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

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Archive for the ‘weather’


Life in Portugal – Spring is in the Air 2

Posted on January 27, 2014 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

Lou here with a quick update. It seems strange that spring has arrived so fast this year. Christmas and New Year have barely passed and yet this weekend we’ve been enjoying days with temperatures of 20C plus. We’ve fished the sunglasses out from the back of the drawer, braved the outside world while in short sleeves and admired the blossom that has burst into life on the almond trees – one of the sweetest sights and scents that the Algarve has to offer.

Life in Portugal - not long until it's beach time again

Life in Portugal – not long until it’s beach time again

Having grown up in England, it seems strange that winter can have passed so quickly. Even after several years in Portugal it is not something that I am used to. My brain is still full of winter baking recipes to try out in the kitchen and we’ve only just made this year’s batch of chutney, so the sun drawing us inexorably to the beach has presented quite a mix of contradictory feelings.

On the one hand, it’s delightful to be cleaning down the barbecue ready for another long season of lazy weekends spent feasting on local produce. On the other, I’ve got all sorts of winter tasks still to be completed before we switch to our vastly different summer schedule. I can’t really believe I’m admitting it, but another couple of weeks of rain wouldn’t go amiss!

Thankfully, as this is our fifth winter in Portugal, I’m well aware that the first warm weekend of the year doesn’t signal the full on start of spring, but it’s been lovely to have a taster of it nonetheless.

Life in Portugal - spring is well on the way

Life in Portugal – spring is well on the way

Our daily lives in Portugal have settled into a well-balanced schedule over the winter months. Weekdays are spent working, with the odd diversion (after all, what’s the point of being freelance, if you don’t occasionally get to take time off between 9 and 5?); evenings are spent knitting baby clothes (me), trying out new recipes (Ben) and watching films; and weekends are for quiet, local activities.

It’s a routine that suits us for a couple of months each year, while we recover from the hectic pace of summer, but usually by February we are ready for the tourists to begin arriving again and livening up the calm, quiet town that we live in over the winter months.

For those considering starting a new life in Portugal, I would strongly recommend visiting it during all seasons. There can be precious little to do during the winter months in some areas, while others become so packed during the summer that they are unbearably crowded.

Life in Portugal - a winter sunset

Life in Portugal – a winter sunset

It’s one of Portugal’s many contrasts and one that we are still becoming accustomed to. By the end of the summer, we can’t wait for the tourists to go home and give us back the wonderful peace of the winter months. By the end of the winter, we are desperate for the tourists to return and crank up the pace of town life once again.

For the moment, I’ll have to find a way to juggle my brain’s incomplete list of winter tasks with my body’s desire to bask in the sun. I can think of worse dilemmas to have.

If you like the blog, why not try the book?

Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same

US readers can find it here: Moving to Portugal – the book.

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Summer in Portugal – why the Portuguese don’t sleep 4

Posted on August 12, 2013 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

Summer in Portugal is a wonderful time and particularly so in the Algarve. Entertainment offerings crank up during July until they reach fever pitch in August. For holidaymakers evenings can be spent enjoying relaxed meals sitting outside restaurants, followed by shopping, drinking or dancing for endless hours at a range of venues, local festivals and travelling markets. Days are for tanning by the pool or swimming in the sea of one of the Algarve’s many stunning beaches.

Summer in Portugal - hot sushi and sangria by the sea

Summer in Portugal – hot sushi and sangria by the sea

For those of use who live here, fitting in the countless summer activities around a fulltime work schedule and a calendar of visiting guests can be tricky – and very tiring! In the past couple of weeks we have spent the day at a waterpark, visited a casino, listened to an amazing sunset DJ set, swum in the sea, been out for dinner, danced the night away at the local nightclub and attended numerous BBQs. All while working 8-10 hour days.

With this many activities to pack into the schedule, something has to give. In our case, it’s been sleep that we’ve passed up on in order to fit everything else in. So it was a treat last night to get our first full night of deep sleep in about two weeks – despite the noise from a late night football game in our village.

This week, with a couple of beach visits, a night out with friends and attending the Olhão shellfish festival already on the cards even if nothing else comes up, I suspect we will be straight back to cutting out sleep in order to enjoy everything the summer has to offer.

