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

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Real Life in Portugal

Posted on May 01, 2012 by Ben Algarve

A glance at the date of my last post tells me it’s been over a fortnight since I last blogged.

The last couple of weeks have been hectic and not a tremendous amount of fun. They began with nine days in London, where the balance between work and play was tipped firmly in the direction of work.

After this grueling trip, we returned to Portugal and had one Sunday to clean the apartment before diving into another week of twelve-hour days. It’s fair to say it didn’t exactly feel like “living the dream.”

Sea and Sunshine? Not lately!

Sea and Sunshine? Not lately!

On the bright side, this busy fortnight means we now have enough cash to pay our scary tax bill, complete with the extra 3.5% “extraordinary tax” imposed by the government as part of the bailout.

On the less bright side, within two hours of my body knowing I was going to tick off everything on my list, it rebelled and rewarded my hard work with a nasty dose of man-flu, from which I am still recovering.

Meanwhile, as the UK simultaneously enjoys both a drought and reportedly the wettest month in about 100 years, Portugal is getting some fairly crappy weather too. Coming into May we would usually have enjoyed some weeks of around 25C and consistent sunshine. This year we are frequently seeing temperatures in the mid-teens – frustratingly cooler than it was at Christmas and on some occasions lower even than the temperature in London.

Portugal Weather - Unusually Cool for May

Portugal Weather - Unusually Cool for May

Of course, there is little point in mentioning this to family and friends back in the UK – I’m sure regardless of what we say they are convinced we just sit by the pool sipping caipirinhas!

Anyway, I realise I have now moaned for seven paragraphs so I’ll snap out of it.

We should have some good times ahead with a three day weekend on the horizon and a week off planned for later in May when some family come to visit. We have rented a villa in Lagos together which will give us a change of pace and scenery. Although Lagos is just an hour away, the coastline there is very different. I look forward to exploring, relaxing and, most of all, being able to step away from our laptops for a while.

So, that’s my update for today, which should serve as yet another reminder to potential expats that life abroad can sometimes be awfully similar to life at home – and equally at the mercy of the weatherman.

AT THIS TIME IN MAY 2010…….now this is amusing….I was moaning about popping back to England and fighting off a “nasty bug we caught on the plane!” However, looking back at May 2010’s posts does seem to suggest that the weather was better. Step back in time with me by clicking here.

Moaning in 2010 too!

Moaning in 2010 too!

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11 to “Real Life in Portugal”

  1. Bessa says:

    Actually, Portugal is 0,5 to 6,5 degrees above normal temperatures acording to the Portuguese Institute of Meteorology . The last decade was above that temperature, and when temperatures come a little bit under that, people forget that the unusual wheather was the previous one.
    Cold weather in April and May was normal. In May it used to snow in the higher mountains. My father often tells me how he got a huge flu in May 20th 1989 (my birthday), due to havy rain and low temperatures in Lisbon,which is one of the hottest cities in Portugal. That was the norm, not the last decade. Even I, with 23 years old, can notice how Portugal got much hotter.
    I remember that the Silver Coast, was rainny even in August, always windy and rarely above 25ºC. In the last decade we got 35ºC, no wind at all, and constant droughts.

    http://www.meteo.pt/pt/oclima/acompanhamento/

  2. admin says:

    Interesting observations – many thanks! My figures were based on the seasonal averages for Tavira that Accuweather displays on its long term forecast – I don’t know how many years data that is based on…It’s certainly cooler for late April / May than I have got used to over 3 years!

    Best wishes,

    Ben

  3. Bessa says:

    Yes, I can understand that someone that moved recently have a differnt notion of what is “normal”.
    I was just stating how it was before. I would like to get back to those days, but people say that the last decade (the one you’re used to), is the norm from now on.

    Best regards to you too. Have a nice an sunny summer…

  4. Anoninous says:

    The month of April has been exceptionally cold and rainy all over Portugal. That’s a fact, not a matter of opinion.

    You can check monthly average temperatures (1971-2000) for various Portuguese cities here (oficial portuguese weather institute): http://www.meteo.pt/pt/cidadeprev10dias.jsp?days=5

  5. emma says:

    I dont mind an occasional moan. shows you are human and not one of these hyper dizzy idiots who talk up life in portugal like moving here puts you in permanent prozac overdose stupor

  6. Bessa says:

    Anoninous, that is not a fact. Maybe because you don’t know portuguese, I don’t know why, but your interpretation is rather wrong.
    The avarage highest temperature in April seen on the bottom graphic for Lisbon is 19,2C , yet the temperature on the top vary from 21 to 30. It’s 2,6 to 12,6ºC higher than normal. Even to May with the highest temperature avarege of 21,4ºC, those temperature are higher than normal. Also, April had less 10% of rain than normal according to recent news. That’s why we are in the middle of a drought.

  7. Bessa says:

    Anoninous:

    http://www.meteo.pt/pt/oclima/observatoriosecas/pdsi/monitorizacao/situacaoatual/

    This link shows that all Portugal is under severe, moderate or light dought, therefore your claim about a “rainy” April all over Portugal is just not true (as well as the temperatures as I told you before).

  8. Anoninous says:

    Bessa, Portugal is in a drought in spite of the rain of April (the values of precipitation on average, in all Portugal, where almost exactly in line with the average), not because of it. In fact, the drought improved considerably with the April rain, and now there are no more areas in Portugal in extreme drought (most of the country was in extreme drought in the middle of April).
    What brought this drought where the exceptionally dry January, February and March months.

    PS: I’m from Porto, in the north, and in here April was wetter and cooler than usual.

  9. Bessa says:

    “…where almost exactly in line with the average…”

    Your words.
    You just can’t claim a rainy April because it was not. When IPM says normal rain values to April is 78,9 mm and this April had 76,6mm, you can’t, by any means, say it was “rainy”, because it didn’t even reached the avarage.

  10. Anoninous says:

    The past month of April was the coldest in Portugal since the beginning of the 21st century:
    http://www.meteo.pt/pt/media/noticias/newsdetail.html?f=/pt/media/noticias/textos/rel_clima_abr2012.html

    -1.2ºC than the norm.

  11. I found your going argument a bit funny…so let me tell you that didn’t go to official data to check anything.
    My body…felt fed up of the rain and cold of April and beggining of May.

    Now I’m enjoying the sun and I hope temperature doesn’t go all the way over the 30’s. (I’m talking about Lisbon…)

    I like it moderatly warm and I’m used to get that around this time of the year.

    have fun!
    miguel



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