I’ve mentioned in quiet a lot of my blogs about The Agua Mel Café in Alte so I thought I’d write a little piece on it. We go there quite often and all the people who have stayed with us have been introduced to the delights of this café. What can I say? It is a café or to give it it’s correct title, Pastelaria (cake shop) and you can buy the sorts of things you purchase in cafés/pastelarias out here. Your know coffee, tea, cakes, toasties, sometimes soup but here you can buy other goodies, like honey, almonds, walnuts, carob flour, all sorts of liqueurs and sometimes a delicious cheese from the Alentajo. The reason the Agua Mel is a pastelaria is also the reason why lots of people visit it; the cakes are homemade in the apartment above the place by the mother of the chap that runs it. A lot of businesses here are family owned and run with even the children lending a hand now and then when they are old enough. Alte is on the Jeep Safari’s route and brings us lots of tourists so that we can people watch. It seems to have become quiet a past time with us. We wince when we notice the sunburnt skin, the bleeding feet that aren’t used to wearing flip-flops and sometimes the apparel they wear. However this is all very light hearted and we don’t mean any harm by our observations. We watch as the guides show them the carob pods and explain its uses etc and once again become nostalgic about our own curiosity when we encountered these black pods for the first time. We stay away from the coast in July and August as it’s the height of the holiday season and everywhere is packed. The tourists find Alte as its one of the villages that still is traditional and in the Agua Mel there can be heard so many different languages and accents from time to time, from Dutch, German, American, Australian, Chinese and many others. We noticed a couple of weeks ago three young ladies sitting at one of the tables. They were laughing and talking together and then a pot of what I can only assume was liquid eyeliner was produced and they proceeded to “tattoo” each other with the stuff. I have to say that the results were better than some of the henna ones I’ve seen on the holidaymakers. (I apologise for the photo but I didn’t have my camera with me and used the camera on my laptop, the café has free WiFi and a solid connection unlike my dongle at home so we are often seen in there with our computer.) We have spent many a happy hour or two in the café, arranging to meet up with friends or not as the case may be and still find people who we know to pass the time of day with should the mood take us. It has a feeling of “home” about it (it reminds us a little of the English Tea Shop) and we always come away feeling content and relaxed. Or perhaps that’s only because of the brandy we have imbibed!