FW: Vilamoura

Sun 7 Jul 2013 12:05
Position 37.04.567N 008.07.262W

Vilamoura, certainly a place of contrasts. We dock at the visitors berth and
I proceed with passports and ship's papers to the marina complex within
whose cool, limestone and glass interior the formalities are concluded with
friendly efficiency by smiling staff and we are allocated H25.

Berthed, sheets and lines tidied, we showered and freshened, an aperitif in
the cockpit whilst we survey our new surroundings and comment on the
pre-eminence of power boats here. Rob and I not able to entirely ignore the
five young ladies in their itzy, bitzy bikinis on (I presume) daddy's motor
yacht on the other side of the pontoon as they be sport themselves on the
foredeck. We set off to eat in town, walking along the gently swaying
pontoons past glistening Sunseekers and Princess's, all lie silent, they
seldom move. At the shore side end of H pontoon a plate glass enclosure, at
the press of a button the glass parts to allow us exit to a very different
world. Senses assailed by throbbing beat, flashing neon signs, restaurant
touts and people of every shape, size and hue. We wander along midst the
hubbub, restaurants to our right and to our left, not speaking amid this
cacophony. Resisting the dubious pleasures of pizza parlours, sushi bars,
Nepalese curry houses and English breakfasts, we settle upon a simpler
establishment and whilst waiting for our fish watch the passing throng in
all its variety although one type appear to dominate this evening.

Ladies ( and I use the term advisedly) of a certain age, tipsily totter by
on heels too high, skirts too short, make up too thick, voices too loud.
Displaying too much of their overweight, ink etched, bodies.
The men no better, potbellied and similarly tattooed seem to revel in their
lack of dress sense (or did their wives dress them?). Shiny shorts, beneath
garish tank tops or tee shirts declaring their humour, shod with ubiquitous
bright hued trainers. They promenade between the restaurant touts, sellers
of Japanese jumping toys and vendors of luminescent sticks. The occasional
pleasant looking family pass by, parents looking uncomfortable, children as
ever children, enjoying the glitz. The fish as unremarkable as the scene
around us is remarkable we return to the boat. Like Alice we pass through
the glass to spend a night (at least until 4am) 'enjoying?' the entire
catalogue of Elvis Presley. Sung just very slightly out of tune and blasted
at us from an establishment half a mile away intent that we should know
every word. Once The King has been consigned to the grave, excited,
intoxicated chatter starts from the girls on daddy's boat, rising in volume
as they recount their night on the town and slurp, bubbly Portuguese wine.
Reaching a crescendo it is brought to an abrupt halt by less than chic
retching's over the side as at least one of them regurgitates the excesses
of the night, careless of the misery she inflicts on those with heads thick
still with Jail House Rock .

Next day is spent washing down and cleaning Pamarzi, email and matters of
business and a trip to daddy's power boat for a fatherly chat with the girls
who despite tans look pale and sheepish and apologise profusely. Late
afternoon Margaret our friend of many decades arrives, now living and
running restaurants in the mountains of Portugal. She tells us that she and
partner Paul have purchased a boat and their next chapter will be as live a
boards in Turkish waters. She seems happy and content, we are pleased for
her. We eat aboard that night savouring our isolation. The beat goes on
ashore but not quite as loud as the previous night. Presumably Elvis Presley
once more laid to rest and thankfully the young ladies have decided to have
an early and one hopes abstemious night.

Thursday we head for the mountains in our hired Fiat whose air conditioning
is louder than it's miniscule engine which pants and heaves to get us to
Monchique. Turns out to be an unprepossessing sort of place set in these
verdant mountains like a boil on a beautiful head of hair. Higher we climb
in the gasping Fiat, stopping only to taste spring water from a mountainside
stream, to the highest point in the Algarve from where we view a vast
panorama. We turn and start our descent as this road goes nowhere else, the
Fiat gasping with relief. Part way down we pass a huge blue glass and
concrete, edifice which declares itself to be the 'Longevity' fitness and
wellness centre. Judging by its unwashed windows and dying plants it will be
short lived! Turning onto a dusty track we pull into the 'Olive Grove', park
the Fiat under the shade of one of the eponymous trees and lunch seated on
plastic chairs beneath Cinzano umbrellas on surprisingly good local, air
dried ham, blood sausage and grilled pork glistening in its coriander,
garlic and olive oil sauce. A simple walnut salad completed the meal served
to us by a shuffling, wiry waiter who looked as if he would be happier
herding goats on the mountainside.

A hasty provisioning stop in town then back to the boat to await the arrival
of Mike and Di, friends first met forty five years ago, who from their
penthouse apartment look over the town to the mast of Pamarzi. We dine in a
restaurant far from the madding crowd on delicious, fresh caught Sea Bass
and Golden Bream and catch up on a decade of events.

We leave Vilamoura early next day for an eighty mile plus journey to Cadiz.
Out of the harbour we are soon beating into a stiff 35 knot breeze and
rising sea. Navtex warns of gales around Cadiz. We adjust our plan and set
course to Morganza, where by 21.00 we find the well buoyed channel. Wending
our way through anchored tankers for oil and gas we are securely moored by
22.00. A good but hard days sailing behind us, heads grateful to hit the
pillow. Cadiz and Puerto Sherry Marina waits for us on the morrow.

Roger Lynn & Rob

The crew of Pamarzi

Roger Allen-Muncey - Chairman
Peakhouse Foods Ltd.
Nechells Park Road
B7 5NQ
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 121 322 2346
Fax: +44 (0) 121 326 7758

Web: www.peakhousefoods.co.uk

Company registration Number: 2124215 - UK VAT registration number: GB

Serving U.K. & Europe


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