Continuing our diary of our travels to Portugal, it was interesting to see when driving through France the vineyards and fields of sunflowers (not the ones that grow many metres high!) these sunflowers only come waist high. They were dried out and done to a crisp - rather brown and curling at the edges. They were certainly ready for harvesting. Were these destined for bio fuel we wondered?
On to Spain - also fields of sunflowers ready for harvesting and hundreds of olive trees and many vineyards. You could never get blasé about the scenery - mountains as far as you could see - beautiful. Certainly worth the 1,600 miles journey there!
The one thing you notice in Portugal are the orange groves. At any time of year you will see oranges on the trees (we have been in December and were surprised to see oranges still growing). Of course the best time is the springtime when the blossom permeates the air. You can purchase bags of oranges varying in weight up to 10 kgs from the locals.
The beaches are truly stunning, with varied backdrops. You can find beaches that are private coves with enormous cliffs protecting them on the western Algarve, but on the eastern Algarve the beaches are easier to access, some with sand dunes and miles of pure golden sand to walk along.
Car parking is never a problem. Amazingly in the busy summer months you will still find parking spaces at mid-day! In the U.K you would be queueing miles back from the beach on a sunny day.
To be continued.....