Summer in Portugal - beautiful bars welcome you at sunset

Summer in Portugal – beautiful bars welcome you at sunset

It’s a routine that has taken us some years to adjust to and we debated yesterday why it is that the Portuguese don’t seem to sleep. Our conclusions, based purely on personal observations since we’ve lived here, are that our Portuguese friends are able seemingly to stay up all night every night during the summer months because:

1)      It’s too hot to sleep, even if you wanted to

2)      There’s so much to do that the frenetic energy of the Algarve continues to pulse through your veins when your own stock of energy runs out

3)      The Algarve is so quiet during the nine non-summer months of the year that everyone enters into a state of semi-hibernation to prepare for the following summer, when they do it all over again

Summer in Portugal - balancing work and play

Summer in Portugal – balancing work and play

After four years, we are beginning to adapt to the routine, with snatched cat-naps here and there giving us the energy for long days of work and even longer evenings and weekends of play. It might be tiring at times, but come October when we are sitting indoors and watching the rain pour down for days on end, we will be glad to know that we squeezed every last drop out of the Portuguese summer.

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Algarve – East v. West 14

Posted on July 29, 2013 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

As with any area of Portugal, the Algarve has its own particular flavours, sights and sounds, which combine to give it a wonderfully distinct regional makeup. Yet numerous differences exist within the Algarve region itself. If you are looking to move to the Algarve, or just come here for a holiday, this post should help you decide which area is right for you.

Algarve beaches - head west for stunning cliffs

Algarve beaches – head west for stunning cliffs

Beaches

The Algarve unquestionably has some stunning beaches. Those in the eastern Algarve (between Faro and the border with Spain) tend to be long, flat expanses of sand, which are perfect for lazy days soaking up the sun or lengthy beach walks. They include a number of delightful sand-spit beaches, which are accessed by crossing the tidal rivers and saltpans that make up the extensive Ria Formosa nature reserve. Crossings can be made by boat (for a small fee), by water taxi (for a slightly larger fee) or – in the case of Barril beach near Tavira – by a miniature train, which is particularly popular with small children.

The train at Barril - eastern quirks

The train at Barril – eastern quirks

West of Faro, the beaches tend to be backed by crumbling red and yellow cliffs, with tiny coves and eye-catching rock formations dotted about in the sea. They are arguably more scenic and are perfect for cliff-top rambles. On the Algarve’s western coast, from Cape St Vincent northward, the winds and giant Atlantic waves make for some great surfing spots.

For those who like to bathe in the sea, it’s worth noting that the sea water is significantly colder west of Faro than east. The warmest water in the Algarve is said to be in Monte Gordo, close to the Spanish border.

Stay east for a cheaper life

Stay east for a cheaper life

Cost

There is a notable price variation as you travel along the Algarve coast. The eastern Algarve is (very roughly) 20-30% cheaper than the central and western coast, for everything from accommodation to a glass of beer. We notice this price change every time we venture west and, though it doesn’t make much difference for the occasional day out, it soon adds up when we spend anything more than a day or two away from our eastern Algarve home.

Cuisine

The heavily seafood-influenced diet of the Algarve is available across the entire region, with specialities such as cataplana and arroz de marisco found in restaurants from one coast to the other. However, non-Portuguese food is far more readily available towards the west than it is in the east. We can get Chinese and Indian takeaways in our local area, but for decent Thai food or proper English fish and chips we have to head westward in order to be sure of both availability and quality.

Algarve cuisine - seafood is available from coast to coast

Algarve cuisine – seafood is available from coast to coast

Authenticity

The eastern Algarve is more authentically Portuguese than the central and west. Although we still get our fair share of tourists in the east, there is something more traditional about life here. It’s hard to define precisely how this is evidenced, as it’s really a range of small factors which combine to provide a more genuine experience of Portugal.

As an example – if you order food and drink in Portuguese in the eastern Algarve, the waiter will reply to you in Portuguese. Head west and the waiter will reply in English, no matter how good your attempt at speaking Portuguese might have been. In the central and western Algarve, particularly in places such as Vilamoura, the majority of restaurant boards will list their specialities in English first and Portuguese last (if at all). In the east, it’s the other way around.

Although these are subtle variations, the combined effect is that the eastern Algarve provides an experience of Portugal that just somehow feels much more genuinely Portuguese.

Eastern Algarve - more Portuguese

Eastern Algarve – more Portuguese

Weather

While the Algarve enjoys an alleged 300 days of sunshine per year, there are notable temperature differences as you travel along the coast. The sea is at its warmest off the far eastern coast by the town of Monte Gordo, where a sheltered bay means that the water is always more tempting than elsewhere. Lagos, towards the western end of the Algarve, tends to be windier and cooler than many of the other coastal towns. On the western coast, the winds sweeping off the Atlantic mean lower temperatures and beaches more suited to surfers than sunbathers.

