Alqueva is home to the largest man made lake which we found hard to believe was only filled to capacity in 2010! It is also an excellent place to stargaze which is what drew us to the area. Everything had been crazy busy for a while so we longed for some relaxation. We drove over the aqueduct to find an amazing sign which called for a photo opportunity. We had hoped to park nearby this but there wasn’t anything suitable as we were so high up above the water on the dam. We basically looked and pointed and went yep let’s head over there an see what we find. We ended up in a little village called Estrella and parked up on a little sort of peninsular point where there was a jetty and some trees for shade. It was a perfect wild camping spot and having stocked up on food we were very much looking forward to switching off.

As the day drew to a close we cooked ourselves a lovely tea and sipped some local red wine before wandering over the the waters edge with our glasses of course still in hand. The sunset was beautiful and when it was dark enough we clambered on top of the van with our blankets and admired the clearest sky I have ever seen. They stars were like diamonds above us and it was like they multiplied before our eyes, each one glittering so peacefully in the silence of the night. I even saw a shooting star!

It was one of the best nights seep I’ve ever had the van and superbly refreshed we were ready to relax in glorious sunshine in our own private paradise. We lay out enjoying the cooling breeze off the water where we could dive disturbing shoals of tiny fish as we did so. We snacked on homemade baguettes and couldn’t wish for more. That night we then had a sunset shower on the lake edge. It was so liberating on the edge of the water using a bucket to wash off the suds. With wet hair cooling my back and another glass of wine in my hand Joshua set up a little camp fire.  When the light was low enough we lit it and toasted marshmallows in the flames. It was a perfect ending to our time there and if we could have wed have spend weeks there.


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