Thursday, March 6, 2014

2/25/14 Day 40 Faro

Yesterday we came by bus from Lisbon, finally arriving in the South of Portugal, in the Algarve! We arrived in Faro, and it honestly did not take long after getting to the tourist office and seeing a map,to realize how unexciring the city would be. So after a quick spin around the city and some direction from a local on how to get to the praia, or beach where our host lives, just a 15 minute bike ride on the shortcut trail. 
Well the way Faro is landscaped it is almost entirely surrounded by marshy wetlands, so naturally we had to walk with our packs on through it, looking for the trail. We finally found our way to the trail, amazingly without falling into any water and continued to hike on towards our destination. 8.6 kilometers later and just in time for sunset we finally arrived at Cedric's place on the praia it took us probably two hours longer than we expected but we did get to see some flamingos and snails on the way. 
Here is Praia de Faro a beautiful long and skinny island just wide enough for two rows of houses that extends for 10 kilometers of soft sand on on side, and the same length of lagoon on the other side, approximately 400 meters away. 
Here is a view of the lagoon out the back door and the bridge that connects the island to Faro. 
And here is the view out Cedric's living room on the front side. 
We spent the evening talking about Switzerland, where he is from and also his marine biology master degree he is working on in Faro. By the way to get a masters degree here they pay between 1/12 and 1/50 of what the programs in Seattle and across the country cost...and they take international students...and you can count scuba diving as a class, pretty tempting! We went out to a house party down the beach (because practically everyone in the program lives on praia in the surf) with all of the people from his program who have traveled from all over the world and the whole situation just seems so awesome. It is like one big family, a very special group of people!

The next day we spent a relaxed day walking as far down the beach as our legs were willing to carry us, just enjoying the surf and sand and wind and sun. Such a beautiful place and we are so happy the Portugal coastal storms are FINALLY over!

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