Just to finish off.
Ros would like to thank all the birthday greeters and the Bookies.
Spain has a really lovely feature, that being public water fountains. Every small town has water fonts for public use. You often see people bringing big bottles to fill up. In our village, here, there are 2 different systems; one with potable water and the other with non-potable. We found out the potable is of European standard quality - i.e., it's had all the filtration and chemical dosing, like fluoride. The "non-potable" water is untreated water from a mountain spring. We avoided the non-potable water until we found out about this. Most of the locals use the non-treated water, unsurprisingly. There is also a public open-air wash house in the village.
For our final night, we went for a meal to a nearby village. As we finished we got speaking to a couple at an adjacent table. They turned out to be Irish but lived in London. We hit it off immediately and got another round of drinks. I was on coffee as I was driving, I might add. We eventually got thrown out of the cafe and we went back to their house, a couple of hundred metres away. It was one of those serendipitous moments that you can have such rapport in such a short time. Val and Frank made us very welcome at their lovely house and we eventually left at 03.00, being mindful that we were leaving for Portugal early that morning. If we can catch up again in London, that would be great.
As we set off at 08.30 carrying our luggage the 320 steps uphill. After 3 trips I was knackered but grateful I didn't have to carry Ros as well.
The trip went well enough and our only mistake was not filling up in Spain as Portugal's diesel is 20 cents/litre dearer. We'd got the GPS points for the villa and Mary took us to the gate. I wish we'd had or asked for that for all our trips.
The Portuguese villa is close to a small town of Estoi, which is 20 minutes from the larger town of Faro. It's a really nice, well equipped, very private place which we will enjoy. Apart from the barking dogs - there seems to be a constant barking, especially of an evening as you're sitting out. One starts, then another replies then a whole cacophony develops. The owners seem to have no control over their animals, at all.
Portugal weather seems to be more like a good NZ summer day - much cooler than Spain and a good sleeping temperature at night. Not that you get day after day of cloudless skies in NZ. 30 days of clear skies. We forgot that Portugal is one hour behind and carried on for a couple of days. It's as well we twigged as we'd be an hour late picking up Doug and Angie from the airport!
The Portuguese language sounds so different to Spanish, even though many words are similar, it almost has an Eastern European sound to it. Many Spanish words can be analysed and found to have a connection to an English word (using your imagination) like pollo - chicken (poultry) and conejo - rabbit (coney, like rabbit fur/Island). The Portuguese for chicken is frango and I've no idea where that came from.