The weather is very warm today. It has been increasing nicely for the last few weeks. It is time to move on, leave Portugal and go onto Spain. I say goodbye to Craig, Fern and Paul. I leave Porto Covo, head inland, then south onto Faro. I want to have a quick look around Faro. Yesterday my satellite navigation unit broke, and I am keen to get another. The thought of driving around the forthcoming cities and towns without a satellite navigation unit isn’t very nice.
The drive across the mountains is lovely, and the scenery is a welcome change from the dunes and beaches I have seen for months. I have to take several smaller roads, which are in a bad state, although lots of lorries fly past in the other direction. I get lost for a moment (I really do need satellite navigation).
As I get to Faro the development gets heavier, although never as bad as I had imagined. I see a shopping centre, and decide to head in. I think I have missed the turning, turn around and have to go miles in the wrong direction to turn around again. After turning around I approach the shopping centre again, only to realise I had mistaken the turning, and could have made the turning the first time. I park up and realise that the shopping centre is empty, seemingly no shops have moved in. Even the most developed areas of Portugal throw up surprises. There is a supermarket right here though, so I do my shopping.
I head into town, going around in circles for a while, and then park near the Mercado. I walk down to the harbour front. The town is quiet spread out. I walk around the streets, many of which are pedestrianised. After some time I find a Singer shop, with satellite navigation units in the window. They are closed for lunch. I walk for a while, go back to van for lunch (which is boiling by now) and head back to the Singer van. Being my normal indecisive self I cannot decide whether I really need a satellite navigation unit or not. I go into the shop and have a brief conversation with the lady there. I decide to buy the good looking Sony unit. It costs €259, which I think is well spent. Back at the van I check it out, and it seems fine. It is much better than my older unit.
I decide to leave the bustle of Faro and head to the beach. I set a course for Tavira. At Tavira I head for the signposted beach and end up at Santa Luzia, which is a very pretty town. I pull up by some other Brits, by the river. I am not there long when a Portuguese guy comes up and says in Portuguese that we cannot park there tomorrow, as they are building a new road. I chat with the Brits a little, then head to a car park one of them had suggested. The car park seems fine, and I park up, and sort out the van. I’ll drive back towards Tavira tomorrow, on my way to Spain.
Today definitely feels the next chapter of my trip. The weather and views where great today. I had good results in Faro, and saw a nice village. Tomorrow I will probably move onto Spain, although I may stop at another Portuguese town for a night before crossing the border. I have really enjoyed my time in Portugal, but need a change to keep myself interested in the trip. I am looking forward to exploring Spain and the Mediterranean.