Rod makes a wonderful host. He went out of his way to make sure that we were comfortable in his and Gigis beautiful apartment. He even sorted out a grumpy taxi driver for us! Most of the good comments have been said before in other reviews and I can only reiterate on the cleanliness and comfort of this apartment.
We used the public transport system on a daily basis and found the travel costs extremely reasonable. How about this as a bonus for oldies - it was quite a nice surprise to find that if your are 65 or over and have your passport to hand at the train station you qualify for half price fares. Time tables were simple to read and prices per trip were there in print too. No nasty hidden surprises like we get over here. Likewise the buses.
We made full use of the spacious balcony when we werent exploring the area. Our main source of amusement was the frequent fly-pasts of the many storks that precariously perch and nest on chimney pots and even tops of street lamps. Seeing them fly back from the Ria Formosa with their beaks stuffed with twigs and vegetation made us laugh and wonder how they could see where they were going. Sadly none of us managed to capture them on camera but we still have the memories.
We found everyone from shop-keepers to the local neighbours very friendly and helpful. Had no problems with the language as nearly everyone spoke some English.
We did take a day trip to Albefeira, (well we had to having come all this way) but found it too touristy for us, we much preferred exploring Faro and the Old city. Olhao (pronounced Ollyow) had a wonderful Saturday market and from there we took the boat to Farol Island where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch before relaxing in the welcome shade for a while. In the late afternoon we caught a water taxi back to Faro itself.
The weather was fantastic with temperatures up in the low 30s c. Throughout the whole weeks stay we only sullied 1 cooking pan and lived on salads and copious amounts of the scrumptious fruits available in every store whether large or small. Eating out was not expensive, especially if you checked out the restaurants in the side streets away from the more popular areas. Our motto was "if you saw the locals eating there then it must be ok"
We had a wonderful week, full of happy memories. Everything written about the apartment proved to be true. Personally, I would love to come back and would not hesitate in recommending this little gem to any of our friends.