The house special and a van full of whiskey…

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(Spotted this van near reception yesterday)

Whiskey Van

(The writing on the side…)

We are still in Luz near Lagos and it’s just starting to get warm enough to sit outside and write… wearing three layers, thick fleece, woolly socks, boots and sun hat! So this is what spring looks like… here. I’ve been getting weather reports from my Mam and twitter (two very good sources) and spring in Ireland seems a little different. We went to visit the southern edge of Europe on Saturday, the bit of Portugal that points south into the Atlantic Ocean. It was very windy and then rainy and then sunny, familiar. Familiar is nice.

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(The tip of Portugal looks a bit like an open crab claw with Cabo de São Vicente (above) on one tip and Sagres on the other)

We met a lovely couple on the bus to Lagos last week who recommended a restaurant in the nearby village. You really don’t need recommendations as the food in Portugal has been really good, no matter where we go. This one wasn’t Portuguese but we thought we’d give it a try anyway.

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(The landscape at Ponta de Sagres. Kinda like the Burren?)

There were lots of free tables when we got there but despite my very winning smile (normally..) the grumpy man behind the bar didn’t react to our arrival, so we picked a good spot, sat down and waited. We waited a long time during which the occupants of the only other table had taken out their iPod and started a 70’s sing-a-long. Maybe this was the wrong place?

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(The lighthouse at the fort on Ponta de Sagres)

While we were considering our options the grumpy man arrived with menus saying, there’s a lovely Chicken Pie special. We spotted some interesting dishes on the menu and when he arrived back with drinks we asked about a few. Each special we asked about was off or finished or just for the summer season and then he mentioned the lovely Chicken Pie again… we looked at each other and there was a long pause…

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(The beach at the peninsula behind the fort at Ponta de Sagres)

I gave in first, I’ll have the Chicken Pie, please. The grumpy man perked up slightly. Denis wasn’t ready to let go of an interesting steak and sausage thingy and tried again. To which grumpy man replied, ok but it’ll take a while, I have to defrost the sausage. Denis was torn but smart enough to say, no, sur’ I’ll have the special too, thanks. Grumpy man almost smiled. The Chicken Pie was very nice and by the end of the night we were humming along with Gloria Gaynor’s I will Survive.

We have a new rule: Portuguese Restaurants Only. Mairead.