We therefore packed up some stuff for the day and headed off for one of the other trips on our hit list – the trip to Silves. We took swimming stuff with us too, as we had the chance to scoot down to the coast to a supposedly lovely beach (with Portugal’s only webcam cache) at Carvoeiro.
Meanwhile, back at the plot.
The drive up to Silves was uneventful and we parked up in a massive and apparently free car park at the bottom of the hill, right underneath the castle. There was a geocache in the car park.
We walked around the road to get to the top of the hill. There evidently used to be a convenient boardwalk route up the side of the hill which started at this car park, but the ticket office and fencing was dilapidated and obviously not open for business, so we walked around, generally following the crowds.
When we got to the top we were greeted by full scale planning for a local medieval festival of some kind. There were wooden trestle tables and straw bales everywhere and the distinct aroma of roasting animals.
There was also an entrance to the castle, so that’s where we headed. For the purposes of this exercise Ami was demoted to being a 10 year old. Well, she’d only been 11 for a few weeks.
Inside there were a lot of walls (presumably the same walls also appear on the outside, but you know what I mean), most of which could be walked around and upon. In the centre courtyard there was an array of real fruit trees of various kinds – apples, pears, lemons, oranges, limes, figs, dates, and the like. Ami took a real shine to these. Maybe she’s not actually seen fruit in its native habitat before. Anyway, she was rather taken by them.
On the way out it was time for lunch, so we stopped at the most touristy cafe possible and ordered ourselves some pizza and nachos. They were good though.
While we were waiting for our order I tried a quick walk to access another cache that was supposedly halfway down the old boardwalk I mentioned earlier. From the top of the castle though there didn’t seem to be a way down that side, so after a fruitless few minutes I retired to the cafe for lunch.
On the way back to the car I scrambled up the old boardwalk to fetch that cache, quite easily as it turned out, even though by now the sun was fierce and it was extremely hot.
We drove around the bottom of the castle and parked up in a car park so I could grab a puzzle cache I’d solved while the girls sat in the car with the air-con running.
From there we drove down to Carvoeiro. Kas got to drive down the narrow, cobbled streets again.
After a couple of fruitless laps we drove up to the top of the hill at the east end of the beach and parked up right next to a cache that was part of a 3-cache mini series.
The centre of Carvoeiro has Portugal’s one and only webcam cache. It’s right outside as ice cream shop. It would have been rude not to.
From here we wandered over onto the beach, making a quick change and heading for a dip in the sea.
Ooh ooh ooh ooh cold !
After half an hour of beachyness I scooted off up the cliffs on the west side of the beach to find the other trad cache in that mini series and its bonus puzzle cache. The view from the bonus was spectacular.
I headed back down to the beach for some shade, cliffs and incoming tide. It’s a really nice beach, if you’re into that kind of thing. I would imagine it can get ridiculously busy at times.
We came off the beach at about 5:30 and grabbed a cold drink to sip at while Kas walked back up the cliffs to fetch the car. The kids were jiggered.
The drive back home was uneventful and we stopped off at new favourite supermarket to grab some things for doing a barbie in the evening – some sausages and chicken/pepper kebabs. And some cold beers.
The apartment complex was busy with new visitors going through the normal first-day motions. Many of those motions involved barbeques. Some involved jumping in the pool after hours.
We had a fairly lazy tea then got ourselves all cleaned up before getting the girls to bed nice and early. We weren’t much later ourselves as we’d got a big day planned for the following day.