Sunday 7 July 2013
If you need to recover from a cold, you might as well be perched on the top of a cliff in the Algarve, with warm weather, lots of food and wine, and some sympathetic company. I was well and truly on the mend by the time we arrived in the Algarve, but Susie was still in the grip of sinusitis. Throughout our stay, she suffered interminable headaches and slept a lot. But she still managed to enjoy the surrounds.
Sunday morning was very quiet and Susie and Ruby both slept in. When they woke, I prepared a big potato omelette for brunch, and at length we traipsed down the hill to the local beach, Praia Dos Caneiros.
Dos Caneiros is a short beach surrounded by cliffs that are prone to collapsing, so bathers are urged not to sit too close to the base of the cliff. When we were there, it had clearly been affected by big tides, and there was a sharp drop in the sand at the high point of the breakers. Occasionally a large wave would drench the sunbathers who lined up along the top of the drop. This kept us entertained all afternoon.
Ruby had purchased a small lilo from a stall on the road down to the beach, but when she tucked it under her arm and headed for the water, one of the life-guards ostentatiously blew his whistle and generally carried on like a pork chop. Roo got the message that there was some terrible danger awaiting her if she attempted something as perilous as floating on a lilo in what was, by Australian standards, a tame surf. The guard did not offer any explanation, however. Poor Roo was completely bamboozled, but she did not attempt the dangerous voyage a second time lest she be ritually humiliated again.
The Mediterranean sun is not nearly as harsh as the Australian sun, so we were able to spend the afternoon on the beach without getting sunburnt. Susie spent most of the time curled up under a beach umbrella while Ruby and I chatted and dipped in and out of the water, which was a very comfortable temperature.
When we had had enough of the sun and the wind and the antics of the officious beach patrol, we headed back up the hill to A Casinha where I made a potato dish with a topping made of olives, onion and red wine. We ate dinner on the patio as the sun went down. Susie always felt better towards the end of the day, especially after a remedial drink or two.