Loulé

24th May

After a long day I arrived in Loulé. My host told me before by email that I should leave at the bus station, but I did not know if that bus will go to the bus station and I left the bus at the bus stop where lots of people were leaving. I send a message to Maria João, my host and told her, where I was waiting for her. A quarter of an hour later she picked me up and took me to her home.

She lives in a little cottage, but in Portuguese style, of course. She bought that some years ago and refurbished it totally inside. It is so nice and beautiful, but very different to that I have seen before. Anyway it is the first impression of a Portuguese home, therefore I do not know if lots of houses look like this. The building has a loft, where couch surfers can sleep in a comfortable bed, even the staircase reminds on a ladder. I think she use that loft also for other things, because it is nice furnished. Downstairs she has her bedroom with an en suite shower and the kitchen as well as dining room. It is such an open plan like here on Malta. The bathroom for the CS is outside – with the entrance from the tiny garden. By this weather it is no problem to use it and also it is modern and functional with an WC, too. I stayed for three nights with her, even it first was planned for two. I was happy about the extra night, because I could see more of the Algarve and I did not have a host for the upcoming two nights.

 

Maria J. invited me for an evening meal and I was happy, that I did not eat more in Faro. Afterwards we took a walk through Loulé. Unfortunately I did neither have my camera nor my tablet with me, because I did not expect that she will walk the whole city with me, though you have to look at the Internet to see how the city looks like. You also can google for images, even it is not the same as all than mine would be.

25th May

Maria J. took me to Faro.

This evening I invited her for dinner, but that was not so easy because in Portugal the most restaurants are closed on Mondays. This I learned the hard way – finally Maria drove to a restaurant outside Loulé, that she had called before to be sure, that it will be open. It was a nice one with typical Algarve dishes and also others, but not the cheapest. Though Maria told me, that we should share the bill. After some negotiation I agreed. I ordered peas with eggs – and ham, a dish, which Maria recommended me. It was like home cooked and I enjoyed it. I was allowed to taste her dish too, even that a typical Algarve dish – unfortunately I forgot what it was. I liked mine better. When we paid the bill I paid around two third of it.

 

When we had eaten we were going back to her home. She had to work the following day in Portemão and it is a 60 km-ride from Loulé.

26th May

We were in Portimão around 9:20am. About my day there, you can read here.

This day I also learned some Portuguese pronunciation of Maria J. – especially how to pronounce the ão (it sounds similar to the German “au”, but actually not the same). I also asked Maria how to do a walk on the hills – they all have forest, but she told me, that the ones I could reach with the bus all have private owners. I was very disappointed by that, because I took my hiking shoes with me just for the Algarve.

27th May

We were getting up and eating breakfast as usual during these few days. I feel I will miss Maria J. She was a great host and did not have this “fado” Portuguese people are talking about and Maria J. told me, that it is very usual here. Fado means, that Portuguese people are melancholic. Maria J. drove me to the bus station with my luggage. I am very early, but I have to buy a ticket for Lisbon. I found the ticket counter, but no ticket clerk. I checked the opening hours and the counter should be open. There is another woman coming, trying to buy a ticket. It takes a while and I am getting nervous, but finally the clerk was there.

 

I look for the stop for the bus. Unfortunately, they are not on the side, were passengers walk to the buses, only the bus driver can see them. I did not see that before late, but not to late because I asked people around where the bus for Lisbon will go. When the bus leaves at this bus station at 10:20 even it should officially left at 10:15, I am the only passenger. I am happy that it is a nice bus with a toilet, too. The bus route is not yet at the motorway. First when we left Ajufeira the bus drove on the motorway. Arriving to Lisbon I see a Jesu-statue like the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but this seems to be smaller. I also have seen beautiful bridges.