19 October 2013 – Vilamoura
The weather has broken again. The journey south is delayed for at least another 8 days, and we are making our way along the Portugese coast to the River Guardiana and the Spanish border with the objective of meeting my friend Viv and Noel, who are arriving late tomorrow for a week in the sun on Isla Canela.
The rain held off yesterday and the journey from Portimao allowed sailing most of the way – although at the start the wind was from the east, exactly the opposite of the forecast and smack on the nose! It was a comfortable hop to Vilamoura, a tourist honey-pot that seems no nicer now than when we visited for a long weekend in the 90s. There are a mass of restaurants and shops around the marina; and it is a haven for Brits on holiday. Last night the discos thumped the beat out until the early hours: this afternoon (being Saturday) all the bars were streaming football, and the cheers rang out each time a goal was scored.
What is interesting about Vilamoura is how different it is from either Lagos or Portimao. The marina is full of big motor boats – it’s gin palace territory.
As usual, everyone is friendly. We walked round to the sea-ward entrance to find the chandlery late morning and found it closed: and were then rescued by a very friendly Brit from the next pontoon who drove us back and showed us the lie of the land. He has been here 5 years in his motor boat and looks to go no further. Despite the lateness of the season the majority of the bars and restaurants are still open, although despite advertising Saturday opening the chandlery was closed this afternoon. The marina fees are exceptionally good value at c€23 a night. All very interesting.