Portugal 24 February: Lagos - Quarteira

Peace Run on the Algarve

Today we met some special friends...

As our running day began in Lagos we were joined by the Red Cross and local runner Americo Sequeira who guided us to our meeting with the Mayor of Lagos.

Children from several schools joined us to meet the Mayor outside the Camara Municipal de Lagos (city chambers).

Joaquina Matos (right), Mayor of Lagos, holds the Peace Torch high.

All together now...

Everybody, old and young, got a chance to hold the torch...

It was quite a gathering...

Some local teenagers were inspired to run along with us for a few hundred metres...

...and then it was off to the Museu de Portimão where we were greeted like superstars with lots of cheering.

Isilda Gomes, Portimão's Mayor (centre) welcomed our flame of peace to the city.

By now the team was getting okay at singing the World Harmony Run song...

After a screening of the Peace Run video, we were treated to some youth theatre by the students who had gathered here to meet us. A series of three short plays showed people fighting with each other before being taken away by the Angel of Peace.

Leading up to the Peace Run, students went out on the street with an audio recorder and asked people about peace. The students then played the recording for us. It was clear that they had prepared for our arrival with a lot of hard work and dedication.

Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to those who had helped put together this fine event...

We all formed a circle of peace outside the museum, and passed the torch

Thank you so much for everyone who partcipated in the Peace Run's visit to Museu de Portimão!

Many of the students came with us for awhile as we continued running...

...and so did the Mayor.

Sumahat (left) found it hard to keep up with some of the younger guys.

Our next destination was the Zoomarine water park in Guia, where a group of kids had come specially to see us.

At first we thought we were in the jungle...

We were blessed with a visit by Guia's Mayor Carlos Sousa, who is very supportive of our efforts.

The kids were eager to share their views about peace...

....to sing along with our anthem...

...and to share in a moment of peaceful silence.

The music teacher had prepared a very sweet arrangement by the children with a Japanese-style melody.

Some of the kids accepting a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of their school after offering us drawings...

Adding their wishes for peace to the torch...

Everybody wanted a continent stamp!

A big thank you, guys!

Since we were in a marine park, all of us were very eager to see the dolphins...

....and it seems that they were also quite happy to meet us!

Thank you dolphins...

... and to the people at Zoomarine park who also provided us with a tasty lunch!

Isabel Delgado (left) receives a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of Zoomarine.

We still had miles to run, and one more school to visit....

...the Colegio Internacional de Vilamoura (international college of Vilamoura).

Some of their finest athletes met us outside the school perimeter...

...and we were greeted with a hero's welcome, well beyond what we deserved.

After a sweet musical performance from the students, and a tiny shower of rain, everybody held the torch....

It is surprising how much energy these students still had at the end of the day! They where still eager to organise a relay run around the school grounds...

Our international runners really appreciated that alot of the kids here could speak English, which made it easier to interact for those of us whose Portuguese isn't so good...

It was hometime for both us and the kids, so parents were arriving and they also held the torch...

Thanks, Colegio Internacional de Vilamoura. We had a blast!

The city of Quarteira was extremely kind to us. They put us up in the salubrious Hotel Dom Jose, right by the sea, which also provided delicious meals.

Our gratitude to everyone who contributed to this wonderful day on the Peace Run!