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

movingtoportugal


A Positive Removals Experience 7

Posted on November 14, 2013 by Ben Algarve
Meravista

Last week saw us pass a very significant milestone in our lives in Portugal: the 5th of November marked the start of our fifth year in the country.

The “anniversary” found us reflecting on how much has happened since, and also caused me to nostalgically look back at the early days of our move – not just getting here, but preparing for the move as well.

The other day, someone on a forum asked for recommendations for a removal company, and I gladly recommended Algarve Removals, the company we used for our initial move over here.

Algarve Removals

We were guided very helpfully though the process, especially in estimating how many cubic meters of possessions we had to move. We had sold most of our large items in the UK, but it was surprising just how many boxes we still had. However, it’s also surprising just how much you can fit into a carefully packed cubic meter.

When the transit van arrived in South London, it really was the point of no return for us! We spent out last few days in England with a bare minimum of possessions – and we even borrowed a duvet for the final three nights that we took back to a friend en route to Gatwick airport.

We’ve since used Algarve Removals to move another couple of cubic meters of accumulated possessions, and also made use of their online shopping service.

Lots to unpack on arrival in Portugal

All we had to do was make a big order from Asda Online, and have it delivered to their Essex depot. A few days later, it had been brought on their weekly delivery, and we had the fun of driving to collect it from their Alcantarilha site and then arrived home to unpack many bags of much-missed foodstuffs!

The home shopping service works for all kinds of items, and companies such as John Lewis and Screwfix are all happy to deliver to their depot. The shipping costs are very low, and with many items costing much more in Portugal, it’s possible to make substantial savings.

So if you’re planning to move to Portugal, don’t worry too much about what you may or may not be able to buy here in the country. You only need to allow a few more days, and you can continue to shop from your favourite UK stores.

I can sincerely recommend the service from Algarve Removals after three trouble-free jobs – and there will be more. At some point next year we need to visit the homes of some family and friends and round up all the things people have been “looking after” for us. With four years under our belts and a baby on the way, I don’t think we’ll be going back to the UK any time soon!

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Pregnancy and Anxiety in Portugal 11

Posted on November 07, 2013 by Ben Algarve

Hello from still very sunny Portugal! Today, I’m not going to offer my normal apology for neglecting the blog, as I have a very good (and happy) excuse: Louise and I are expecting a baby!

As such, we’ve (unsurprisingly) been rather busy. It turns out that getting pregnant in Portugal can be nearly as complicated as getting residency in Portugal. Not the actual getting pregnant part (minds out the gutter please people, this is a family blog).

What I’m talking about is the bureaucracy associated with getting pregnant in Portugal. While we’ve been more than happy with our interaction with the doctors here, getting to actually see them has been another matter entirely.

Baby time!

Baby time!

Getting the relevant paperwork took five visits to the local surgery and well over ten (increasingly exasperated) phone calls. On the bright side, we are now capable of complaining and “putting our foot down” in the Portuguese language to an almost native level!

Having obtained the paperwork, getting the correct dates put on it and the right boxes ticked took another three return visits to the surgery and around five hours of waiting and travel time. Maintaining our self-employed income whilst spending hours in doctor’s waiting rooms is a challenge to say the least.

We are both extremely happy and excited about the news. As our close friends will testify, “it’s taken us long enough.” However, as I’m sure anyone with children will already know, it’s all rather terrifying too.

Hospitals give me the fear

Hospitals give me the fear

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, but I suffer badly with medical anxiety, white coat syndrome, or whatever you’d choose to call it. Basically being shit-scared of anything to do with doctors and hospitals is probably the best way to describe it.

Having buried my head comfortably in the sand for nearly 40 years about anything remotely medical, I now find myself reading books that go into a level of detail that causes me frequent dizzy spells. Whilst out walking the other day, I told strong-stomached and stoical Louise about just a couple of the things I’d read, and she had to quickly grab a handrail!

Calming Portuguese Skies!

Calming Portuguese Skies!

We’ve long been decided that we will have our children in Portugal – and we don’t plan to go running back to the comfort of the NHS and our native language. But the reality is far scarier than we imagined. I think we just visualised these cute little suntanned kids running around on a beach effortlessly switching between speaking English and Portuguese – the few years in the middle hadn’t really occurred to us before!

So, it’s been a very happy time, but a very anxious one too. On hearing our news, one of my friends said “wow, he’s got some manning up to do in the next nine months.” I certainly have. But first I think I may go for a little lie down.

PS. Interested in living in Portugal? Why not buy our book? Currently 15% off! Makes a good xmas gift! And we have a baby to pay for!