Generally, we find that as we drive westward along the Algarve coast, we lose around 2-3 degrees of temperature the further we travel. Of course there will be times when it’s the other way round, but this is our general finding based on the years we’ve lived here.

East Algarve - there's no place like home

East Algarve – there’s no place like home

So these are some of the reasons we ended up living in the eastern Algarve. We enjoy visiting the west and Praia da Rocha, as the first place we ever stayed in Portugal, will always be close to our hearts, but at the end of a long day out we’re always happy to be heading home to the east.

Let us know which part of the Algarve you prefer by leaving a comment in the box below.

 

Image credits: Flickr, Wikimedia Commons

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Expats in Portugal: 5 Tips for Summer 6

Posted on July 22, 2013 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

Expats in Portugal tend to have a love/hate relationship with the summer. While we look forward to the arrival of sunshine, atmosphere and things to do, we usually start to complain by mid-July when the roads get busy, restaurant service becomes shambolic, and timing a trip the supermarket badly can mean queuing like it’s Christmas Eve!

Crowded Praia da Dona Ana - Lagos

Crowded Praia da Dona Ana – Lagos

So, in honour of the fact that we’ve now arrived at the time when we all begin to complain, here are five lighthearted tips to help residents in the Algarve cope with the summer.

 

1.      Time trips to the supermarket carefully

The worst possible time to arrive at the supermarket is when everyone’s on their way home from the beach. Sunday afternoons can be pretty hateful too.

All you have to do is think outside the box. Go early, when the tourists are sleeping off their hangovers, for minimal queues and maximum choice. Late doesn’t work quite so well, as although there may not be many people there, there’s probably not much stock either. Right in the middle of a hot day can work too – if, of course, you don’t have to work!

Sunshine - it's here all summer

Sunshine – it’s here all summer

2.      Get out of the expat mindset

It’s hard to get used to the fact that the sun is guaranteed to shine every day in the summer, and break out of the expat mentality that makes you feel compelled to get outside so as not to “waste the weather.”

Four years on, we’re still struggling to break our conditioning, but we’re getting there. We just have to get our work done and trust that the sun will still be there tomorrow.

 

3.      Go off the beaten track

There’s no getting around the fact that you may resent the thousands of people on “your” usually-near-deserted beach, but the tourists are the lifeblood of the Algarve economy.

Solitude - it's there if you know where to look!

Solitude – it’s there if you know where to look!

Instead, you must learn to go to places that the tourists haven’t discovered. We know a river beach that is never thronged, and also plenty of busy beaches where solitude can still be found after a 15 minute walk.

Best of all though, get to know some people with a house in the hills and ideally a pool. Then, spend your weekends there and save the beach for mid-September. We’re very lucky to have relatives in the country!

 

4.      Put water under the air conditioning

We always thought that putting a bowl of water in an air-conditioned room was an old wives’ tale. It’s not. If you spend a lot of time with the air conditioning on, the extra humidity from the water will prevent the worst of the peeling lips and sore throats.

Summer festivities

Summer festivities

5.      Remember you’re not on holiday

If you’ve retired then go ahead and enjoy yourself. If, like us, you still have a hefty Monday to Friday workload, you’ve still got to get it all done, and doing it with sunburn, heatstroke or a hangover is no fun at all.

 

So, sad though it is to accept, you must get your head down and get it done – and what better incentive is there to hammer through it than a beach at the end of the road – even if it is really bloody crowded!

 

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

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You Know it’s Summer in Portugal when… 4

Posted on June 06, 2013 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

Unusually for June, the weather here in the Algarve is cloudy and a little chilly today. The absence of summer got me (Lou) thinking about the sights, sounds and smells that I associate with summer in Portugal.

Grass cutting - the sound and smell of summer in England

Grass cutting – the sound and smell of summer in England

In the UK it used to be the sound of lawnmowers whirring and the smell of freshly cut grass that meant summer had finally arrived. Here in the Algarve, the warmer weather means that grass cutting takes place in early spring, but there are other factors that I realise now signal the start of summer. Here are my top five:

The smell of sardines cooking

June is sardine season, when freshly-caught sardines are enjoyed by all and sundry. Walking through the streets of our village, we are guaranteed to pass at least one person cooking on a tiny grill outside their front door, with 6 or 8 sardines sizzling away and spreading their fragrance throughout the nearby streets. Guaranteed to make your mouth water!

