Unusually for Kim, she made a new friend on the plane. For the last 20 years Jan has been living in Lagos, with her Austrian husband. She is keen to move back to the UK, to be nearer their daughter and grandchildren in Harpenden, and wonders if we’d be interested in a house swap for a few weeks, go Kim!!

We were collected from Faro airport by our driver Isobel and were treated to a slight detour through the backstreets to a local fishing tackle shop where a man ran out of the shop carrying a tray and passed it through the car window. Each time Isobel picks up guests from the airport, she also has to collect some special fishing bait for her husband. She was too early on her way to collect us, the bait was still being dug out of the estuary.

It was dark when we arrived in Salema and we were ushered into a simple but modern apartment, overlooking the sea. There will be photos tomorrow, we can’t see the sea tonight but we know it’s there.

Salema seems very quaint and there is only one restaurant open, the Atlantico which is owned by the same family running the apartments.

Fish featured heavily on the menu which rather alarmed John. He views all fish with deep suspicion after a bad encounter with salmon many years ago.

His choice of Tuna and Kim’s Sea Bream were delicious and went down nicely along with a bottle of Portuguese white wine.

We had a short wander through the town before heading back for the night. As you can see it’s rather wild here on a Saturday night.

Breakfast is at 08:00 tomorrow and we have the first walk of the holiday to attempt.

Introducing our first trip of 2019

The original idea was to spend a month, in a villa, somewhere hot and sunny, sipping chilled wine on a balcony. We couldn’t make a decision and then Kim got involved. We’re spending the next seven days on a walking holiday in the Algarve and not quite sure how this happened.

Our walks are self guided, we have four maps and pages of very specific directions. After reading a review, we thought we were walking the Med to Atlantic. It was only after booking that we checked a map.

It is only 11 miles between Salema and Carrapateira but we will walk about 50 miles (excluding detours – we’re bound to get lost). It’ll be interesting, what with Kim’s renowned map reading skills and a complete inability to tell left from right.

We start with two nights in Salema which includes a walk to Burgau tomorrow.

Monday we head west along the coast before moving inland and staying a night in the small town of Vila do Bispo.

Tuesdays plan is a walk to Pedralva, an abandoned hamlet which has been restored to life. We hope that means it has a pub or wine bar, a Pret A Manger and a John Lewis.

Wednesday takes us to Carrapateira where we spend our last three nights with options of two circular walks to explore the area.

Our trip started in grey drizzle at Luton Airport, thank you to Diane for dropping us off. The airport has the distinction of being voted the worst in the country for a number of years but, today, we sailed through spending just a couple of minutes getting through security and all was calm and relaxed in Departures. There are even empty seats! We can’t remember the last time we saw that at Luton. January is the time to travel.

We have arrived safely in Salema and are struggling to connect to WiFi. Updating the blog may be a challenge!