Where are we Duckie?
Continuation of our Portugal Adventure. Nearing our goal, that is Albufeira the Tom-Tom is of no further use, roads torn up and new freeway take us parallel to the coastline, NOT "to" the coastline. We have an address and a visual description of sorts ("near the beach, modern") and that's it. Big coastline this...so we just start heading on whatever street presents itself towards the coast when we can see it through all the highrise hotels and apartments and condominiums. This is not easy. We wander first somewhat east of the city itself after looking at a map at the beach areas. Wandering around neither of us can identify a probable suspect condo development, they are all white and all huge and that's about it. We do also have a name of the development "Sao Rafael" that we haven't seen either. We drive through the actual town and look around at it at the same time as we have hours of daylight left. We stop and walk through the market area to eye what's there for wandering Americans. Back in the car a short time later we continue our search. We head west staying on roads that are paralleling the coast and much nearer it. The last bit of hills before the coast and the beaches is a wall of single family dwellings with only a few apartment complexes in evidence.
The New Freeway
So at the next corner we turn left and head for the hills! We note a less organized development to our left, a Gypsy family has set up a camp in rundown development company storage and office buildings...oh boy. Then up the grade to the top and l'viola! Housing developments, modern, clean, white and mostly unoccupied. Hmmmm, well do they LOOK like the mental image of what we are searching for? Yes they do. Do we have a street name? No, but there was an apartment number..."24B", she says. So we drive until there is space to park. Then out we go door to door wandering thru these apartment blocks looking for "24B", the office is near but alas it's closed today...wonderful. So back to the search we go. Hmmmm they knew we were going to show up today. "These are really beautiful" I say and Kelly agrees "Yes they are!" We continue on...41, 40, 39...We find it! "He said the key would be here" I babble as Kelly looks inside the box..."No key inside" Hmmmmm. So we return to the office after spending an hour or so in the hunt. It's open! Goodie, goodie gumdrops! There's hope...we sit and wait our turn to talk to the manager who is on the phone. She is off the phone and we enter and introduce ourselves. We tell her of our discovery (no key) and she replies "Oh, that's the wrong apartment!". Duh...So the nice manager-person led us to the correct apartment, showed us where the key's were and showed us the apartment inside and out. I don't know HOW we got the wrong number, but wrong it was. What a beautiful apartment...and we actually FOUND it by dead-reckoning! To the sea, to the sea!
Off to Albufiera!
Our goal is but a hundred miles or so away, we are so excited to end this long journey and quit this hotel life for a goodly while. Spain has been very pretty and very agricultural as well. We're ready for boats, coast line, beaches and FISH to eat while in Portugal for 4 weeks (initially, then extended to 6 weeks). The border is a river crossing at the beautiful Guadiana International Bridge.
|By Howard N. Lute 2016|
|By Howard N. Lute 2016|
By Roger W Haworth
And here is the Guadiana Roman Bridge in Merida, Spain
Going toward Albufeira we see acres and acres of orange trees lining both sides of the road. Is this a part of Florida?! or southern California?! Orange trees are seen everywhere, mile after mile. Once off the E1 highway and onto a local highway the N125 there are iterant orange stands here and there as you drive along offering bags of oranges at discount prices. Huge arrays of apartment blocks appear and line any and virtually all beach areas. More housing than I've seen anywhere I've ever been! These are largely empty too, over-built and some stopped in mid construction. It's a shame and a travesty of over development and mindless greed (My left-wing bent is showing).