When we first moved to the Algarve a decade ago, weekends were frequently taken up with long drives through the mountains or to western coastal areas not so popular with visitors. My significant other half, a quite accomplished photographer, would punctuate what I desired to be non-stop travel with request after request to stop, go back, park and wait while a diminutive wildflower or a vista disappearing into infinity was (as if nature needed this) immortalised.
Then fuel became more expensive, our circle of friends grew and weekends ceased to be cause to venture into the hinterlands. The time reserved for exploration had become time utilised in socialising, in partaking and imbibing, often in amounts far greater than those deemed sensible. Nature had to take a back seat, and that in a car that wasn't going anywhere.
Things are going to change. Our plan is to get back into discovering much more of the country we have adopted, and sharing some of those discoveries here. The car is fuelled and ready to depart for roads never travelled under our stewardship. Autumn awaits us, and it would be churlish not to heed its call. So, we're off, returning hopefully with new stories, images and insights.
That's assuming the social secretary has nothing else planned for the weekend!