We were very happy with the invitation of Bob and Aleid, when they invited us to visit them in Portugal to board the Kabaal for a couple of days. Therefore we travelled late March to Faro.
Unfortunately, the weather conditions weren’t that good when we arrived on Thursday, it was raining and quite windy, but nevertheless it was a joy to visit the small fishing village Olhão at the Marina, where Kabaal and its crew were waiting for us.
We decided to stay at the marina and pay a visit of the old town, we had a great local lunch with delicious tapas, we also had our first experience with grilled Chorizo. We enjoyed that so much that we bought our own “Chorizo griller”. Unfortunately the rain did not stop (quite unusual for the time of the year in the Algarve) so the decision was made to leave the next day. Aleid cooked us a lovely dinner, which was washed away with some great local wine.
The next day, Friday, again started with wind and rain, but luckily the weather improved and finally we could enjoy the typical Algarve spring conditions that we had ordered.
We sailed to Albufeira, a lovely old town with a good sheltered marina. After cleaning up the Kabaal that afternoon we visited the center of Albufeira had some bites and local “Vinho Verde” we really enjoyed the Algarve life style.
The following day started with Sun and Wind, perfect sailing conditions and we decided to make an attempt to visit the rocky caves, the plan was to anchor the boat, to launch the dinghy and visit the caves. But it was a mission impossible, the waves were too high, the current too strong, and the sea bottom too rocky, so we decided to visit them the next day by foot. We returned to Albufeira marina, after some Champagne sailing (Kabaal was recently polished and had new AF and she felt and acted like a race boat). Later that evening Marco and Liesbeth also joined us and we had a very lovely Japanese dinner: it was a very pleasant evening with our sailing (and ex sailing) friends.
The next day we were “stuck” at the marina, wind gusting more than 30 knots made us stay and do some maintenance, or better said make some improvements. Since Bob is retired, his new job is to keep Kabaal in a perfect condition. In order to scare the Orca’s that sometimes attack the sailing boats around Spain and Portugal, Kabaal holds a stainless steel tube, when you hit this with a hammer it produces a noise that, hopefully, frightens the Orcas. In order to attach this to the boat without causing to much damage a hole had to be drilled. Drilling a hole in stainless steel with an Ikea drill is a challenge but we did manage it. Kabaal should be safe now and Bob has a new item on his wishlist…. A real drill.
Being Tourists in Albufeira we had to do Tourist things, we visited the shops and Karen finally found her Big Leather Weekend Bag, the issue was that the shop didn’t have the one she wanted new, so she could only buy the one that was displayed. Aleid’s experience as world traveller helped Karen get a great bargain. The shop owners of Indian origin were treated with some real local negation skills: in the end everybody happy and Hans faced with some packing challenges as we were travelling back home with only cabin luggage.
The next stop on our list was a lunch at the beach with the caves, our daily challenge of 10.000 steps was easily doubled, but what a great view and a really nice restaurant with great food and wine. Portugal and specifically the Algarve is now on the top of our list of favorite holiday countries.
After being back on the boat Karen made a farewell dinner, risotto with fresh peas and local sausage, Hans and Bob watched the Jeddah Grand Prix.
The next morning we had a very early wake up, we took a cab to the Airport and arrived in Rotterdam around noon and back to reality.
Bob and Aleid many thanks for a really great time, it was only 4 days but it felt like much more.