My first all inclusive beach holiday in Algarve
I was always sceptical about all inclusive holidays… of people sitting round the pool stuffing their faces with sausages, drinking booze all day and be drunk at 10 in the morning… it just puts me off. I get bored easily, I can’t sit at the same place for more than 15 minutes when I’m on holiday, I feel like I should be exploring, going on journeys… but then I got myself a baby. (toddler now really…) And it’s not fair to drag him around with us. So we booked ourselves a holiday with Club Med! And here’s our journey:
Our flight was supposed to be going at 7:25, it was, of course delayed because they knew I’m on board?! Seriously, when we went to Frankfurt with Ash, we sat in the plane for over an hour because the engine was frozen. Then last year when we went to Xian, the plane was “not safe to fly” and we waited for god knows how many hours.
Anyway, we took off finally, after about 20 mins of anxious waiting. And during the 2.5 hours flight, Ash was squirming about because he was tired… Then just half an hour before we land, pilot told us we’re going to have an emergency landing in Porto because someone needs medical attention. Sigh… I know I shouldn’t be moaning about that, but it did dampen my holiday mood with Ash screaming while we waited for another hour…
We got to Faro at about 11:30pm and we saw the guys waiting with a big “CLUB MED” sign for us (with the ever so important bottles of water), and that’s when our holiday begins…
The whole greeting thing is new to me, and I’m glad that they are there to take us straight to the resort since I really was at my wit’s end with Ash.
The driver took our luggages from there and the next time I saw them, they’re in my room!
When we arrived, we were greeted (again! Like the queen!) when the car door opens (forgot to mention they even had a child seat for Ash), and we had quick welcome drinks in the lobby. Followed by a very beautifully laid out plate of snack in the room for us!!! It was very, very tasty and Ash loved the fresh bread, cold cuts and cheese! It’s very French, and very lovely.
Package holiday 1 : Self booked holiday 0
Because we arrived late last night, we missed the crèche and we had to have basher to ourselves!! The day started with the most lovely breakfast buffet I’ve seen for a long time. Cold cuts, ham, different bread, lots of juices, sausages, fresh fried eggs, hash browns, the list goes on!
We then went to the pool and played, had lunch… Oh the lunch! Was out of this world. I did not expect that! I’ve paid good money in restaurants in the UK and had much, much worse food…
We then slept in the afternoon for 3 hours, had dinner (another very, very nice dinner!) and went to bed!
Today we left Ashleigh in kid’s club and took a taxi into Albufeira. Taxi ride costs about €6 and it’s very convenient. We went to 2 museums, a stroll on the beach, sat down and had a drink (and ice cream!) twice, all these just simply will not be possible without the kid’s club.
I have a very familiar feeling when I got to Albufeira, it’s very similar to Macau (or I should say vice versa) because of the buildings and scorching hot sun. Anyway it was nice to get out and about! Ash played tennis and made cookies at the kids club today, he looked so cool in the pictures!
Another day in kid’s club for Ash, and we went to Faro! It’s not a very touristy town, but that is exactly why I liked it so much. It’s very chilled out, with bitter orange trees lining the street, and apparently these oranges are only for decorating purposes, because they do not taste nice. However “foreigners” make them into marmalade… haha that brought a smile to my face as James likes marmalade!
We had yet another little adventure, we went on a boat trip to see the amazing grottos http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/topamax_generic.html round the Algarve, I was literally screaming, and the french lady held my arm as we plunged into the sea on our tiny boat. It was all very funny now but at the time, I was seriously scared due to the lack of life jacket… I’m sure you can’t do that in this country! Of course James was making fun of me, at one point he pointed at a seagull standing on the cliff and said “Grrr… Grrr… I’m keeping an eye on you… and your floating carcass later on… grr” which, of course did not help one bit. But it was good! Meanwhile Ashleigh took part in a play in the theatre and we went to see him on stage when we got back. It was a lovely, lovely feeling seeing your kid on stage! Even he just wanted to come to us when he spotted his mummy and daddy. 🙂
Day 6 (By James)
Our day in Loulé was encumbered by the fact that we could not bring ourself to get up, get ready, eat breakfast and get Ash into Petit Club by 9am. Becuase of this, we missed the oppurtunity to join the tour with the hotel tour which was going to cost the equivalent of €23 per person. The cost itself wasnt entirely unreasonable, as having to catch a taxi to get there for a decent amount of time cost almost €30 for a one way trip, So far so good, but the I would have to admit that the outdoor market itself was somewhat underwhelming.
Many of the stalls were selling the same old thing, such as Necklaces, pottery, fabric, cheap plastic toys. All of these were repeated on every row of stall and along with being harangued by a particuarly pushy market trader, the experience threated to make the day seem quite flat. However, Loulé itself was something of a gem, as the indoor markets, town centre and lovely winding streets were quite charming, and worth a visit without even considering the outdoor market itself.
Loulé gave us the chance to purchase the bulk of our local food stuffs, and we managed to come away with a small variety of biscuits and other treats. Getting them back to the hotel took a somewhat greater amount of effort, as I decided that we should try and ‘rough’ it a little (as well as maximise the value of our purchases by saving some money) and take the bus back to the hotel. Other than having to wait around for the bus driver to turn up, the journey was a good was to see some part of the algarve, albeit in a hot, bumpy bus!
This day we didn’t put Ash in the club, we had a very relaxed breakfast, sitting on the terrace facing the sea, then we headed to the pool and had a splash splosh, with his newly acquired water squirter… bad purchase as he kept squirting everyone with it… After a quick nap for Ash, we went to the beach and the sand was ridiculously hot… I had to do lizard jumps! All in all, a relaxing doing nothing day! Until Ashleigh threw up just before dinner time… and then again at the dinner table, totally 3 times within 3 hours! Apparently there was a stomach bug going round in the kid’s club and Ash caught it… but it was quite mild and he was fine when he went to bed.
It’s time to go home…. 🙁 It’s not very often I feel sad when I had to go, as I get bored easily and I always look forward to go back home and reflect on my travel over a cup of tea, sitting on the sofa with love ones. But this time, because we stayed in a complex, we see familiar faces, we talked to people, and I’m starting to miss Carmen, Amelia, the french couple and their little Amelie, the staff… everyone was so nice there! We checked out at 3 and just hang round the resort till after dinner, at 8pm we went on the coach and said goodbye to Algarve, I very, very much want to come back!
Look at the stuff I bought!