Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Clube Albufeira in Portugal's Algarve

19 April 2014
Recent windy weather had pointed a sign in the wrong direction so it took us half an hour or more to actually find Clube Albufeira on the Algarve, our home for the next four weeks. It's within 2 kms of the town of Albufeira and right opposite Albufeira Campsite .... which we may use on a possible future trip.

This is our last timeshare holiday, and because we haven't been able to use it for the last three years or so, we've accumulated enough points for a whole four weeks of this luxury resort! Since buying Milly the motorhome in July 2013 (last year) we've taken to "glamping" and motorhoming like Winnie the Pooh to his pot of honey, so decided to get rid of the timeshare I've had for about thirty-two years. The annual subscriptions have got quite out-of-hand - as have the utility and deposit costs at many of the timeshare resorts - and we'd far rather spend that money on keeping Milly ship-shape each year. I have to say the timeshare has been very worthwhile through the years, taking us to many places within Southern Africa (the Eastern Transvaal, the Western Transvaal, Zimbabwe, Durban's Umhlanga Rocks, Durban's Ballito Bay, the Drakensberg Mountains in Kwa Zulu Natal, Namibia, Cape Town, Langebaan - on the coast north of Cape Town) and Europe (Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England) ... but the time has come ....

We're in a very comfortable studio apartment where the bedroom area is open-plan with the "lounge" (bench couch) and diningroom. The kitchen and bathroom are separate with a small area housing a bunk bed (which we have stuffed full of things from Milly). We're in a corner apartment with two sets of french doors opening onto their own patios, one of which looks out to the humungous swimming pool.

This is exactly how we like the pool ... empty! Selfish. Selfish.
And to enjoy it like this, on the days when we're not going out somewhere,
we get up early and slink in before breakfast and the sun-bake-rush,
for a bit of an exercising swim. I'm also a floater and love to just
hang in the water, on my back, looking like a drowned person, but
Alan's too fidgety ... exercise and out is his routine. Good thing too -
got to keep him out of the sun with his fair skin.

This shot shows you the little tapa cafe next to the pool.
We've only been there once for a drink and a pizza.

Stunning at night time!

If no-one parks in "our" parking spot, we can see Milly from our patio.

More idle shots taken while the brain was going off duty:

The bird life is great here. It's ages since I've seen Sparrows (probably since I left Kwa Zulu Natal because there aren't many, if any, in Cape Town either); there are loads of Seagulls of course; a biggish bird that I can't name but he is light brown, has blue on his wings, white on his undercarriage and a black cap on the top of his head; and a couple of pairs of Hoepoe, like this little fella.

The pics aren't that clear because I couldn't get close enough to him.
They were taken with my favourite 300 mm lens from the
balcony of our apartment.

At sundowners, around about 7pm, just as the last folk leave the poolside, hosts of Sparrows dive-bomb the water for a sip of their sundowners. At the edge of the pool, the water drains out and over a ledge leaving a lovely swimming ledge for small birds. At least a dozen Sparrows duck and dive and shake and splash around having a wonderful swim.

There's one Seagull, a beauty of a specimen, who has a float and a swim, also in the same part of the pool each evening. He too ducks his head right in, shakes it all about, flaps his wings, then stands on the side preening his wet feathers. You can almost see the glee on his face. He's the most active of the Seagulls. The others just dip their toes in on the ledge of the outer edge. Shame. They don't know what they're missing!
(14 May 2014 .... last evening I rushed out and took quite a few pics of my swimming seagull. I've posted most of them at the bottom of this blog as my own little treasure of memory - and only one here)

Not much else to tell you about our lazy month here and I'm not going to bore you with details of the resort which you can pick up from the website. We need to count the pennies so tend to go out for a day and stay home for two days - blogging, reading, sketching, painting (hmmm, not much of that has taken place I'm afraid!) and a bit of swimming.

Enough ... I'd rather get on to the other blogs and tell you about our days out and the two-night trip to Lisbon!

Practical info:

My personal gallery of my special swimming seagull:


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