We are to have neighbours as we overwinter here in Lagos. They are a couple from Belgium, Annemie and Patrick, who will be staying on board their yacht throughout the winter. They have offered to keep a friendly eye on Lyra for us, which is most reassuring. We invited them over to us for drinks and we exchanged stories of our voyages so far. They had a much harder Biscay crossing than ours, it was humbling to realise how fortunate we had been. Also humbling was the fluency of their English, it was hard to remember they were conversing in a second language. The evening flew by. This morning Patrick presented us with a couple of bottles of Wolf Beer, which they are involved with promoting. It is strong beer, on the lines of a barley wine, we look forward to sampling it.
We also had a visit from Keith and Sheila, our neighbours from home who have a villa just down the coast at Praia de Luz. We met them by the swing bridge and they came over and had tea on the boat. They were insistent we spend the weekend at their place and Keith picked us up from the market place in Lagos on Saturday morning. We spent the day at their home from home, which sadly they are in the process of selling as it is becoming too much for them to manage. It must be heart rending to give up such a lovely place with all the memories it holds for them, but with their grandchildren now grown up they no longer need such an extensive property. Especially as they keep it in such immaculate order. In honour of my visit Keith had delayed cutting back the shrubs in their garden and we sat chatting on the terrace looking down at them and out over the rooftops at the sea. Later we all had a gentle walk down to the centre of Luz and the beach. We lingered a while and drank a cocktail before walking back into a glorious sunset. Sunday morning brought an odd touch of home, with Andrew Marr on TV. To compound this we had a proper Sunday lunch at an Irish pub in Alvor, where the notices were in Portuguese and Gallic and the Guinness superb.
Alvor itself has a traditional, very pretty little harbour, from which climbs network of narrow streets full of shops and restaurants. The harbour is a bit too shallow to risk with Lyra, so it was a bonus to be taken to see it. After a really lovely time they dropped us back off at the marina. Strange to think we will be seeing each other again next week in a much chillier Sheffield.