Charting a couple's move from London to Portugal, tales, adventures and moving advice

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Spring is here?

Posted on January 25, 2010 by Ben Algarve

After my unusually negative post this time last week, I am very pleased to confirm that the sun has finally arrived back in the Algarve! The easing off on the rain means that for the past week we have only had to keep on top of existing mould and damp problems rather than deal with anything additional, and the ability to dry clothes outside again has meant clean pants for all! These two things alone resulted in a far more pleasant week last week….

When we were back in the UK, and we got a rare hot spell, we often used to whinge that the UK “simply isn’t keyed up for good weather.” Here you just get the flip-side of the coin – the Algarve isn’t really the best place to be when the weather is bad.

I am a very weather sensitive person. One of my best friends often says that he didn’t believe in Seasonal Affective Disorder until he shared a flat with me. The first properly sunny day of year always results in me throwing open windows, putting music on loudly, and developing an almost pathological need to grill meat outside.

Sunset over Tavira

Sunset over Tavira

Last week was one of those weeks when we felt very settled and lucky to be here in Portugal. Simple triumphs such as successfully exchanging our empty gas bottle for a new one, being remembered and welcomed in a restaurant, and successfully utilising a few newly-learned words make all the difference when you are settling in a new country.

On Sunday we took a long walk up through the Ria Formosa, across salt pans dotted with wildlife, to a small stretch of sand which faces the Isla De Tavira. This constantly changing seascape has become a favourite place of ours. There is a small headland where people fish in the channel of water separating Isla De Tavira, Praia De Cabanas and the mainland.

I have taken this walk several times now and the landscape you find is never quite the same, with different little bits of beach and rock accessible depending on the tides. On yesterday’s expedition the tide was the lowest we had seen it, with big bits of land to walk on that had been covered by sea on every other visit. Visiting this place is one of those free of charge, life-affirming activities that I moved to Portugal for, and also a great way to shake off the excess food and drink from Friday night! (Our Saturday hangovers were proof that when bars open much longer hours it is important to pace yourself!)

After a fine dinner of roast pork – so cheap and tasty here that I can’t quite get my head around it, it was all we could do to climb the two flights of stairs to collapse with a book, achy from walking miles and miles in the sun. It was just the kind of exhausting, sunny and almost free-of-charge weekend I had looked forward to before we moved. A few more of those and I think I will be happy to overlook the mould in the winter :-)


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4 to “Spring is here?”

  1. Tony says:

    Nice post and photo, and a great little summary there of why people make that move to Portugal. I think you are just starting to touch on those quality of life issues that will make all the difference. The weather makes all the difference and I say that as someone who does have SAD. Last weekend a friend and I had planned to take a nice walk in the country. The weather was so rainy that the paths had all turned to mud and it became a real slog. Nice weather can really help get you out of doors. A better climate is one of my main reasons for wanting to leave UK.

  2. Alice says:

    ahhh, lovely post and glad to see that the mould is becoming but a distant memory!!!! Thank you for stopping by my blog and for buying my book!!! (i hope you enjoy it?????? maybe you’ll enjoy from the road trip onwards I feel) Looks like we might be back in your neck of the woods in a few weeks looking for some inspirational sunsets… hang on to that sun. And yes, will be back blogging sooon – just needed a little break 😉

  3. Charles says:

    Hello!

    I just stumbled on your blog and found it quite interesting, especially since I have recently moved here to Portugal myself and I was wondering if there was a way I might get in contact with you and ask you a few questions about the different legal processes for getting completely legalized. I’m currently waiting on my título de residência from SEF but I’m not entirely sure on all the other things I need to do, for taxes and the health coverage etc. Most of the resources I’ve found online aren’t very helpful

    Thank you!

  4. admin says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for reading. I am still in the process of wading through all of the red tape myself, but this new website is quite useful: http://www.imigrante.cm-tavira.pt/index.php?mlingua=en

    I would also suggest forums like http://www.expatsportugal.com – there are many people on there a lot further down the process that I am myself!

    Best wishes



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