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.
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