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

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

Image credits: GOVPA, Wikimedia Commons

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An Algarve Summer in Pictures – Part 1 4

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Ben Algarve

(Ben) This summer, my brother in law has spent a few months in the Algarve. He’s recently caught the photography bug, and has been turning out plenty of beautiful pictures that put our washed-out iPhone efforts to shame.

He’s also kindly agreed to let me share a selection of the photographs here. So today, I’m pleased to present an Algarve summer in photographic form. There will be more to come in a subsequent post.

Cabanas Beach, East Algarve

Cabanas Beach, East Algarve

Oranges in the orchard

Oranges in the orchard

A Tavira Terrapin

A Tavira Terrapin

The wild West coast

The Wild West coast

Alcoutim river beach

Alcoutim river beach

Castro Marim medieval fair

Castro Marim medieval fair

Octopus jerky at Castro Marim Medieval Fair

Octopus jerky at Castro Marim Medieval Fair

Praia da Luz in the peak of summer

Praia da Luz in the peak of summer

Fiesa Sand Sculptures

Fiesa Sand Sculptures

Strange red bug

Strange red bug

Canon at Sagres

Canon at Sagres

Castro Marim Castle

Castro Marim Castle

All images (C) Robert Herring 2013. All rights reserved.

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Cruising to Madeira 4

Posted on October 15, 2013 by Ben Algarve

(Ben) Every time I post on this blog nowadays I seem to begin with an apology for the length of time between my updates. I guess it’s no bad thing that I’ve got plenty of work to do, with employment being so hard to come by here in Portugal, but I do wish I had a little more blogging time.

Still, while the work keeps coming, I have to keep doing it, so I’m glad I have at least found a quick gap in which to type up this quick update.

Hitting the high seas

Hitting the high seas

I guess it’s technically autumn now here in the Algarve, but you wouldn’t know it with temperatures still frequently in the high 20s. Even so, the evenings are getting a little cooler, and though I’m stubbornly remaining in shorts and flip-flops, my wife is now in jeans by sundown most days!

The tourists seem happy with the weather, and there are still plenty of them around, but we’ve had to accept the end of summer and get back to the grindstone.

However, we have booked ourselves a little holiday! Next month we head off on a cruise to Morocco, Madeira and the Canary Islands. A cruise is something we’ve always wanted to try, even though many of our friends have appeared baffled by our desire to do so!

This time we will see Madeira from the opposite direction

This time we will see Madeira from the opposite direction

We’ve looked into cruising before, but the thing that’s put us off has been that the majority of routes start in Barcelona, which for us involves a drive to Seville, followed by a flight, before we even get to board our ship.

Last week, I discovered a very inexpensive cruise beginning in Malaga, which is much easier as we can get there in the car in around four hours, the last hour of which is through stunning mountain scenery.

So we set off next month and will be calling at Barcelona, Casablanca, Madeira and Lanzarote. Ironically, it’s revisiting the Portuguese island of Madeira that we’re most excited about, but setting foot in Africa for the first time is also rather thrilling.

Somewhere to revisit in Madeira

Somewhere to revisit in Madeira

We’ve clearly taken quite a gamble with a November cruise. The weather will be hit and miss at best, so we’re glad we stocked up on high strength travel sickness pills when we were in the US earlier this year! But ultimately it’s all about having a break from the routine and finding out, once and for all, if cruises are something we enjoy. Given that I’ve always got awfully excited about simple ferry journeys, I think there will be enough to keep me entertained!

And if it’s all a disaster…well, at least then we’ll have some funny stories to tell on this blog when we get back.

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Moving to Portugal – What was your Inspiration? 8

Posted on October 07, 2013 by Ben Algarve

For us, moving to Portugal was something we decided to do for a number of reasons. We had holidayed here several times and loved the scenery, the food and the sunshine. We are both beach people, so we loved the idea that we could live close to the sea. We were also tired of the ‘work till you drop’ pace of London and were ready for an improved work/life balance – one where we had time to hold hands and curl our toes in the sand.

Life in Portugal - time to notice prints in the sand

Life in Portugal – time to notice prints in the sand

Four years later, we still love our life in Portugal. Yesterday we spent the day at Praia da Rocha, the beach that first inspired us to think about emigrating. Despite it being October, the sun was beating down and the sea was shimmering with a million tiny sparkles. A handful of late season tourists were scattered across the sands and a few brave souls (my brother included) ventured into the sea, which last week’s bad weather has served to cool considerably. It was the perfect lazy Sunday and exactly what we had in mind when we moved here.

