One of the best things about travel is the surprises you find along the way. Andrea and I woke up on Christmas morning with a vague plan of heading east to Tavira. But, as we went along, we stopped in a charming beach community (partly because there was ample parking that did not require any parallel parking skills, as I was still getting used to the size of the van). The sun was shining and there was a beautiful boardwalk toward a bridge, so we decided to wander down the path. After a 15 min walk through bird-filled forest, the path opened up to a strange and beautiful beach oasis. Quaint, pastel buildings covered in charming vines. Before you get to Praia do Barril (the beach) you cross an anchor graveyard. These are the remaining bits of what was a thriving tuna fishing industry. The sand was so beautifully soft and fine. We happily meandered down the beautiful shore as the wind whipped our hair and the waves. It was bliss.