Paid up camping, purchased toilet chemical (certainly need more than Napisan in this heat!) and on road to Lagos, Portugal, our 18th country! Along way, composed emails to Erich re arrangements for our vehicle storage at end of this trip, jobs on Ozzie including inspection certificate for Australian registration, new tyres, and our transport to Munich; to Alessandro organising Webasto service/ repairs in Madrid.
Crossed bridge into Portugal- had to set clocks back an hour (good, it will at least be daylight when we get up now!) Brilliant system for tolls - drive through toll gate, insert payment card, linked to photographed number plate, receipt issued, and that card will be used automatically for all toll roads in country.
Drove off highway to follow coast. Sunny, not yet too hot. Supermarket (hmm- liquid eggs).
Very pretty lunch spot at Fabrica overlooking spit of sand, with boats and long red-legged sand birds (maybe godwits?)
Clay soil, lots of trees, shrubs, orchards, gardens - bright bougainvillea and morning glory, purple with pink centres. Deep red berries on castor oil plant; profusion of gold on palms. Homes fully tiled outside in ceramics, old, new (and some just plain awful!)
Water wheels for irrigation, domestic water. Took loop to look at Rio Formosa Natural Park, where land and water are described as at "antagonistic purposes". We think they mean natural (home to migratory birds) vs commercial (port/ fishing/industrial). Turned out not to be worth a stop, commercial won hands-down. Country looks poor, closed businesses, crumbling buildings, litter and graffiti everywhere. And the inevitable "Ladies of the Broad Daylight" as we now call them, standing or sitting on plastic chairs beside the road attracting their customers. Stopped at shopping centre for afternoon tea. Plenty of signs in English, already so much easier than Spain to find what we need.
Found drab Aires Stadium carpark on outskirts of Lagos. Eventually a cool breeze revived spirits enough to cook steak with veggies.