started on the engine service while Jac and Jan went to the beach. Servicing the engine isn’t complicated but one needs some space as the companionway steps need to be removed for ease of access to the engine making the inside of the boat inaccessible from the cockpit. Having completed the service and allowed the girls back on board, we lounged around for the afternoon before retiring to a restaurant for a last supper with Jan who was leaving us in the morning.