Now we are in the Algarve. I sort of didnt realise how close Africa really was to Thomas's place until I got here. It's amazing to think that a short ferry ride away, you could hang out in Tunisia or Morrocco. The architecture/food/people have such a unique style here. Very much a mixture of all these places. The tile work is incredible and the spices in the food are powerful and of northern African influence. We sat on the beach yesterday and had large shrimp (they call this type Langostino) with carmelized garlic, coriander and other spices from Mozambique. Along with that we drank Caipirinha's and homemade local breads. After dinner and a quick walk on the beach, we went on a drive through the grounds at Monte Rei, where Thomas works. Again, the landscape is very similar to SB but with more magic. Nothing but rolling hills and golden sunlight with wild Partridges, and swallows flying by. Nice to see a place so underdeveloped and untouched except for little towns and a wide open resort (they have 1000 acres, but only will develop 8% of it). When we got home, Adrian and I took the dog for a walk on the little country roads next to Thomas and Liz's while sipping on a glass of Vin Verte, the local white wine. Its extremely peaceful here, and even has a Santa Ynez quality - with a lot of oak trees, vineyards, olive trees, and golden hills. I can see why Thomas found this place an easy choice for a new home.
Thomas got us a nice little Peugeot, so we are going to drive to near by ruins and towns to explore. We are planning to perhaps see Lupe and AV and drive to Seville for a night.