On our last full day in The Algarve, we decided that an encore to Armacao de Pera would be a great choice for exercise, swimming and sun. We enjoyed our typical breakfast overlooking the ocean, but began in prayer by counting our blessings (we never tire of this activity) – the people God has brought to us in ministry. Our hearts overflowed together as we took a lot of time remembering past and present, rejoicing in 25 years of ministry. Our blessings – our family, our church family and God’s amazing graceis too much to mention here by name. like the grains of sand on Praia Nova, God has poured this upon us and we spent a lot of time talking about it today.
With time fleeting, we were ready to take on the morning walk at Praia Armacao de Pera. Imagine Toronto or New York pedestrian traffic during rush hour – this is the seashore at ‘de Pera’. All people from many parts of the world, all ages, all shapes – no body image issues. It’s refreshing to be a part of community assembled for exercise and sun.
We swam, sunned and people watched – always an entertaining activity – we tuned our ears to listen for any English that might be spoken. The Brits love Portugal as their cheap place in the sun…we love Portugal for its beauty, incredible beaches and low key lifestyle.
Once we headed back, we’re dragging a little, sort of tired, but a tinge of sadness mixed in – our final footprints on Algarve seashore. We discovered another Portuguese restaurant with a ‘turisto’ menu – 12 euros for appetizer, main, dessert and coffee. During lunch we discussed how to spend our final sun-kissed evening before bidding farewell to Por do Sol and the resident wolf pack.
We decided a picnic atop Praia (no descent necessary) would pay appropriate homage to a fabulous, award winning beach and a cozy part of the world. As we grudgingly organized our bags for the next leg of the amazing taste of Portugal, we chatted, reminisced and savoured the remaining time. We ended up picnicking on the balcony of Por do Sol and hiking down the hill to the church of Senhora de Rocha overlooking Praia Nova. It is indescribable beauty of golds and pinks cascading around the cliffs making the vista ethereal. We took in each fading moment as we were unwilling to release our grasp on this amazing part of our Portuguese experience. We left Praia Nova with the moonlight beaming over the ocean and did the one and only walking tour on foot in our little touristic village in search of a pastel de nata to compare with the delectable ones found in Lisbon.
While the moon rose higher, we arrived home to a wondrous surprise – the wolf pack had packed it in! GONE! We savoured the moonlit balcony with our tea and our treats in ‘balmy breeze stillness’. A very reflective, fitting end to the Algarve.