Given our love of Portugal and our own personal adventure of moving here, we were intrigued when approached last week by Meravista – the largest online portal for Algarve property – to support the promotion of their survey on why people have moved to the Algarve. The Meravista survey delves into why expats have selected the Algarve as their destination of choice, as well as examining topics such as their experience of working here and how they like to spend their free time.

The team at Meravista are looking to hear from a wide range of expats, of all ages and nationalities. The survey takes just a few minutes to complete and participation will help to improve understanding of just what it is about the Algarve that draws so many of us here to stay. As if that weren’t motivation enough, entrants can also elect to take part in a prize draw, where three winners will be selected to receive a case of wine after the survey closes on 9 November. Those wishing to take part can access the survey here.

Praia da Rocha - those sparkles never get boring

Praia da Rocha – those sparkles never get boring

As we’ve somehow arrived at Monday again, we have another long week of work ahead of us before there will be sufficient time to go out and play in the sun. Still, I’m sure we’ll find time to squeeze in a lovely, relaxed mid-week barbecue with a few family members who are currently here on holiday. Compared with what we would have been doing on October evenings if we had remained in London, sitting out on the balcony with a glass of wine while the smell of sardines drifts across to us from the grill really doesn’t sound too bad :-)

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A Great Book about Portugal 2

Posted on September 23, 2013 by Ben Algarve

Ben here, and today I’m going to discuss a book about Portugal that I’ve really enjoyed recently. The biggest surprise to regular readers will be that the book in question ISN’T mine! However, here’s a gratuitous and cheeky link to mine on Amazon in case you want to take a look! At the time of writing, Amazon have it at 15% off!

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

Anyway, before I talk about this Portugal book, I’d like to offer a quick apology for being absent from this blog for a prolonged period. All my recent time has been taken up with a big work project, and us freelancers must grab the business when it’s there. I trust that Louise has kept you entertained with her regular posts.

The book I’m introducing here is called “Portugal and the Algarve – Now and Then,” by long-term resident, Jenny Grainer.

A Book about Portugal

I’m surprised that the book’s existence passed me by until now. As soon as I saw it I immediately downloaded it to my iPad via Kindle.

Jenny moved to the Algarve in 1968, when Portugal was still a dictatorship, the Algarve was a relatively obscure tourist destination, and Faro didn’t have an airport.

The book is essentially a collection of observations about Portugal between then and now, and the evocative descriptions of Portugal before I was even born were truly illuminating.

Reading the book has made the history of the Algarve come alive, especially when we’re on our travels and see how places have changed in the intervening years. Of particular interest to me were the chapters describing Portugal in the 60s and 70s, when many people lived in genuine poverty and “make and make do” was a way of life. It certainly brought the “first world problems” of the current age into embarrassingly sharp focus!

I heartily recommend Jenny Grainer’s book about Portugal. It’s quite short, and I devoured it in just a few sessions, but I feel I now know more about my adopted country than I ever did before. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. You will find the link below:

Portugal and the Algarve: Now and Then

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From Portugal to England – a Reverse Perspective 8

Posted on September 16, 2013 by Ben Algarve

As regular readers will know, Moving to Portugal is all about our move from rainy England to sunny Portugal and our experiences of settling in to our wonderful new country. This week, inspired by one of the comments on last week’s blog post, we thought it would be fun to turn everything on its head and look at the opposite perspective – what things are like for a Portuguese expat living in England.

Union Jack

Kat, her parents and her eldest sister moved to England in 2004, when Kat was 13. Here’s what she has to say about the experience:

M2P: What were the main reasons for the move?

Kat: There were a few different reasons. Firstly, my middle sister was living in England with her partner at the time. My mum wanted to be nearer to her, so that was the initial thought. Then there was the reason that my parents wanted to give me a better education. Out in Portugal education can be very expensive, paying hundreds of euros every year for books and the other things associated with school. If it hadn’t been for me, they say they would never have moved, so I owe them all for that, as I had the best education I could have asked for.

M2P: Did you find it hard to learn the language? How long did it take you?

Kat: Learning the language was a bit daunting. For the first few months I didn’t really talk much in school – I was more taking it all in and learning it. Surprisingly, however, I remember understanding a lot more than I expected.

M2P: What was it like starting school in England when up until the move you had been educated in Portugal?

Kat: School was fun. Weird to begin with because we have different holidays (no half terms in Portugal), and there is no uniform in Portugal either, so that was a bit weird. But I loved school so I found it all good.

School uniform

M2P: What do you like most about living in England?

Kat: England is home. I grew into an adult here, I am used to the language, the system, how everything works. I can’t pinpoint one specific thing about England, coz almost everything is good – MINUS THE WEATHER. That irritates me, I like sunshine so much, and England doesn’t get much of it.

