We are now back on board “Goldcrest” after a month with family in France and the UK. We flew there and back from Faro to Bristol, taking the ferry across the Guadiana river to Portugal and then the train to Faro. Since returning, David has been busy on various maintenance jobs including setting up a new wi-fi system and putting the Duogen back together with parts brought with us in our baggage. The biggest issue, however, is tackling the awful breakdown of all our caulking (the black seams in the teak decks) which has been turning to liquid in the heat since Trinidad and leaves sticky black marks everywhere as we walk on deck. It is an enormous job and a very, very expensive one were we to pay someone to do it for us. It cost a small fortune just to do a small part of it last year in the US, so David has invested in a special tool to dig the old stuff out and numerous tubes of new caulk to refill the seams. Trouble is, our boat is rather large and there is a lot of teak on it, not to mention trying to work in the heat of southern Spain in August. We need to be in Valencia by early September so are not sure how much time to spend on the job before we move on into the Med.
Meanwhile, we did take time out yesterday to take the ferry to the Portuguese side again so we could properly explore the town of Vila Real de San Antonio. We had a very enjoyable day wandering through its wide, grid-patterned streets, so different from the higgledy-piggledy hillside old town of Ayamonte. Apparently it was founded in the 1770s in the aftermath of the infamous Lisbon earthquake and was designed by the same marquis who supervised Lisbon’s rebuild. Apart from tourism, its main products are still sardines and tuna and that is what we had for lunch in a delightful little back street restaurant. We ate very well and the bill including a half jug of house wine, a pudding & coffees was the princely sum of 15 euros!
We will post again as we travel if we discover anywhere new and interesting along this coast which we sailed previously in “Red Panda”. We need to set off before we forget our sailing skills as they soon get rusty from lack of use!
Faro old centre: