Based on the recommendations of many people ranging from doctors to other cancer patients I spent the last couple of days before treatment begins again away from Wales, cocktail in hand in Portugal.
The trip didn't get off to the best start as it turns out the Post Office are consistently useless at everything. We made the mistake of buying a Travel Money Card off them instead of a travel agent, leading to a few days of phone calls and a card that wasn't activated in time for the holiday. Luckily I've still got a student level overdraft that could step in to provide some last minute Euros.
11pm arrived on Saturday and I grabbed my bag and set off to pick up my brother from work in Cardiff for the drive to Gatwick. We had decided that, to save money, we wouldn't have any luggage go into the hold and would just take backpacks. A good idea in theory, because how much room do 3 nights worth of clothes really take up. This brilliant plan soon backfired though when we got to the hotel and I had to spend over €40 buying suncream and shower gel as we couldn't bring any in our bags. On the subject of shower gel, if you every find yourself trying to work out which one to buy in a foreign country, hope your judgement is better than mine. I picked wrong and we spent 4 days showering with conditioner. On the plus side my head was really smooth by the last day!
Sunbathing wise the first two days were a bit of a write off, as the weather was either overcast or raining. This did give us a chance to make a bit of a dent in our bottle of Peach Ciroc though, so you wont hear too many complaints about that. We spent these first two nights having a look at what the strip had to offer. The first thing we noticed as we walked up (other than how depressing it is to see so many people working PR in their 50s) was the amount of venues named after places in Ibiza. We went past a Cafe Mambo, a Savannah, a PaTcha (yes, with a T, but it did have the cherries) and even saw a sign for a Space around one corner. So, after a surprisingly good Strawberry Daiquiri in Cafe Mambo we sampled a few of the busier looking venues and topped the evening off with a doner kebab and chips of even more surprising quality.
Whilst walking around the strip one of the aforementioned aged PRs tried to get us to pay a visit to a 5D cinema. We declined when he was unable to answer my question as to what the 5 dimensions were. I'm still mystified now.
On the third day the sun finally made an appearance. So to the pool we headed, equipped with factor 50 for my head and factor 2 oil for the rest of us. This turned out to be our next error in judgement, as after a few hours poolside we would resemble the freshest of salmon, so much so I had to retire my red shorts for fear of clashing with my own clothes.
For our final night in Albufeira we decided to try out the bars in the Old Town instead of the strip. This meant walking past a KFC so naturally that was the choice for dinner that night. I had my hopes up for a San Antonio style meal (for anyone that hasn't sampled it, you need to. Hands down the best KFC I've eaten in my 24 years) I was sadly disappointed however and we moved on with our night, well, after a quick change for me due to denim not really going well with sunburn.
On the final day we decided to get involved with the hotel crazy golf course for a quick half hour of fun. Some hope, it was one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I swear the course was designed by some James Bond villain to drive holidaygoers crazy. We finished up with the PGA worthy scores of 82 and 64 over par. In hindsight we should've played on a day when we could've had a drink afterwards to settle the nerves.
After that we made the standard trip to the tobacconist for gifts for the parents and waited for our transfers. 10 hours later, I was home to a very excited pup and straight into bed. We took very few photos while we were out there, and frankly neither of us is particularly happy with our current shape, so here's a photo of us in work last year, crudely superimposed onto a photo of the beach instead.
Tomorrow morning I'm back in Velindre to find out the details of my next batch of treatment. Hopefully it'll enable me to be fit enough to get myself back in shape and feeling good more often than not, but we'll see.
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