Who said you can't go to the beach in wintertime? Whoever told you doesn't know what they are missing. Here in Tavira, the beach is still as brilliant and charming even on rainy days. Even if the grey clouds are reflected in the crashing waves.
The smell of the sea lasts all year round and sometimes I feel myself attracted by the scent. It brings back memories of my childhood. I remember my father setting out so many early mornings to Olhão get the freshest fish in the entire region.
Nowadays I spend days, weeks, even months in the eastern Algarve just working. Here my travelling companion is always the train. The journeys we share remind me of my infancy. When I would leave with my Dad for another day's work or when I'd make my Mum travel to see us. This is perhaps my refuge for those memories lost in time…
Now, when my schedule calms down a bit, I get out of Tavira early in the morning and catch the train to Vila Real de Santo António and visit bits of my childhood. I curl up beside the window, pick up my book, put on my phones and know I'll be there in under an hour as I leaf through my book while peeking out the window at the scenery going past.
When I reach my destination, in the extreme eastern end of the Algarve right up beside Spain, I wander through the tourists in the town centre and pop in to see the local shops until I reach my favourite restaurant. It has the perfect view over the river Guadiana. No fish dish tastes as great as the ones they make here in the south of the country! And the view...?
After lunch, I head down to Rua da Estação Velha, get on my train and head off to my last stop. It will be a long journey, but it gives me time to leaf through my book and, who knows, close my eyes and dream a bit.
It's a calm trip to Olhão. I am going to recall my childhood and now rediscover the town my Dad went to so often. I hope it will now bring some of him back to me.
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