Week 11 - A Very Pleasant Christmas.

Monday 22nd, Tuesday 23rd December 2014.

Monday and Tuesday both passed almost without our noticing it as we spent our time shopping and getting ready for Christmas. Why we needed to shop and get ready when we were going out for lunch Christmas day I cannot imagine but there you go. Frank had expressed a preference for meat rather than fish Christmas day so as that excluded O’Pescador (they only do fish), Tuesday evening we all wandered into town to book a restaurant for Christmas lunch. It turned into quite a frustrating evening, all the restaurants are closed on the 25th (some for the 26th as well) except the local hotel which would be open for buffet meals only. The staff were adamant when we asked that the a la carte menu would not be available but that the buffet would have salmon and turkey choices.

Wednesday 24th December 2014.

Another day shopping - goodness only knows what for, but we did manage to get a walk along the beach.


Which brings us to the statue up by the surf beach. On our last visit this statue fascinated Sue as it was around 3m high and constructed from nuts, bolts and other scrap metal materials and every time you looked at it you would see other items used in the construction. It was fascinating, but when we arrived at where it had been there was just an empty plinth with a few bolts sticking out. The statue had gone. We enquired at the site reception and was told that she was unable to give a definite answer to its demise as it had suddenly disappeared and some people in town said it had been stolen, probably for the scrap value while others said the local authority had taken it away for repair but no-one seemed to know “for certain”.

Christmas Day.

Christmas here in Vila Nova de Milfontes is very different from UK in that while the shops do have Christmas goodies on sale and all the supermarkets do a free gift wrap service, there is none of the frenetic panic that seems to grip the British nation as the big day approaches. Things are changing, last time we were here, Christmas for the Portuguese started at tea time on the 24th and ended at midnight the same day, and on the 25th all shops, including the market, restaurants etc were open. This year everything closed in the evening of the 24th then nothing (including the site reception) except one restaurant and two cafes opened today.

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The one restaurant was where we had our Christmas lunch. On sitting down we were given an a la carte menu and assumed, as we had been told by three different members of staff on two different occasions that the kitchen would be producing nothing but buffet on Christmas day, that it was for ordering drinks until half way through our buffet meal we noticed people ordering and getting meals from the al a carte. We felt a bit miffed at the time but in reality the buffet meal was good and how many Brits can say their Christmas lunch cost just €12.25 (£9.61) a head including drinks and we didn’t have to cook it. After lunch we went down to one of the beaches in the town and had a paddle.

Boxing Day.

Got up bright and early and went for a walk down by the old harbour. A very pleasant stroll through the town where most of the shops, including the biggest supermarket, were still closed, only some cafes, some restaurants and all tourist tat shops had opened. The cafes and restaurants were doing brisk business but the tat shops might just as well not bothered.

We had bought a nice piece of “rib of beef” for dinner today and invited Rosemary and Frank to help us eat it. Rosemary not only brought some lovely smoked salmon canapés with her we had persuaded her to cook and bring some of her world famous roast potatoes, accompanied with a couple of bottles of local “Adega de Borba” wine and followed by cheese and biscuits and a glass of “Vinho Licoroso” (fortified wine). It was a very good meal.

Saturday 27th December 2014.

Oh well it’s all over, the shops are all open again and looking around the supermarket we visited this morning it may never have happened.

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We visited Cabo Sardão today, it is a striking bit of coastline that is unique in that it is the only place in the world where storks nest on cliffs. Sadly when we arrived the nests were all empty but we did see nesting storks on our visit in 2011 so I have recycled a couple of photos taken then .

After all the eating and drinking of the last few days we sat quietly on our own tonight and ate a healthy salad, accompanied by not so healthy roast suckling pig and a bottle of local wine.

Sunday 28th December 2014.

Up bright and early this morning, can’t imagine why, we had nothing planned other than moving the TV. When we bought this van we moved the TV from the design location to the front shelf where it has been since. Sadly it makes relaxing rather difficult (nothing to lean back against) so we are testing it where designed and as I spent the evening comfortably tucked in the corner constructing Z’s it may well stay there.

Last updated Sunday 21st June 2015                                                                                © S W Ghost 2015