Sardines - the scent of summer in Portugal

Sardines – the scent of summer in Portugal

The sound of tourists in our pool

This one definitely means that summer has arrived. While I sit indoors typing I hear splashes and the happy shouts of children jumping into the pool and playing water-based games over the edge of our balcony. It’s at once joyful and a little frustrating, as by the time I’ve finished work the sun has moved off the pool area. Still, that’s what weekends are for.

House martins darting through the evening air

It’s true that one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but the arrival of hundreds of house martins certainly does. In every nook and cranny below the eves, nests appear and the evening sees the skies filled with whirring wings as they dart around catching insects to feed their young. Watching the tiny birds peep their heads out of the nests while waiting for their dinner is a delight that heralds the arrival of summer every year. The fact that the parents poop daily all over our car is a price we are happy to pay.

House martins

House martins

Queues

Living in a popular tourist destination means that summer is announced by the arrival of queues. On the roads, in the supermarket and in coffee shops, the long-suffering locals have to wait patiently behind hordes of tourists dithering over which direction to take, muddling through coins they are unused to or trying to comprehend the baffling array of different coffees and pastries available.

Market stalls

The arrival of summer sees little white market stalls popping up across the Algarve, as the makers of local jams, cakes and handicrafts sell their wares, moving from town to town with the market throughout the summer months. Often only setting up late at night, the market stalls provide a nice addition to the local entertainment, offering an excuse to socialise over a flaky honey pastry during the warm, balmy evenings.

Sunflowers - a sure sign of summer in Portugal

Sunflowers – a sure sign of summer in Portugal

So, these are my top five sights and sounds that show me that summer in Portugal has truly arrived. I have to add that when Ben read this post, he said that his personal way of knowing summer has arrived is hangovers – something which I certainly second!

What is it that signals the arrival of summer in Portugal for you? Please leave a comment below to let us know.

Image credits: Wikimedia and Flickr

 

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Winter Life in Portugal – Rainy Days and Mondays 0

Posted on March 07, 2013 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

Life in Portugal doesn’t always involve sitting on the beach and drinking cocktails, although of course I do try to do that as often as possible (it’s Lou here today, by the way). This week, with high winds and torrential rain, we have hibernated indoors with the heating on full blast.

The miserable weather has given me a chance to spend some time furthering my studies of the Portuguese language, to watch a few movies and to spend some time in the kitchen, the results of which can be seen on our sister blog, Food and Wine Portugal. It has been a chance to regroup and relax in our lovely home.

So much rain, even the plants are suffering

So much rain, even the plants are suffering

However, a full week of this weather has led me to reflect on a fact often overlooked by holidaymakers and those considering moving to Portugal – there is really very little to do here when the weather is bad.

Once you have exhausted the shopping centres and worked your way through the cinema listings, the Algarve quickly runs out of bad-weather attractions. Strolling around pretty little towns, lazing on the beach and sitting outside a café for a coffee are all activities that quickly lose their appeal when it’s pouring with rain. The result has been – in our village at least – that locals have either stayed indoors or flocked to the village’s bars, seemingly content to simply sit and drink until the sun comes out.

Winter life in Portugal - the beach isn't so inviting in the rain

Winter life in Portugal – the beach isn’t so inviting in the rain

Thankfully we both work fulltime, so the bad weather hasn’t had the chance to lead to too much boredom. Once you add in the usual domestic chores, which sadly don’t go away when you move to another country, the day fills up pretty quickly. So for the moment it’s a case of battening down the hatches, working hard and saving up for the dreaded annual Portuguese tax bill. Still, it will all be worth it once the sun finally comes out again and we can begin to enjoy all the wonderful activities that summer life in Portugal has to offer.

Image credits: Wikimedia

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Weather in Portugal – Winter and Spring 2

Posted on March 05, 2013 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

It’s been a while since I talked about the weather in Portugal, so today I’m going to talk about winter and spring here in the Algarve.

Winter and spring tend to merge together somewhat in Portugal, and these seasons have become rather unpredictable in recent years.

The winter of 2009 was so wet that our entire house went moldy – a fact that long-term readers of our blog will know plenty about, as will those who have read our book (details below).

Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same

The last couple of winters have been dry and fairly warm. In fact, during Christmas 2010, the weather in Portugal was such that I sunburned my nose on Boxing Day! But clear, warm days make for sharp, cold nights.