M2P: Would you ever consider moving back to Portugal?

Kat: Moving to Portugal? I don’t think so. Extended holidays maybe, but actually living and working in Portugal… I wouldn’t (unless I was offered a job that paid me millions hehe!).

M2P: After so many years in England, do you consider yourself to be more English than Portuguese?

Kat: I am both. I will always be Portuguese. I don’t think it matters how far away you are from your home country, you still carry your roots with you. Portugal is my darling home and I have to go home almost every year. But, I also consider myself English, because England has provided me with so many opportunities that I am so thankful for.

Portuguese beach

M2P: Is your diet mainly English or mainly Portuguese?

Kat: If I am at home with my family, the diet is Portuguese. If I am with friends or my partner then it will be English. Although I love the variety of foods that England offers, from English to Indian, Chinese etc. I just love ALL FOODS. I get good variety here.

M2P: What do you miss about living in Portugal?

Kat: I miss the sun, the beaches, the clear skies, the hotness, the pace of life. I miss my family and just generally relaxing without a worry in the world.

Portuguese Beach 2

So it seems that wherever you move from and to, there are certain parts of your culture that go along with you and certain parts of your new culture that you quickly embrace. Thank you Kat for taking the time to speak to Moving to Portugal and providing us with the opposite perspective :-)

Image credits: Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, Rob Herring

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The Algarve’s Five Best Kept Secrets 7

Posted on September 09, 2013 by Ben Algarve

Anyone visiting the Algarve for their holidays won’t find it hard to locate wonderful beaches, beautiful scenery and fabulous, cheap restaurants. All you need is a guide book or a quick Google search of your chosen area and you are set to enjoy a great holiday.

FIESA - easy to find and enjoy

FIESA – easy to find and enjoy

But those who are staying longer, or moving permanently to the Algarve, have the option to discover some of its hidden treasures – places that don’t make the guide books or that have to be sought out based on local knowledge.

Here we go off the beaten track and share five of the Algarve’s best kept secrets, which we have discovered during our years of living here.

Foia

As the Algarve’s highest mountain, Foia isn’t exactly ‘hidden’ but surprisingly few people make the journey to the top. Those that do are rewarded (on clear days at least) with incredible views of a huge stretch of the coastline, with tiny towns and villages dotted around in picture postcard perfection.

Foia - pick a sunny day for a better view

Foia – pick a sunny day for a better view

You can scale Foia on foot with the hand of a local walking guide, though in the height of summer the intense heat means driving may be a more practical approach. Partway down the mountain is a tiny spring of clear water, where you are likely to find locals filling their empty bottles to take the pure, cold water away with them.

No Solo Água (Praia da Rocha)

At the far end of Praia da Rocha in Portimão, near the fortress, is the No Solo Água beach club, as recently reviewed on our sister blog, Food and Wine Portugal. While the Algarve has a few beach clubs, most are expensive, with cover charges in place before you can even sit down. No Solo Água at Praia da Rocha, however, is something of a locals’ secret. You can turn up, grab a day bed or giant sofa, and access the private beach – all for free. All you have to do is buy drinks while you’re there. There is the option to buy food as well and everything we’ve tried from the menu so far has been very tasty.

No Solo Agua - delightful

No Solo Agua – delightful

As an aside, we have visited other No Solo Água establishments, such as the one at Vilamoura, but none even come close to living up to the one at Praia da Rocha.

Alcoutim

Tucked away in the middle of nowhere near the Spanish border, Alcoutim is a small town with a tiny yet beautiful river beach. The water is clean and delightfully warm and offers the chance for visitors to float around for endless hours, disturbed only by the occasional sparkling fish jumping out of the water.

Alcoutim - a blissful hideaway

Alcoutim – a blissful hideaway

Even in the peak of summer, Alcoutim remains relatively quiet, in stark contrast to the Algarve’s coastal beaches. The little bar on site serves drinks and hot snacks, or you can take a picnic and each it on the sandy riverbank. Lifeguards are on duty and the shallow, still waters make this a lovely spot to visit if you have young children.

Tavira’s Secret Beach

Ilha da Tavira beach is a popular tourist destination all summer long and deservedly so. It is beautiful. However, Tavira also has another beach, accessed by following the signs to Forte de Rato through the Ria Formosa nature reserve. If this beach has a name, I’ve yet to discover it.

The secret beach at Forte de Rato

The secret beach at Forte de Rato

This delightful spot offers a way to escape the tourist hordes. There will be people there, but far fewer than on any of the other beaches in the area. Protected from the open sea by the curving coastland, this tidal inlet offers shallow, crystal clear water in which to frolic or simply float on a giant rubber ring. The ruined Forte de Rato, which you have to drive past to get to the beach, makes for a lovely diversion on the way.

