Monday, 28 February 2011

Camino Algarve Travels with a Prostrate

a cold bleak january full of man flu left me pining for some sun and golden sands so taking advantage of cheap Ryan air flights I fly to the Algarve in Portugal,land at Faro and take the train along the coast to near the Spanish border arrive at the station at Monte Gordo its in the middle of nowhere isolated, it looked like a wild west station I expect tumble weed to come blowing across the road, but at least its warm and not cold England, I follow the other people who got off and walk 2km into the seaside town that looks like high rise Blackpool out of season and book into my hotel £63 for the week including breakfast can't be bad and bad it wasn't in fact my room was great and came with a balcony and a view over the main square.
 In the next few days I walk the beach left to the border with Spain and take a ferry across and bask in the sun my winter blues recede as I sit in the bars and drink my frosted beer,back to my great apartment in an evening, sit on my balcony and view this sunny world.
 every morning from outside my window people clad as if on the Camino flow past my hotel walking poles in hand.I find out they meet every morning catch the train to some out of the way spot and walk back,I join them one morning and find out there is a huge community of elderly German and dutch that have been here for weeks and walk every morning, maybe this is the future for me, spending my winters in sunny climes walking poles in hand trying to keep death at bay while slowly fading away with a great tan and fit body,the thought depresses me and I retreat to my solitary outings along the coast visiting whats left of the small fishing villages slowly being engulfed by the high rise hotels and brand new towns of partly sold houses with no life one such visit takes me to me to the old town of Tavira which was a breath of fresh air,it even had Camino arrows painted on the floor,I followed them to see where they led only to find myself at the bus stop for the tourist train that circles the town,I was now in need of a toilet break and stepped into the nearest bar to use the facilities,refreshed I headed uphill back to the railway station only to be caught short once more and had to call into another bar, another beer and toilet break,it took me two more stops to reach the station only to find the station bar had no facilities and was directed by the owner to a large wall at the side where I displayed myself to half of Tavira much to the amusement of the other bar users who welcomed me back with smiles and thumbs up,I hate that this maybe the way my world ends",not with a bang but with a whimper"
 having said all this I did come come back refreshed and benefiting from the sea and sun and also to get a bit real and revise my plans a bit for the new year,I cancelled my flights to Canada ( too expensive) I had not done enough research and while the young me would have thrived on 3 months of brown rice and no money the older wiser me took over, a little sad maybe but practical.
 So I continue to count out my life in coffee spoons and plan smaller battles maybe the Camino del Norte but with frequent toilet breaks----my computer has just developed a mind of its own and gone into a somewhat colorful mode,I lack the skills or the will to do battle with it, so for the time being will have to except my blog has gone a bit jackson pollock