Lights Out

The last full day in the Algarve started out not so bad. The rain that Dave kept warning us about didn’t really materialize. Yes, it was cloudy, and yes, there were some drops of rain from time to time, but really the day was pretty good! 

We started off kind of slowly. A lazy breakfast. The usual coffee and yogurt and bread with peanut butter and jam. MaryLou did a load of laundry. After I spend about an hour packing my bags, including my golf clubs, I sat around and worked on a crossword puzzle. Dave was checking out the late night talk shows. And in between we all did a bit of reading, too. MaryLou went for a walk. We had lunch. 

Okay, it’s too nice out there for us to just sit inside and do nothing all day. So we decided to take a drive — go check out the Lagos Zoo. There are splashy signs and billboards throughout our area advertising this zoo. Dave had often mentioned that he’d like to go see it. Well, today was the day. 

At the Espiche Golf Course

I took my big golf bag downstairs and put it in the trunk of the car, ready for my early morning departure tomorrow. Then we got in and headed north. The drive took us right past the Espiche golf course where Dave and I had played a few games earlier in the month (when the prices were still ‘discounted’ winter rates). So today we turned into the driveway and showed MaryLou where we had been. By now MaryLou had heard so much about Dave’s ‘miraculously’ finding his sunglasses in the thistles of this course, she thought she might right a book (or at least a column) about it. So we stopped for a short ‘photo shoot’ of Dave (and me) standing in front of the clubhouse, holding the aforementioned sunglasses. Click. Done. Next stop?

We continued down the road and wound our way through some small (and visibly less well-to-do) villages on our way to the zoo. When we got to the zoo, the parking lot had LOTS of room for us to park. We walked across the muddy parking lot and across the road to the big entrance to the zoo. Twelve euros for an entry ticket. I looked over the wall — a big pool with hundreds of small turtles crawling around and a couple of ducks swimming in it. A few (empty) cages and displays. The big sign at the entrance listed the animals to be seen here. Hmmm… Not many ‘exotic’ animals here — no lions, tigers, camels, elephants, giraffes, etc. No, they listed parrots and birds and hedgehogs and the most exotic animal was a crocodile. It looked like we would be the only visitors if we went in — but we didn’t. We got back into the car and kept driving. 

Coffee break

Now the fuel gauge was dinging ’empty’ and we needed to find a gas station so we could put a few dollars in before I take the car back to the rental company at the airport in Faro tomorrow. That turned out to be more complicated than we might have guessed. We ended up WAY west of our place, near the Santo Antonio golf course before we finally found a gas station at a large ‘Inter-Marche’ grocery station. We put in fifteen euros and then decided to have a coffee here before heading back home. We parked the car and went inside. Pastries and espressos. 

We drove back to our place and parked the car. A few minutes later we were all back in our respective stations. TV on. Waiting for happy hour. Dave and MaryLou both nodded off for a bit, although I’m sure it wasn’t the exciting day that tuckered them out! Happy hour. Our last G&Ts together. 

At 7:13 it was time to go out for supper. Although I really liked the Chinese food we’d had a few weeks ago, I thought we should really try the British pub that is just across the road from our place. Mushy peas and Guinness pie. But when we got there we learned that they are not open for meals in the evening — only for lunch, at least until the ‘summer’ season begins. Okay, that settles that — we’ll go for Chinese.

Dave & MaryLou at the Chinese restaurant

And we did. And it was good. And when it was done we went back to our place. MaryLou really wanted to play Parcheesi or Rummy Cube or some game like that — she’d found the game under our coffee table earlier today. But Dave wasn’t interested and I didn’t know how to play it, so we ended up watching a Beatles documentary on Netflix. That put MaryLou to sleep in her chair within 10 minutes. Dave woke her when it was time for our night snack — Venetian ice cream and a small port.

I was not at all tired and had intentions of writing a decent blog post — something to finish up the series — about how much fun it had been, how good it was for me to do this, how incredibly kind and generous Dave and MaryLou had been (and are), not only to invite me to join them, but to make me feel welcome and put up with my whining about the weather and my fussing in the kitchen and my walking too fast on the walks, etc. I was going to write a big long THANK YOU post to the Driedgers. They are GREAT FRIENDS to me. But right then, the three of us sitting there in the living room in front of the telly, POW! the breaker went and the power was off. Well, we’ve blown that breaker on a daily basis for the entire stay, so I just pick up my phone and turn on the flashlight and go reset the breaker. POW. It won’t reset. Hmmm.. Maybe the power is off in the entire building? Maybe that big stormy wind that is coming off the ocean and rattling our windows has knocked out the power? But we open the door and look out into the hallway — and there are lights on and the elevators are working. Dave determines that it is our breaker panel. He keeps trying to reset it over and over, but it pops right back off. 

Okay, that’s that. I gotta get up early tomorrow — I would like to leave by 7 at the latest. It’ll take me an hour to drive to the airport in Faro, and then I need to return the rental car and check in and make sure my oversize golf bag gets on the plane and the flight leaves at 10:30. I’m going to bed. We all did. In the dark. With the wind howling outside.

No blog post tonight! (so I wrote this the next afternoon)