Yesterday we journeyed down to the Southern coast,
to segment the trip to drop off Mohamed’s parents at the Faro airport.
For us, it was an excellent opportunity to see the differences of the regions,
especially with the climate and ocean (drier & warmer, less waves in the ocean),
which leads to different architecture and vegetation
(lots of olive and orange trees, scattered pomegranates & even date palms),
making it feel much more like a slightly cooler version of north Africa than Europe.
Most striking, the beachside cliffs were erosion-carved colored earth
(reminding me of the Badlands Natl. Park or somewhere in Utah)
and completely unlike the striated sloping rock cliffs we’ve gotten familiar with here.
But by far the most noticeable differences were the tourists and development,
with an incredible variety of vacationing Europeans, and many British,
there to enjoy multi-storied resorts, 22 golf courses, water slides, and ZooMarine
(a more humane version of SeaWorld, with proceeds used for marine rescues & recovery).
All in all, we felt totally out of place, out of our element,
and grateful that we are settling up on the West coast.
We do hope to grow many of the tropical fruits we saw thriving there,
hoping we can create a microclimate to support oranges, dates, and pomegranates
(we saw three pomegranate trees in bloom
on a trip earlier this summer to Reggello, Italia,
growing on a riverbank up in the mountains a little south of Florence.
Although it is much hotter there in summer, they have cold winters.
Overall it gave us hope.)
So we’ve returned to Zambujeira do Mar for a couple more days,
to finish laundry, recharge and repack before a few more weeks of camping in Rogil.