Friday, November 21, 2014

Lunch at Sem-Fim in Monsaraz.Our final day in Portugal







After a "busy" morning, it was time for a cruise on the Alqueva Lakes
near Monsaraz.
I am not sure what I was expecting to cruise in,
but I was surprised when I discovered that it was this boat.
In retrospect, it was a most enjoyable outing.


Our helmsman...I never got to find out his name.
A quiet fellow who just got on with his job.


We head out to "sea".
This system of lakes is actually man made
and has Portugal on one side and Spain on the other.
There is about 100km of cruisable waterway
and the lakes are stocked with a variety of different species.
All the concrete houses that were "swallowed" when the lakes were built
were demolished but the stone houses still remain.
The lakes took a year to fill


"AARGH me hearties, time to splice the mainsail"...
Put a group like ours together and Pirate talk WILL occur


A view of Monsaraz castle from the water


And it was time for a snack, Portuguese style.
Fresh bread, salami, cheese, wine, beer and juice!
The food was prepared by Tiago,
who owns the boat as well as the restaurant we would be eating at later


From Down under...Ali, making sure that the guests are kept hydrated


This is where we had lunch.
An eclectic mix of old olive oil factory, restaurant, bar and art gallery


It might not look like much from the outside,


But inside is another story altogether
Old equipment down the left wall
and art installation pieces in the old olive presses on the right


Part of one of the "installations"...
Or perhaps just a collection of plastic bottle tops?


These gauges controlled the presses 


I discovered the old barber's chair in the art gallery


The bar area off the main dining room...


And ANOTHER barber's chair


The old oil barrels are now used as decor


With the amount of food that has been consumed by our group to date,
I was fearful that we were going to get weighed before/after lunch


The main produce of the area.


A big thank you to both "Captain" and Tiago for a wonderful afternoon.
It is excursions like these that make Insight Vacations "different".
This area is not a mainstream tourist destination,
HOWEVER the time that guests get to spend here is VERY special.
  

Food glorious food...AGAIN!
Our lunch at Sem-Fim.
I had codfish which was delicious.
There was also pork on offer for those who did not want the fish.
And the lone vegetarian in our group was well looked after.
This was our final excursion in Portugal,
we head off to Seville, Spain for the final part of our Insight Vacations adventure. 






My travelling companions.
Justin, the Gnome, Kwand-hare
and the "travelling heart" from my daughter...


"Travel & Things" was an entrant in this competition.

             


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