OUR TRIP TO THE ALGARVE
On Thursday 3rd October we started our bowling tour to the Algarve at 4-30am (middle of the night) outside the club. We arrived at the hotel ‘Holiday Inn Algarve’, in Armacao de Pera at around 12 noon. Our first task to understand the ‘resort manager’ Sue, from Blackpool, not a ‘shrinking violet’!
The hotel was great standing on the beach edge facing the Atlantic, what views and not a cloud in the sky! Good food and the bar had a happy hour 25% off between 6 and 8 pm!!!!!!!!!
We had 4 games to play during the week, the rinks were selected by different Captains of the day for each game.
The first game on Friday 4th was Vs. Floresta BC, rinks selected by Clive & Gill. This was played on carpet, 7 rinks 2 wood triples, we won on 3 rinks but lost overall by 10 shots, not bad in 26 degrees with no shade! The top rink was Jean T/Pat A (shared lead), Clive B & Barrie T.
Our next game was on Saturday 15th Vs. Valverde BC, this club was up in the hills, with a breeze, a good job as the temperature was heading towards 30 degrees, again with little shade! The rinks were selected by Gordon & Linda. This was played on grass, 7 rinks 2 wood triples, we only, however, won on one rink loosing overall by 49 shots, we thought the green to be heavy and couldn’t find the lines! The top rink was Kath S/Mary V (shared lead), Lesley F & Uta K, an all ladies victory!
The next two days we had ‘rest & recuperation’, although some of us, on Monday, went on a Land Rover Safari in the mountains. Driving ‘off road’ through the orange and lemon groves, seeing how to harvest cork, then stopping off for a 2 hour 5 course Algarvian lunch, with wine flowing like water. Then followed by a visit, and a tasting session, of fiery ‘Medronho’ a local drink made of berries, at the distillery. A nice day out ‘HIC’.
Tuesday we had our next bowling adventure but this was played in the afternoon, (V. HOT!) at the Pedras da Rainha BC, against another English touring team, Horsell BC, Surrey. This green was in the middle of a holiday complex, where our opposition stayed. The rinks were selected by Terry & Ken, this was 7 full rinks, played on ‘GRASS’ reputedly, a very funny surface almost like an Axminster carpet, when you walked on it you left footprints! To make up our numbers we ‘borrowed’ some Pedras da Rainha bowlers. We won on four rinks but lost overall by 4 shots (getting better) the top rink was Mick W, Lesley F, Barrie T & guest Lorna.
Our last game of the tour was at Alvor BC, again in the middle of a holiday complex and an afternoon game!
The green was grass as we know it and played like home. The rinks were selected by Jean & Julie, 7, 2 wood triples. Our opposition was a little different this time as we had four Portuguese Nationals playing against us, the bowls club owner amongst them.
We did, however, win on 5 rinks and WON overall by 27 shots. During the game two maximums of 6 points were scored, Gordon’s rink on the 12th end and on their last end giving them top rink was Kath S/Mary V (shared lead), Roger S & Clive B.
After dinner on this last bowling day we had farewell drinks with the resort manager. Both she and Gill gave out prizes for many weird and wonderful reasons, I think everyone won something.
Well organised Gill and Clive.
During the trip Gill handed out many fines for varying misdemeanours, like, not listening to ‘how to turn your lights on’, not knowing where your room was and the normal wrong bias etc. From this Ken’s charity pot gained quite a few Euros!
On each game day Gill also ran a coach fiddle, guessing the overall scores or differences etc. these were mainly won by Linda W!
On Thursday 12 of us left for home, the remainder of our group staying on for an extra week to enjoy the sun, at 8-30am, heading for Faro Airport then via Gatwick and coach to Swanage, arriving at 7pm nearly 11 hours traveling, we estimated this as an average speed of just over 120 mph.
Good week had by all !!!!!!!!