Thursday, 30 January 2014

Happy Chinese New Year from Tavira

Spring blossom 
or actually, Cabanas de Tavira which is a small former fishing village about 7km from Tavira proper. We moved to Camping Ria Formosa on Monday. It's a nice campsite, well ordered with spacious shower blocks and hot water in the clothes washing sinks - a real luxury. Unfortunately, the majority of the pitches are small so we're feeling a bit hemmed in. Perhaps we've previously been spoilt? It's much quieter here than at Alvor. The staff are making improvements, as at Alvor, but here it's putting in a new row of washing-up sinks rather than pruning eucalyptus trees with chainsaws!

Tavira town is appealingly pretty. Its architecture along the river front reminded me a little of Venice and there are many tiled houses, each with its own repeating design. Along from the Bus Station, there is a tiny one-room museum detailing the history of the town's water supply, and we caught our first glimpses of the Roman Bridge shortly after. A shallow amphitheatre has been created in a square in the centre and the wrought-iron bandstand on the shaded promenade has to be seen to be believed. It is surrounded with a mossy moat that includes little fountains and is dedicated to a poet. The musicians have a little bridge over the moat to get to the stage!

We've had two fabulous walks today and yesterday, firstly out from Cabanas along the beach of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and then back along part of the Ecovia, then today the same walk but the other way around. We didn't get back to Bailey until it was practically dark yesterday so wanted to see the last part of the walk in daylight! It feels like Spring has well and truly sprung here. The tree pictured above, in full blossom, is just up from Cabanas' harbour front and is one of many. The Parque beach is a stunning golden sand with cacti, white flowering broom-like shrubs and lots of samphire. We saw several cute little wading birds that might have been Dunlins, or might not. They left these tiny footprints.

Footprints in the sand 

The Ecovia is an ambitious cycle path that crosses Portugal from Spain to Cape St Vincente along the Algarve. It makes use of quiet minor roads and, in the section we can see here, seems clearly signposted although apparently this isn't so true of the whole 214km route.

We remembered that we spent last Chinese New Year at the Hailsham Tennis Club Quiz. If it's happening again this year, we hope you're all having fun!

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