Two games in the Portuguese top division.
16th March Olhanense 1 Pacos Ferreira 2 1,184 (20 away)
To the Algarve, where even if it is cloudy, you can appreciate the attraction to visitors from further north.
Friendly locals, not too crowded and good value Faro is a pleasant location for a brief visit and Olha is just a ten minute drive along the coast.
The local team has a small ground overlooked by some apartments.
Just the two sides were in use with a small group of visiting fans in the corner of one side and some lively local ultras in the other corner.
Most fans were in the ‘main stand’ and they saw two goals from Manuel Jose settle the issue.
Both times he shot in right footed after being left too much space by the home defence.
Cape Verdean Babanco setup the consolation goal with an excellent free kick that was eventually converted at the far post by Djaniny.
But Olhanense could not get a second equaliser and hence suffered a damaging defeat to leave them in the bottom two.
For Pacos Ferreira it was a win that reinforced their hold on fourth position.
With the match finishing at around 7pm there was time enough to enjoy some wine and local food back in Faro.
17th March Estoril 2 Academica 0 1,512 (200 away)
I drove from Faro to Lisbon through showery weather that improved nearer the capital.
Estoril play in Amoreira, a built up area inland from the coast.
If you arrive early, as I did, there a selection of local cafes (and an old cinema to photograph) in which to while away the time.
Again the ground was two sided and fairly small with a decent sized away section, more than enough to hold the 200 or so visitors from Coimbra.
Next door is an all-weather pitch that was in use for a ladies match.
This was a comfortable victory for the home team who scored twice in the first period with Luis Leal featuring in both goals.
First his shot was parried by the Academica goalie for Lica to convert and then he hit the bar, after which Carlos Eduardo followed up to score.
Apart from some ‘Ronaldo’ style free-kicks from Edinho the away team offered little threat as the Estoril defence remained solid.
Despite some disagreements near the end that resulted in yellow cards the outcome seem decided well before the final whistle.
Back over the bridge, past the statue of Christ and a drive back down south for me.
To stay in Castro Verde, about an hour from Faro airport, from where I returned to Stansted on the Monday morning.
more pictures http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/1807866155