PORTUGAL

Albufeira

As this was our first venture into the world of slow traveling in a pure tourist destination we had some reservations about how it was going to be, would we blow through the entire months’ budget in the first week like we were tourists on vacation? Admittedly we did loosen the purse strings a little for the first week because of Valentines day, allowing ourselves some mini splurges at the local restaurants Urban Pizza and Indian Nights as well as some medical expenses due to some back pain for Mrs DN. But after that initial week we settled back in to feeling like slow travelers again per our Spanish experience and got the finances back on an even keel. We settled into our usual routine of eating at the apartment after grocery shopping at the Lidl and Aldi which were about a mile away from our apartment in old town, a bit of a walk but well worth the exercise for fresh food at a very low price and to see all the Canadian snowbirds who catch the flight over from Toronto to Faro. We did actually try some of the more local grocery stores initially but the prices put us off from returning after the first visit.

The apartment this time was a 3 bed so like Spain more than enough for our needs booked again through holidaylettings.co.uk for 687 Euros for the month. The place was situated just a couple of blocks from the main town square so in full earshot of a guy playing a variety of tunes on the panpipes as we sat out on the patio in the sun, this area was full of character and out of season had just about the right amount of foot traffic to not make it too busy. Also after a week or so the guys working the local restaurants started to notice that we weren’t on vacation so rather than keep requesting we try their place or buy their sunglasses they would just give us a nod when we were out on our morning and evening walks.

Just before the weather turned on us we managed to get out on what would be our only excursion for this visit, cruising on the atlantic from Albufeira marina to Portimao taking in the Benagil caves along the way. We booked through Algarexperience for 26 Euros per person and it was well worth every cent, if a little rough on the return leg.

Had it been glorious weather in Albufeira for the entire month we would probably have enjoyed it here a lot more, it definitely is a tourist destination that is weather dependent for the most part and on the sunny days it really is a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful ocean. We were just unlucky that for about half of our stay there was a bad weather system that gave us a fair amount of rain, such is life though and we are in winter here after all. While the weather was bad we made working and exercise the priority and due to the inclines it can really give you an excellent workout, the local dogs can be a bit of a nuisance and will tend to give chase if you run by them so distance work is virtually impossible. In the last 2 weeks we took the time to find a few dog-free routes for really good workouts that incorporated some of the main inclines, if you are ever in the area on vacation and fancy a running challenge we would give this route a shot:

From the main square head up the climb on rue da Igreja Nova
Cross over rue Miguel Bombarda and get on the Esplanade Dr Frutuoso da Silva
Drop down the winding path to the beach
Run the entire length of the beach to the rocks at the other end, staying to the soft sand
On the way back hang a right at Inatel Praia hotel and then right again and climb Infante Dom Henrique to the top
Back down Infante Dom Henrique and across the roundabout up the other other side climb on Rue do Oceano
Hang a left near the top and climb a little further on Tv do Oceano
Turn left onto rue Bairro dos Pescadores and back down on the two escalators
Left at the bottom of the escalators and back onto the beach
Run back along the beach and at the end climb back up the winding path
Follow back down Esplanade Dr Frutuoso da Silva and rue da Igreja Nova,
Turn left onto Rue de Acros
At the end of Acros turn left and head up the climb on rue Maria Teresa Semedo de Azevedo
Run back down and near the bottom hang a right and run the final climb on rue Padre Semedo de Azevedo.

We found this route to be a really good challenge as well as dog-chase free, though obviously there are no guarantees on this.

Budgets for the month in Albufeira:-

Rent = 687 Euro
Utilities = 0 Euros (included with rent)
Internet = 0 Euros (included with rent)
Transportation = 11 Euros
Groceries = 193.65 Euro
Happy hour/Eat out: 184.86 Euro
Excursion: 52 Euro

Totals: 1128.51 Euro = $1386.83

Income used for the month:- rental+interest income+peer2peer = $1034+259.88+$247.49 = $1541.37

Remaining income from dividends were not required so were available for re-investment or accumulation.