We set off within a reasonable time heading for Albufeira, a town I had been to on holiday as a kid. Unfortunately, after driving less than an hour to the town, we then spent another hour driving around trying to find a campsite or a tourist office to find out where we could pitch. No such luck. The place was very much more built up than I remember and instead of the tiny cobbled streets with rows of craft shops and stalls that I imagined, we saw glass-fronted hairdressers and fashion shops, UK minimarkets advertising themselves with ‘feel at home here with the best of British foods’ printed across enormous British flags in the windows, I found it all a little shameful actually. So we continued towards Vilamoura, another town that my family had taken me to for my 30th birthday, but again we found no campsites, just blocks and blocks of apartments and holiday villas, golf clubs and spa resorts. Some English we had met along the way had told us about a fishing port called Olhao to the west of Faro and on the outskirts of the tourist strip which we decided to get to instead.
The campsite we found was a couple of kilometres outside the town, but had a pool and some shade, so we chilled out there for a while and decided to move on again in the morning.
“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins