Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bom Natal, Merry Christmas !!

Who need a laudromat when you have a viking at hand swallowing his pride as he decides to do the laundry on my birthday ? A night rain filled up the dinghy and what more fun to wash the bed sheets in it ! A foam bath could be next but the sun will have to reajust its thermostat. We also are victims here of a cold spell that freeze Europe. No ice or snow, but rain and wind and temperature below normal. Merry Christmas to my faithful readers and friends.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Alvor déja vu

Alvor.. déjá vu

We are still waiting for the new dodger (spray hood) but we have definitely discarded the first sail maker, the one we waited for during 2 weeks... He has simply and shamelessly doubled his first estimate. Another british sailmaker has been recommended to us and was definitely more reasonable and agreedable. Since he has to order the Stainless Steel tubes and fabric, we have to wait another 10 days before completion. Alvor is only 5 miles away and it is a good change in scenery, close enough to come back for some fitting sessions and final installation.
Two years ago if someone had predicted I would come back to Alvor I would have shrugged in disbelief certain I would never again see this little village after an unscrupulous skipper (see entry "a little set back, November 2007) dropped me off on the pier.
It does not bring back bad memories though. Instead I like to think that without this rather unpleasant experience, I would never have met Magnus and Röde Orm. The anchorage is popular for shallow draft boats which can careen on the sand bank. The laguna entrance is shallow and narrow, barely marked by 2 buoys. Entering at mid flood is the best to spot the sand banks and stay in the channel. The anchorage is totally protected and lot more crowded than I remembered it. Obviously a chosen and cheaper place for some to winter their boats on mooring balls. The village is less genuine and more touristy than Ferragudo and the Brits seem to have taken over. Most are thankfully back home to their northern gloom. There is too many cafés and restaurant targeting the british community for my taste, but a lot are closed during the off season. The locals seem overwhelmed by the invasion and are more reserved toward us, the foreigners.
Notherless it is quiet with the nice surronding of dunes and cliffs with the Monchique mountains as a background, no cities or big resorts in view. The village seems to have survived the oveflow of tourists and keep some of its originality with its old houses and steep streets and a lovely church. We enjoy the nice modern swimming pool, two steps from the anchorage.