A Travellerspoint blog

The Lighthouse at the End of the World

sunny 24 °C

“Shiver me timbers boy,” said Long John Silver to young Jim Hawkins as they set sail westerly for Hispaniola and the Spanish Main. “Look hard on that thar land, for ’tis likely the last bit ’o land you’ll ever set yer eyes upon.”

This is it – the most southwesterly point of land in Europe. In olden days, when the earth was still flat and sailors worried about dropping off the edge, this was often the last, and the first, piece of land that seafarers would see when they ventured to explore the world.
Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama would have both feared this place…

Atlantic waves over a hundred feet high crash against these cliffs and, until the lighthouse was built, it was one of the most treacherous coasts in the world. Welcome to the Algarve, the southerly coast of Portugal. We’ve been relaxing on the beach here with our family members from France for the last week before we head off to Morocco – and what a beach! The deserted sand stretches for miles. We’re staying near the ancient fishing port of Tavira - an historic town of whitewashed houses, winding streets and dockside fish restaurants that is home to the octopus fleet…
These are the terracotta jars that the fisherman drop onto the seabed and later retrieve when the unsuspecting octopus have set up home…
Fishing is big business on this coast, and the markets have perhaps the greatest range of seafood we’ve ever seen. The markets are awash with sardines, anchovies, squid and octopus, but the biggest catch is the tuna. These anchors were once used to secure miles of tuna nets to the seabed...
Despite the onslaught of tourists from northern Europe, the Algarve is still largely a rural backwater where olives, oranges and pomegranates flourish in the arid conditions. While a few of the coastal towns of the Algarve have been spoiled by rampant development there are still many that have retained their character and have ancient churches and Moorish castles – like this one at Silves…
However, when it comes to architectural masterpieces and historic artefacts, we need to head back across the border to Spain; to the Andalusian city of Seville where, we are told, great treasures await. We shall see! (and so will you).

Posted by Hawkson 02:21 Archived in Portugal

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I love the photos of the boats. They look like paintings! There is a bit of rain here this morning but it isn't cold. I am looking forward to seeing what Morocco looks like.

by Jean McLaren

Thank you for taking us to the end of the world! Amazing that it is so close to the other world.

by Janet

who knows what the future holds. Maybe we will find out in the future that the world is not flat, round, but square. It has all been an illusion. Lovely photos. Meals must be luscious with all that seafood.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Brings back memories of Harv and I's time in Albufiera in the 1980's...doesn't look like it has changed much....I remember the wonderful sea food.

by Sharron

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