It is six thirty and we are sitting in the late afternoon sun by the marina enjoying a glass of sangria. People meander by or sit on park benches making the most of a warm, lazy Sunday afternoon. The planes that regularly fly overhead are the only thing marring the serenity.
Today we joined a guided boat tour that explored the Rio Formosa (mud flats - national park) that line Faro's coastline. Our guide was enthusiastic about the bird life, flora, history etc...of the mud flats, at least we now understand a little more of the ecosystem. The tour ends at an island off the coast, they call it the deserted island, although it has a restaurant and plenty of people enjoying the white sandy beaches along it's south side.(will add photos to the album). Colin went for a dip, we walked along the beach for a bit and then sat and had a lazy lunch looking out at the coastline, very pleasant really! We did a little more exploring after lunch, Colin had another quick swim and we caught the ferry back. An excellent way to spend a Sunday in Portugal.
We are only a week away from being on our way back to Brunswick. I am finding it increasingly hard not to think about work and life back home, in part because I haven't properly processed my responses to beig at the Do Lectures. However my work oriented thinking is slow and fits in around activities such as this.
As Maria was writing I was pondering the idealic scene of which we are a part. One of my favorite authors is Englishman Allain de Botton. One of his books is called the Art of Travel in which he explores the phenomena of western tourism (think palm trees and desert islands) and the fantasy associated with it. His concluding theme is that travel often fails to live up to expectations because 'we take ourselves with us'. In other words, travel as an escape just doesn't work.
As I sit here in this wonderful setting, I am conscious that the peace and joy I feel is not actually about the marina and the warm setting sun. It is related to how blessed I am and in particular how smart I was to choose this amazing woman sitting with me as my life partner. Having got that bit squared away, the setting and the privilege of adventure travel is pure joy.
OK so that might be a bot soppy, but so be it.