Most days when we don’t have plans we head out into the saltpans to bird, but just occasionally we don’t even manage that and on those days an evening’s constitutional is essential. Monday was such a day. There were storm clouds to the east and it was relatively clear to the west, which meant it wasn’t going to be a dramatic sunset but the evening light was wonderful
Before we got to the ferry pier I was sidetracked in Jardim Patrão Joaquim Lopes. The garden was created in the 1950s and the monument in the 1970s in honour of a 19th century Olhanense fisherman – Joaquim Lopes – who became a national hero after saving hundreds of lives off the coast of Lisboa (Barra do Tejo). He was honoured for his bravery by King D Luis with the “Ordem da Torre Espada”, given the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Portuguese Navy and even decorated by the British government. You can discover more about his life here.
By the time we arrived on the pier the last ferry for Armona was just leaving. In the winter months the last ferry to the island is at 5pm, and the return 5:30pm. More details here. If you miss it then there are water taxis available 24hrs, but as you would expect they are expensive in comparison.
We were in time though to watch the departure of the last ferry of the day to Culatra and Farol, the island which dominates the sea view from Olhão. A beautiful departure on Monday evening, well apart from the initial bellow of smoke!
Winter evenings like this remind me why we love living here. I would miss these evening constitutionals if we moved inland. We are pondering a change as Olhão is getting busier and busier every year, and there are infrastructure “upgrades” to accompany the increase in tourists. Some of the changes are positive, but others less so. It wouldn’t surprise me though if we continue to ponder the move for another couple of years, as we are not known for our spontaneous decisions!