Another beautiful weather day in Vilamoura. The temperature got up to 30C today. Michael and I had booked to play our first round of golf in Vilamoura. Our tee off time was 11:15am. We brought our clubs over with us and when I went to take my clubs out of the golf carrier bag I found my driver’s shaft had snapped. Not a great start to the round and we haven’t even started playing yet. We played the Oceanico Laguna course (http://www.oceanicogolf.com/our-courses/oceanico-laguna-golf-course/) today. There are 7 courses in Vilamoura alone and they are all part of the same group (Oceanico). As you can tell from the name, the course is played around, over and through lagoon. Lots of water. Lots of lost balls. Fortunately we found almost as many balls as we lost. Not a particularly long course but without my driver it definitely became a lot longer. And then I added to it by hitting at right angles from the hole. Michael on the other hand seemed to be hitting his driver the best he ever had and at one stage managed to drive 250 meters which is undoubtedly the longest drive he has ever had. It wasn’t the best course I have ever played and at times it was like playing off concrete it was so hard but it was an enjoyable round all the same.
I had asked when we arrived whether there was anyone who could replace my shaft and they called the professional and he said he thought he might be able to do it. When we finished he hadn’t come back yet with my club so Michael and I had some lunch and when we were finished he arrived about 5 minutes later. Joaquin was his name and he basically told us his life history, about his sister who lives in Durban and that he knows another South African in Vilamoura and he wants to introduce me. Michael and I never thought we would actually be able to leave. He did fix the club though and he tells me that the shaft he put on is so good my handicap will now come down to 5! After we had loaded our clubs into the car and were driving out, he came running out to give me his card so that I could contact him again. I like him, he called me a young man.
Helen and Stephen went shopping at the Hypermarket again for some essential items – a new coffee machine (the one here was a genuine espresso machine which is a real hassle to make coffee with) and bikes. To rent a bike costs €15 per day and you can buy one for €75 so we figured that given we will be here regularly in future we may as well buy 2 bikes and leave them here for future use. Helen has already been on two rides today and so we already seem to be getting our money’s worth.
Unfortunately we did watch Portugal win today at the World Cup but still get eliminated. Now all the countries we are visiting on this trip have been eliminated from the World Cup. Given all the activity especially the cycling late afternoon, we only ended up eating dinner tonight at about 8:40pm. I think that is sort of a standard Portuguese dinner time so we seem to be slotting in to the way of life here.
The town and the country are really growing on us and we have only been here for 3 days now. Tomorrow we plan to do some wider exploring in the area.
Until then ….