August 21, 2012 by
Exciting news today: our book has finally been published and is available from Amazon!
Moving to Portugal – the book, tells the story of our move to Portugal right from the start. The narrative has been written from my wife’s point of view, so while those who have followed the blog from the start may recognise some events and situations, the content is nearly all brand new.
This post marks the first time we have announced the availability of the book, so if you buy it now you will be one of the first to hold a copy in your hands! A formal launch will follow in a couple of weeks, by which time the Kindle version should be ready too.
In the meantime, you can find our book via the link below. Needless to say, we will be very grateful to anyone who buys it and hope it will provide lots of entertainment and helpful information:
Readers in the US can find the book on Amazon.com, and those in mainland Europe should also be able to find it via regional Amazon sites.
While most of my working time has been taken up with finishing off the book, we have also had some recent time off and enjoyed spending time with some dear friends and their son, who celebrated his third birthday while he was here.
Aside for spending time in the pool and time chewing the fat whilst working through a couple of bottles of duty-free booze, we managed to venture out to various local events. One of the highlights was the Olhão shellfish festival.
The shellfish festival is one of the largest of its kind in Portugal, and a sizeable area of Olhão´s waterfront is fenced off for the occasion. A small admission charge covers entry to the venue, where a large stage is erected and hundreds of tables and chairs are set up ready for some serious eating.
Olhao Festival do Marisco 2012
Upon arrival at the first bar, we were told we couldn’t pay with cash as a token system was in operation. When we reached the token counter, we were a little surprised by how things worked: eleven Euros bought us each a token book that was good for five beers, two soft drinks, a bag of bread and some butter. To us beginners, this initially seemed rather bizarre.
It all began to make more sense once we collected our bags of bread and (having bought a token book each) a huge collection of beers. The bread and butter came complete with a number of tablemats. We staked our claim to a table and started exploring the shellfish stalls.
The idea is that you buy the shellfish you want, much of which is sold by weight, then retire to your table and enjoy it with your beer, bread and butter. Shells are piled onto the paper tablemats and frequently cleared away by the friendly staff.
It’s fair to say we went for it. We started with a huge shellfish platter containing everything from large crabs to tiny prawns, and progressed to a lobster, a big plate of razor clams and some giant prawn skewers.
It truly was a shellfish lovers dream, although we did find ourselves wishing we had been a little more discerning in our choice of stalls. The last one we used clearly put a lot more time and care into preparing the food and, as such, our experience may have been even better had we spent the lion’s share of our money there instead.
Shellfish Festival Beers
When all of us were full to the brim, we still had a couple of bags of bread left, which went on to become barbecued garlic bread the following day. With the eating out the way, all that remained was to get through our abundance of beer while we watched the entertainment, which on the night we visited was a fabulous Beatles tribute band called the Bandit Beatles.
I never expected to enjoy the band as much as I did (though I imagine the beers helped!) Even our three-year-old companion joined the happy and good-natured crowd and enjoyed a few Beatles hits.
The Olhão shellfish festival really was a fantastic night; an occasion I’ll remember for a long time and prioritize as something to visit next year. If you’re in the Algarve next August, don’t miss it.
Before I sign off for the day, please don’t forget to check out our book on Amazon (link below) – we put a lot of love into creating it and hope you enjoy reading it.
Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same