Sometimes to weather in Portugal is like this

Sometimes the weather in Portugal is like this

Last year, the time between November and February was so dry that people started to mention the word “drought.” Then April, a month that often sees us beginning to visit the beach regularly, brought weeks of wind and rain.

I’m not going to go all technical and start talking about climate change. These observations are aimed at those who are considering a move to Portugal. Sometimes, those who haven’t lived here through a few winters are blinded by marketing literature that boasts of “over 300 days of annual sunshine.” And while this information is perfectly true, it doesn’t give the full picture. Not at all.

There are some key points to consider here. Firstly, many properties are poorly insulated and built so they stay cool in summer, rather than warm in winter. Secondly, central heating is absent in all but the most luxurious of properties, and anyone who tells you that reverse cycle air-conditioning is a realistic substitute is talking nonsense.

So, when you look online at the winter weather in Faro from a centrally heated property in a “colder” country and see lots of days that say “16C, Sunny,” you can put the envy on hold. While, admittedly, we are feeling the occasional bit of sun on our faces, we are, in fact, spending most of the time running up extortionate electricity bills trying to stay warm indoors.

But sometimes the weather in Portugal is like this

But sometimes the weather in Portugal is like this

Even tourists get a false impression of the weather here at this time of year, with many enjoying drinks and snacks outside during the warmest part of the day on pleasant suntrap terraces. If you live here and have to work, you don’t often get the chance to do this.

Now, all of this probably sounds like a big moan, and I guess, to a point, it is – because no one back in the UK ever seems to believe that people who live in the Algarve find themselves willing on the start of summer just as much as they did before they moved. The point of this post is to provide a strong warning that winter can be just as cold, crappy and disheartening in Portugal as it is anywhere else.

On the bright side however, it is sunny rather a lot, and once summer arrives, you can guarantee it will stay put. I would never want to return to those UK years where you get to September and have to accept that you’re simply not getting a summer this year. You can avoid that by moving to the Algarve, but you can’t avoid feeling cold in the winter. Unless, perhaps, you move to Madeira…

PS. The above details our experiences of weather in the Algarve. Far more varied and extreme weather can be found elsewhere in the country – just pointing that out before anyone else feels compelled to!

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Moving Abroad – Quality of Life 0

Posted on January 21, 2013 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

Moving abroad is something that everyone does for their own personal reasons. For us, quality of life and better weather were two key reasons behind our decision to move to Portugal (it’s Lou here, by the way).

While sunshine and high temperatures aren’t guaranteed in Portugal in the winter, it’s fair to say that overall the weather here is a vast improvement on that in England. We’ve had a wonderful December, full of bright, sunny days, albeit turning cold the moment the sun goes down. January has been more of a mixed bag, with rain showers and cloudy days reminding us that it is still winter after all. This weekend, high winds have deterred us from venturing too far, so we’ve made the most of relaxing and appreciating the quiet life of the Algarve.

Moving abroad - where will your journey lead you?

Moving abroad – where will your journey lead you?

After a wonderful meal of fresh fish at Vela 2 in Santa Margarida on Friday night, we battened down the hatches and spent the weekend indoors, hiding from the wind. Although some chores did intrude on our relaxation (our oven is now sparklingly clean!) I was able to indulge in some Portuguese cooking, finish knitting two scarves that I started before Christmas and bake banana bread with a chocolate spread centre.

One of the things that I love about the Algarve in winter – and the reason I can relax so thoroughly when the weather is bad – is that there simply isn’t that much to do here when it’s not sunny. In our local area, poor weather means that our choices are limited to the cinema or shopping. Although there are occasions when we do yearn for a little more, it generally means that we can spend the winter months hibernating and relaxing, saving up our energy for the frenetic life of Portuguese summertime.

Moving abroad - a new dawn

Moving abroad – a new dawn

Of course winter doesn’t mean that we don’t have to work. Come rain or shine, my working day begins at 8.30 am. On days like today, when I have a huge ‘to do’ list, the day began even earlier. I got up and opened the shutters to see what the day was like, only to realise that it was still dark. It came as quite a surprise – my lack of a commute to work means that those weeks on end of getting up while it’s still dark (and getting home while it’s dark) during the English winter are a thing of the past. It’s something that I have almost, after more than three years in Portugal, come to take for granted.

This morning served as a wonderful reminder of how much our quality of life has improved, in subtle ways as well as obvious ones. We still have to deal with the pressures of work and the endless chores and trips to the supermarket, but we’re more relaxed while we’re doing it now. Instead of a hellish commute to work through London traffic in the dark, I drank my tea this morning while typing and watching the sun come up over our balcony. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer start to the week – it reminded me all over again how lucky we are to be living in Portugal and how much our life has improved since moving abroad.