Pego do Inferno

Accessed via the backroads leading out of Tavira and tricky to find, Pego do Inferno is one of our favourite spots. Anyone who has been kind enough to purchase our book, Moving to Portugal, will recognise the waterfall on the front cover when they visit Pego do Inferno.

Ravaged by the extensive wildfires that burned across the Algarve in 2012, Pego do Inferno has now reopened and begun to return to its former beauty, as vegetation and wildlife have returned. The waterfall and the pool at its base range in colour from perfectly clear to muddy brown/orange, depending on the time of year.

Pego do Inferno - worth trying to find

Pego do Inferno – worth trying to find

In mid-summer, the water is clear enough to see fish swimming around the pool in shoals, which scatter when locals plunge into the depths from the tattered rope swing or the top of the cliff from which the waterfall pours. I should add that both activities are extremely dangerous!

Later in the year, after the autumn rains have begun, the water becomes silted with mud from the surrounding hills, making swimming a rather unpleasant idea. It’s still a wonderfully quiet spot for a picnic, but is definitely far better when visited during the summer months.

So these are our favourite ‘secret’ Algarve destinations. I’m sure we will discover more as our explorations continue over the years ahead and I look forward to adding to the list.

What’s your favourite tucked away Algarve place? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box.

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Portuguese Language Learning – an Update from Lou 10

Posted on September 02, 2013 by Ben Algarve

It seems hard to believe that we are approaching the four year anniversary of our move to Portugal. I can still clearly remember driving to and from work in the weeks before our move, endlessly repeating phrases from my Portuguese language learning CD as I sat in traffic on the A3.

Portuguese language learning - my two essential grammar books

Portuguese language learning – my two essential grammar books

Our language skills have come a long way over the past four years. When I arrived in Portugal I could ask for a beer, count to twenty, order a tosta mixta and point to something and say ‘I would like this please.’ It was a limited selection but, along with a few additional phrases, it served us well in our initial nervous and faltering attempts at conversation.

This week, I’ve had the opportunity to realise just how far my Portuguese language learning has progressed. The lady in our local shop asked me what I did for a living. I was able to tell her and spend the next two minutes chatting about my job. When I left the shop, a car pulled up and asked if there was a supermarket in our village. I gave the driver two options and then directed him clearly to his chosen shop. Later in the week, a customer in the supermarket came up to me while I was queuing and asked if the checkout I was at was about to close. I informed her that it was not.

These three small interactions may not sound like much, but they combined to make me realise how confidently I can now chat to strangers in my second language. I’m still far from fluent and many situations still leave me feeling frustrated when I have to revert to English, but the number of these is gradually reducing.

Portuguese language learning - not perfect, but getting there

Portuguese language learning – not perfect, but getting there

Another triumph in my Portuguese language learning has been my progress with reading. Though I still struggle with hearing and speaking Portuguese at times, my reading skills have advanced enough that I have just finished reading my first ‘proper’ book in Portuguese that I haven’t read previously in English – Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers.

As an avid reader, it used to make me sad in Portuguese bookshops that my choice was limited to the tiny English language selection. Now, I feel confident in buying Portuguese books and being able to read them. Granted, I read much more slowly in Portuguese than in English, but I’m sure that I’ll get faster as time goes on.

My efforts to learn Portuguese have ranged from CDs in the car, to school exercise books aimed at five year olds, to grammar books in English that explain the intricacies of the language. We took a handful of lessons a year or so ago, but preferred our own methods of learning and didn’t continue with them for more than a couple of months.  I’ve also read progressively more grown up books, going from the Ruca children’s books, to Enid Blyton, to Stephen King, to Alexandre Dumas.

Portuguese language learning - from children's books to classics

Portuguese language learning – from children’s books to classics

The next book on my shelf to tackle is As Pupilas do Senhor Reitor by Júlio Dinis. I bought it a little over a year ago, but the first page made me realise it was too advance for me and it’s been on the bookshelf ever since. I’ll be interested to see whether I find it quite so daunting when I try it again later today.

I am under no illusions – I know I still have a long way to go, but it seems that my far-off dream of one day speaking fluent Portuguese may be getting just a little bit closer.

***

A quick addition to this post in response to one of the comments – if I had to recommend the course that I found most useful during my early days of learning Portuguese, it would be the double CD/book combo course Teach Yourself Portuguese: Coursebook & 2 CDs:

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

Posted on August 12, 2013 by Ben Algarve

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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