Despite having packed two plastic boxes full of medical supplies, Dougie was still flailing about on the night before our trip to Portugal, having chopped his finger with a kitchen knife. It was more of a gouge than a neat cut so he couldn’t glue it. He danced about a bit, holding digit in the air aimlessly, then managed to find an unpacked dressing and, you’ve guessed, a roll of duct tape to stem the bleeding.
After this auspicious start to the holiday, we girded our loins and poorly finger, and set off the next morning at some ungodly hour for the delights of Luton airport. Queue-hopped far too many times for check-in, only to discover the plane was delayed for two hours. For once in our lives, when we eventually boarded, we were first on the plane: shame really that this was a time when we had pre-allocated seats.
At Faro airport we wandered with our wheelie bags to a very smart, newly-built section outside the airport where all the car rental companies had their air-conditioned offices and separate parking areas. Funny but we couldn’t find the office for Rent-a-Crap-Car Ltd anywhere. Seems our Vauxhall Corsa, which we had pre-booked for a very reasonable price, was in a separate car-park,and the office was a metal bus shelter. Two very happy, sweaty chaps in vests were dealing with a queue of like-minded cheapskates. As Dougie queued, Rory and I took turns in guessing which car would be ours. There was one very sad one with a huge dent and crack in the back bumper. Yep, that was ours.
We made sure one of the chaps in a vest noted the scratches and bumps before taking our lives in our hands and driving away. Dougie was incredulous that we should be so careful in our choice of vehicle at home, but we don’t make the same consideration with a hire car. It was an automatic, like at home, but it was a pig to drive and under-powered (probably due to our heavy cases)
It took us, eventually, to the resort of Martinhal, the very western tip of the Algarve. Check-in was rather long-winded as the very pleasant man on reception was keen to tell us everything about the resort. We were hot, smelly and tired and all we wanted was to be given the information in a folder to be read at our leisure. Evenutally our cases were loaded onto a buggy and Dougie had to return to the car, unfortunately, to move it nearer to our apartment.
Can I say this in capitals? THE APARTMENT WAS FANTASTIC! There, that’s better. We had booked an Ocean House with sea view. It had two bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs and a huge kitchen/lounge/dining area and balcony upstairs. Designed in fabulously retro style, with a massive green sofa, plenty of cushions, chic seating on the patio and a decent telly. The kitchen had a Neff oven, hob and dishwasher just like I’ve installed at home and a Nespresso machine. I was in heaven. A welcome pack which includes four chocolate muffins and a box of cornflakes made me realise in an instant that this was my kind of resort.
I’ll leave you for now with a selection of photos of our gaff and will tempt you to come back for the next post where I will let you know which celebrity I lay beside at the pool….