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The Boy King Square
10/11/2011, Lagos

Finally got round to taking a picture of the statue in what is known as "The Boy King Square". Personally me and a lot of other folk think it looks more like a spaceman but there. There are often street performers and musicians here to entertain in the main tourist months of the year.

In 1572, the 18 year-old Boy King, Dom Sebastião, visited Lagos. He inspected the fortress at Sagres and the Franciscan monastery at Cape S. Vicente. Later in the same year, Dom Sebastião issued a new charter for Lagos, elevating the town to the status of a city. Soon it became the capital of the Kingdom of the Algarve, and the governor took up residence in the fortifications opposite the town hall.

Three years later the troops mustered between the Paços do Concelho and the governor's palace where the king addressed them from one of the windows, before they left on the ill-fated expedition to invade Morocco. At Alcaçer-Quibir many died including Dom Sebastião himself, leaving no direct heir to the throne. Some stories suggest his body was brought back and buried in the Jeronimos Monastery. He became known as "the king who would return" as on the death of his uncle, the cardinal king Henrique, Portugal came under the control of Spain. The "boy king" became a national hero to maintain Portuguese identity.


We have had a great time in Rota with sunny weather and really explored the town this time as we have been here for over a week. The beach and promenade are lovely and there are pleasant little streets to wander along where you can stop for tapas or a drink on the way. The only drawback is the longish walk to the nearest Mercadona or Carrefour supermarkets which would be fine over winter but rather hot now. We got round this by organising a delivery of heavy items like water, beer, wine, soft drinks and other dried stuff to the boat. There is a bakers and small shops nearby plus a fish market next to the marina and the small town covered market is less than 5 minutes away. The Spanish people are very friendly and helpful and speak good English, maybe because of the nearby American naval base. Off to Lagos tomorrow or the next day.

Tapas Festival
09/19/2011, Rota

Cleaned the boat thoroughly today and in the evening went out with Mark and Tara. Steve, Mark and I went to see the Georgia - England World Cup game first in an Irish bar called not surprisingly O'Grady's - see picture. The match was good and although we won 36-10 the Georgians played hard and put England under pressure. The 3 of us were the only ones watching and the rest of the clientele were getting loudly drunk and singing songs accompanied by urgent drumming, which seemed to be an anniversary of something or other or maybe according to one heavily plastered young lady. We were glad when the match ended and are unlikely to go there again unless to watch a game as the beer was expensive as well.

Afterwards we went to the Plaza De La Cantera for the last night of the X11 Feria de la Tapa de Rota which had been running for 3 nights this weekend. There was Flamenco dancing and music and stalls representing 9 bars with tapas 2e a go. Mark and Tara, who have lived in Spain many years said that it was quite expensive as they were used to having tapas for 2 but also including a small beer. There was a variety of tastes but we were not overly impressed with the ones we chose as many were too sweet for our palates. The sea anemones mini omelette with Rota style vegetable puree was interesting and we enjoyed the Paella- soup style tapa of the day along with the Iberian Pork with mushrooms, the others were a bit of a letdown. But a good evening was had by all.

Shame I forgot the camera.

About town
09/18/2011, Rota

We explored the town today and are quite impressed with it, the beach and promenade are nice and we found the supermarkets a Carrefour and Mercadona but they are a long walk away on a hot day but will do deliveries. We did some shopping and stopped off at a bar along the beach for lunch where beer was 1e a pint in a cold glass. I drank Tino de Verrano. The bar is part of a chain called 100 Montaditos - mini sandwich rolls which the Spanish seem fond of.

Friends from La Linea arrived today and came round for drinks in the evening, we are going to the tapas festival tomorrow with them.

Lucky timing in Rota
09/17/2011, Spain

We set off to Rota on our way back to Lagos and had to motor again. All went well until the engine cut out when we were 10m off the visitors pontoon so we glided in. Steve judged it perfectly and I just stepped off and secured a line to midships.

Steve checked us in at the office and they said they would send some help round to the berth to help us tie up incase we encountered trouble again. The same thing happened again but no one was there, we had put fenders on the bow as a precaution. I could not get off so we called out and a rigger working on the boat opposite helped so I could hop off and tie us up.

We are eating out tonight as we feel in need of a treat. An English speaking mechanic is visiting us Monday hopefully.

Goodbye Gibraltar
09/13/2011, Babate

We said goodbye to Gib etc and will miss Jeff who always makes me laugh - not always intentionally but never mind. We motored to Babate yesterday having to start slightly later than planned as we found the Marina office in La Linea had changed its opening hours and was only open for 3 hours Sunday - very helpful!

We are now in Babate where the marina is surrounded by grim, grey concrete walls and buildings giving it prison-like feel - not welcoming to look at but the showers are clean and there is a washing machine. The marina bar is a bit pricey and the newly opened bar on the road out has already closed, hardly surprising as when we went in last summer the service was dire and the wifi wasn't working.

The nearest supermarket, a Supersol, is 20 minutes away after an often smelly walk through the fish dock and the town is a further 10 minutes. It is no fun in the heat. There is a long sandy beach and some nice bars etc in the town and on the promenade. This year there was a lot of rubbish floating around the marina between the boats which will be a slight worry when we want to leave, not wanting to suck any into the injection pump inlet.

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