|View from Bom Dia boat on tour of coast|
Then the phone calls began - 2 months of them - as DD’s obsession with the weather hit an all-time high! “It’s only 19 degrees in Lagos today!” she complained. “It’s 19 here in London and I’m freezing!” Later that day, she communed with a recent Lagos returnee who insisted the weather in October would be much, much warmer than anywhere in the UK. “After all, it IS on the equator, you know…..on the same latitude (longitude?) as Algiers.” No doubt Columbus could make more sense of that than me, but it seemed to set DD’s mind a rest for at least 4 hours. The next time she phoned, I was with another couple of chums who’d also been to Lagos and obligingly gave a glowing report of the Algarve climate. “Don’t worry, you’ll have a brilliant time!” said my friend Anne. “Never mind the weather! Get a few Strawberry Daiquiris down your neck and you won’t even notice!”
Having consulted with her colleagues, flat-mates, friends, neighbours, unwary passers-by and the Daily Telegraph Travel page (Thank you, Daily Telegraph!) DD decided she was cool about it. “I don’t care what the weather’s like; I’m going to swim every single day!” she announced. “Okay,” I replied, “let’s hope the penguins don’t pinch the sunbeds!”
At last, the morning arrived, me waking up at 2am. The journey went surprisingly smoothly, despite long waits between trains, and I met up with DD for the flight from Stansted. So far so good - until I realised, just before touchdown at 11.45pm at Faro airport, that I hadn’t verified the shuttle to our hotel. We were supposed to give the bus service 24 hours notice! “Oh no! I hope they’ll let us on the bus!”
Phew! Another panic over! The driver DID let us on and 2 hours later we arrived at the Dom Pedro Meia Praia Beach Club where our crisply laundered twin beds awaited. It had been a whole day since I’d woken up in Derbyshire and that soft pillow was my universe. Unfortunately, my head had hardly touched it when DD flounced off to reception in her jim-jams. “Where’ve you been?” I asked on her return. ”To see if I could get my own apartment!” she said. “Your snoring’s keeping me awake!” Now whether she met a language barrier with the bemused young man on the night-desk or realised that she’d have to pay for it, I don’t know, but she failed to get the accommodation she wanted and settled instead for the balcony. Fortunately, the temperature was pleasantly warm and, of course, she had the stars for company!
Awoke the next day to unending cobalt skies,
wall-to-wall sunshine and temperatures of at least 30C. A mere minute's walk and we were on the famous Meia Praia Beach – a wide,
sweeping, truly breathtaking stretch of coastline with soft platinum sand. And, to DD’s delight,
the sea was choppy with white-crested rollers crashing violently against the
shore. Not easy for swimming, perhaps, but a very exciting way to exfoliate! A good sandblast does wonders for the complexion! 30 minutes of paddling along the shore and we were at Lagos Marina with its colourful yachts, cruisers, speedboats and, best of
all, a replica of the Caravela Boa Esperança in which Bartolomeu Dias
set sail for the Cape in 1488.
|View of Lagos - main quayside with colourful market stalls|
|Caravela Boa Esperança|
In the town itself, there’s an ancient citadel from which I kept expecting El Cid to appear with a broom handle stuffed down the back of his Y-Fronts!
|DD doing Grace Kelly bit on deck!|
The food was wonderful – lots of fish – in outdoor restaurants with friendly staff, and and lovely cafes in unexpected places, either on the small hidden coves along the coast, or, like our favourite, on a cliff with panoramic sea views. It was in Lagos DD swallowed her first oyster - a single mollusc on a plate of crushed ice and salady stuff - and where I drank my first Strawberry Daiquiri – perhaps not a good idea seeing as we had a tricky walk along the cliff-side to reach the sandy bays below. I didn’t like to tell DD that the height was making me dizzy, as she’d have blamed it on the rum – she’s already convinced I’m on the road to ruin, which on this occasion was probably true given the lack of handrails!
In fact, DD has a thing about booze. During our 8 days in Lagos, I had no more than 4 glasses of wine, the single Daiquiri and, on our final night, a brandy to finish the meal. “Do you want one?” I asked her, “After all, you’re not in the Sally Ann.”
“No,” she replied, as I expected. Then, much to my horror, added, “I’ll have some of yours.”
“But you don’t like brandy!” I protested. “And you’ve already had most of my Mateus Rosé and you didn’t like that much, either!”
DD was adamant. “I’ll have some of your brandy in my coffee,” she said. The awkward Madam obviously wanted to curb my drinking - no doubt thinking she was saving me from a life on meths under a Manchester viaduct.
“Are you sure you don't want one of your own?" I said, through tightly-clenched teeth.
“No,” DD replied, pulling her Major Barbara face. “I might not like it.”
Ah well - back to Blighty and a stiff G & T!
Ah well - back to Blighty and a stiff G & T!
If you want a quiet holiday with lots of sun, sea and sand, Lagos is for you. Not much in the way of nightlife, although there are some lovely restaurants in the town and street entertainers in the square.
|Water is almost as inviting as a Daiquiri!|
Hope you enjoy the holiday snaps!