Day 8: Lazy day in Albufeira

Well, after 4 days of zooming around in a car, today was a total contrast. I had to drop the car off at 11 this morning, so we didn't really get to make use of it today, except to make a quick shopping run and fill up with petrol. Oh, and just one other thing – a vain attempt at trying to find somewhere around Albufeira with an open wireless network that we could tap into. I knew it was a long shot, but after filling up with petrol, I drove around the holiday villas while Manda sat in the passenger seat with the laptop on, looking for a hint of free wireless. You never know, someone might have not bothered to password access! I didn't desperately need to connect, but thought that after a week, it might be as well to check in, just in case there was an important message waiting.

Having given up on the free wireless hunt, I dropped Manda back on The Strip then dropped the car back off at the rental place, with 1300 extra Kms on the clock, a destroyed nearside wing mirror and a slightly more scuffed wheel trim (I was hoping they didn’t notice that). On the way back up to the villa, I spotted an Internet café and so stepped in to connect the old fashioned way – with wires. And about 'that possible important message' ...

I didn't make a note of the date it was sent, all I knew was that it was the most recent message in my inbox and I needed to call England ASAP. Tina, Manda's sister, had emailed saying that she'd tried phoning (my mobile phone had been off for a few days) but hadn't been able to get in touch to let us know that the house alarm had gone off. Or was still going off! In a panic, I disconnected then hot-footed it back to the villa to switch on my phone and call Tina. I then discovered that she'd sent the message on Thursday – over three days ago. Mentally I went through what kind of apologies we'd need to make to our neighbours after three days of the alarm going off, but Tina clarified that it was only the small alarm inside the control panel that was sounding, not the main alarm bell outside the house. Phew, that was a relief! I gave her the code for reset over the phone but then learned of another problem – Tina had managed to lock herself out of the house, having left our spare set of keys inside. We were pleased to learn that the house alarm was not going off, but concerned that if it did go off, Tina would now have to break in to do an alarm reset. There's surely some irony in there.

The rest of the day was a lazy one, partly spent by the complex pool, partly inside watching British TV, but we couldn't be doing this for the rest of the holiday. Already we were missing having the car! I decided to check out what the weather would be doing for the next few days, as that would help us make any decisions about future excursions. Monday looked good, but Tuesday and Wednesday were forecast as rainy and thunderstorms, respectively. That decided it – I headed to the complex reception and booked us tickets to Zoomarine for tomorrow. If we're going to see dolphins and tropical birds, we'd best be seeing them in sun.