In this post I want to show you what is south of the Tapas tennis courts. I need to apologise in advance for the quality of the pictures. I am not a trained photographer and my digital camera does some weird things at times. But if you look at the last photo on my Xmas day 4 post, it left off with the tennis courts coming into view.
All I want to do this time round is walk you through the pathway that is just south of the tennis courts. First, have a look at the Ocean Club map and pay particular attention to the white units just below the Tapas tennis courts.
Most of the white units on the map are those in a commercial agreement with the Ocean Club to manage the properties and to rent them out. There are some in white that have nothing to do with the Ocean Club. Now the residential units to the south of the tennis courts are in white, but they are not numbered like most of the accommodation managed by the Ocean Club. I cannot tell from the map whether they are in the Ocean Club scheme or not, so I need to revisit the site to check the numbers and the arrangement, then cross-check with the booking sheets to formulate an opinion.
These living quarters overlook the tennis courts, the children’s play area, the rear of block 4 and block 5 and much of the Tapas area. Please do not get me wrong on this. There is absolutely no reason why someone on holiday would have noticed Madeleine’s tennis balls photo. Or seen her playing in the juvenile playground. Or seen her in the last photo with Gerry dipping feet into the kid’s pool. Or noticed the men’s tennis match on the early evening of 3 May 2007. Or saw if David Payne interacted with Gerry on the court that night before popping off to check with Kate McCann.
All of these things would have been repetitive, common events before Madeleine disappeared. Not a single one of of them would have been worthy of onlookers occupying that accommodation.
The point is that another row of apartments overlooked the south of the Tapas tennis courts, so another layer of checkers were added to some of the events that happened that week. To try to assert that events did not happen roughly as the McCanns stated about that early evening, you have to bypass another check.
This is the lane that runs between the accommodation and the tennis courts, with the silver car as a reference. My apologies for the sunlight flares on the photo. I didn’t realise it was happening and I don’t know how to take them out. What can I say? It was sunny!
The photo has a second fault. I haven’t captured the layout of the accommodation, or the apartment numbers, so I am going to have to go back for another check.
The next photo is about half-way along the alley that runs between the tennis courts and the row of apartments. There is still lens flare. Please take note of the concrete wall at the end, which is required due to the elevation of Rua Primeira de Maio.
This is the view from the lane over the tennis courts towards block 4 and block 5. Observe three things. The trees at the south end of the courts are very dense. The apartments here have their main accommodation not on the ground floor, as per this view, but on the first floor, so the trees would block most of the view unless they were walking in the lane. Second, take a look at the buildings to the right of the tennis courts. I am no gardener, but that looks like bougainvillea to me. The date of the photo was 27 Dec 16 and the bougainvillea was in flower. Finally, on the left hand side is the children’s play zone, which seems to be equipped much as it was in 2007.
To continue, one has to head south towards LuzTur, the tallest building in Luz. The wall on the right is the one blocking off Rua Primeira de Maio. The end of the row of apartments is on the left. Two small flights of steps will get me down to the next level, which has Galo’s, the fried chicken shop. Galo’s did not exist in 2007, but there was another fried chicken café in its place.
The set of steps bring you out here. Supermarket Baptista is in the centre, and around 10 people were in the café in front of it enjoying some winter sunshine with their snacks. Galo’s is on the left, with a motif that reminds me of Nando’s. The cliff east of Luz is in the background, with one of the three tracks to get up it clearly visible in brown. I don’t know if Kate and Gerry used this to run to the top, but I do know there is enough scree to make it an ankle breaker. There is an easier route to the left of this one that is used by more people.