Want to hear more about how our life has changed since moving abroad? Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same reveals it all.

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Living Abroad – a New Start 4

Posted on January 07, 2013 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

Hi, it’s Louise here with my first Moving to Portugal post. Happy New Year to you all :-)

There’s a feeling of Spring in the air today – a feeling of fresh starts. As I sipped my morning tea on the balcony, the sun seemed a little warmer, the birdsong a little louder. Perhaps it’s that I’m adjusting to my new freelance lifestyle, but something about being outside this morning took me back to when we first moved to Portugal – to a time of uncertainty over the future, but one full of excitement, hope and possibility. A new start, in a new country.

Living abroad - winter sands

Living abroad – winter sands

I noticed it yesterday too. We went for a quick stroll along the beach to build up an appetite for dinner. On the way, I noticed blossom on the trees beside the road. At the beach, I was captivated by the view, the sound of the sea and the countless tracks of little bird-prints crisscrossing the sand.

When you’ve been living abroad for a while, it can be easy to forget to take time to stand and stare. Real life gets in the way – the apartment needs cleaning, the shopping needs to be done or the endless paperwork needs yet more attention. Yesterday though, we ignored it all and went to the beach, reminding ourselves of why we moved here in the first place.

I love Portugal’s beaches at this time of year. They stretch for miles with only a few people in sight, mostly locals looking to catch something for dinner. The waves shimmer in the sun and in the late afternoon the shore turns pink as the day begins to fade. A stroll along the beach feels therapeutic and the sand and sea stretching into the distance provide space to think.

Living abroad - January beaches

Living abroad – January beaches

I have a tricky year ahead. Unlike my husband, I’ve always worked ‘for the man’ and right now the vast possibilities of working freelance feel a little overwhelming. I need to change my mind-set and embrace uncertainty, something I’ve never been particularly good at. It’s an exciting time, of course, but also an anxious one. Still, as I stood on the balcony breathing in the scents and sounds of Spring, I couldn’t think of anywhere I would rather be in order to face it.

Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same

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A Little Fall of Rain 0

Posted on September 25, 2012 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

Greetings from Portugal’s Algarve on a day that started out decidedly grey and rainy.

Sunday brought with it the first rain we had seen in several months. I’m going to have to confess that it made a delightful change. This may seem bizarre to those in the UK and I feel bad even saying it, but eventually, non-stop sunshine gets a little bit….dull.

Weather in Tavira - Something a bit different

Weather in Tavira - Something a bit different

I’ve been looking forward to rain for several weeks, if only to have the chance of a lazy sunday consisting of Nintendo and stew. I should, however, be clear that once this whim is out of my system I will be wanting the sunshine back.

The slightly unsettled weather is not as pleasing for our current guests, the third set this month. As I type, they are heading stoically towards the beach with a uniquely English kind of determination, so I hope the sun that has begun to poke through remains out for them.

Life has been very hectic, as is to be expected with so many guests. The few days when we’ve been alone in our apartment have been filled with work tasks – either getting ahead before people arrive, or catching up after they’ve left. It’s been fun and exhausting all at once, and, suffice to say, a serious detox will be in order once our current visitors depart for London.

A3 Art - A Wonderful Exhibiton

A3 Art - A Wonderful Exhibiton

Last week, we travelled to Armacao de Pera for the launch night of an art exhibiton, put on by fellow blogger Alyson Sheldrake and her husband Dave. Aly kindly offered to let me sell copies of Moving to Portugal (the book) at the exhibiton, and we spent an enjoyable evening looking at the art and photographs. We also had the opportunity to meet Tracy Hand and her husband (from the Hands in Portugal blog) – so it turned into something of a meeting of Portugal bloggers. I think Tracy and Aly were relieved to discover that I actually exist after all this time!

Our book about moving to Portugal has now been out for a month. We have received some lovely coverage and kind reviews and have hit our target of selling over a hundred copies in the first month. Our sincere thanks to everybody who has bought a copy. Anyone who has yet to buy one may be interested to know that Amazon are currently offering a ten percent discount:

Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same
That’s about it from me for today, but it’s been good to find time to provide a proper update. Until next week.

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      (Ben) Due to the nature of my work, I have the wonderful luxury of keeping to the schedule my body prefers. Of course this is likely to change drastically in… Read More »
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