The time goes a little slower in Faro, it seems the people aren’t too worried about what time anything will be. Dinner is anywhere between 8pm and midnight, and there is a pizza place that is open until 6am. While the beach isn’t close to town, there was some amazing wetlands just on the edge of the old town, and the scenery to the east of town was incredible. One day I went for a wander around the streets and ended up at the jetty just outside the old town. I ran in to a friend from the hostel who was going to the Ihla Deserta, so I decided to buy a ticket for €10 and jump on board. The Island has one restaurant and a tiny beach shack where one person lives. The rest of the island is low scrubland and beautiful beach. We took a turn to the right and walked the boardwalk around the island and back to the beach. It is such a nice beach, though a little too cold in winter for a swim. The weather was beautiful regardless and was great for relaxing and recharging.
The next day I thought a trip to the Chapel of Bones would be interesting, and something I probably wouldn’t have the chance to do again anytime soon. I walked through the large church first, as the chapel is just behind this. As with most catholic churches it had some pretty spooky pictures of Jesus itself, so I was feeling a little worried about how freaky the chapel would be. Despite the chapel being made of bones, including skulls from monks, it was not creepy at all. In fact it was almost inviting, due to the light flooding in and the way in which the bones were arranged. I spent quite a while in here pondering how someone thought it was a good idea to use bones as decoration and building material. The only thing I didn’t like was that there is graves underfoot in the chapel, so that to go inside I had to step on many graves.
The town was devoid of tourists and full of students, making it the perfect place for partying. As you may be aware, I haven’t partied a lot in my travels so far, so it was fun to let loose a little a couple of the nights. Churches and drinking don’t really go hand in hand, and neither of them make me feel all that great either, so I really needed some cleansing time at the beach. The beach was about 8km from Faro and a friend and I decided it would be a great idea to walk, so the beach was especially nice for us by the time we arrived. The surfers were out and the sun was going down from a cloudless sky. I was taught how to cartwheel and then had a beer at one of the nearby bars. All in all a pretty good afternoon.
While there wasn’t a lot to do in this small university town, I loved the vibe and ended up staying six nights to relax and socialise. I think 3 nights would have been plenty to see the island, beach and town, though I am super happy I stayed longer. The Le Penguin Hostel added to my enjoyment by having great social activities and really friendly staff. The room and internet was pretty great as well .