Plan A today was bike to Tavira, fairly windy first thing so quick change to Plan B – train. Station is less than 5 minutes from the campsite so a quick dash over and only a couple of minutes wait – two stops to Tavira €1.80 each – bargain.
Tavira is a really elegant town which doesn’t seem to have been taken over by tourism. There are 20 churches in the town, everywhere you look you see these amazing buildings between the houses. We walked up the hill to the highest point to see the ruins of the castle and two of the churches. As always out here the roads are cobbled and hardly any cars as they couldn’t fit up the tiny roads. The town centre is mostly old houses with tiled fronts, even the semi derelict ones looked lovely with the solids wood doors and window frames. Anyway, it was still quite windy so we headed back to the town square for coffee to warm up before we did our shopping spree.
Spent a couple of good hours wandering around the shops before heading down to the market hall. Enormous old building housing in the region of 100 stalls all selling fruit, vegetables fish etc and many also selling homemade honey and olives. From there we crossed over the river to the Grand Plaza – a small-ish shopping centre with basically not much to buy. Most of the shops were a bit ‘old lady pinafore’ types, so not quite reaching that status yet I couldn’t find anything much to buy. I did see lovely tapestry rucksack (that sounds old lady doesn’t it?) anyway, loved it and Iain kindly bought it as an early birthday present.
By now we were a bit shattered from walking so decided to go back – never that simple. Problem 1, station was a 50 minute walk back the way we had come; Solution – bus, problem – no idea where bus route is. So Iain’s solution just stand at a nearby bus stop and keep fingers crossed that a bus going our way comes! I did agree to this but decided to walk over road and check bus stop timetable, only to find we were standing on the town circular route so that wasn’t going to get us anywhere. Next plan hike the main road and look for a bus stop. We hobbled along for about half a mile and found a bus stop, literally minutes later the bus for the Spanish border arrived, we knew it wouldn’t go to village we are in but asked driver to chuck us off at nearest point – only about 15 minutes walk down to the camp.
Sat and watched the sun go down with a bottle of wine, a bowl of olives and a barrel of tremaco and now planning what to do tomorrow – whatever it is will include a map and a timetable