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


Winter Life in Portugal – Rainy Days and Mondays 0

Posted on March 07, 2013 by Ben Algarve

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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Empty Chairs at Empty Tables 0

Posted on July 06, 2010 by Ben Algarve

Having friends come to visit us here in Portugal is fantastic, especially at this time of year when every day is blazing hot and we are starting to forget what clouds are like, let alone rain.

What isn’t so fantastic is when they have to go home. When people share our new home with us it makes the place full of life, especially as these people are on holiday and bring that happy-holidays vibe with them. When they leave, the house feels oddly empty for a couple of days – and it never helps that there is the inevitable pile of work to catch up on – it tends to go on the back-burner in favour of far more important things – long lunches, swimming and exploring different beaches.

My wife and I have always been very sentimental and are not good at dealing with that “last day of holiday” feeling. We didn’t realise when we moved here was that we would experience that sad feeling second-hand when each of our guests leave!

We are approaching another concentrated period of visits over the next

Sunset Boat Back From Isla de Tavira

Sunset Boat Back From Isla de Tavira

couple of months (only two days, in fact, until the next arrival,) so perhaps by the end of September we may have a slightly different take on this!

The guest who has just left is interested in a possible move abroad in the future, so we obviously did all we could to sell the lifestyle to her. We have asked her to produce a guest post telling readers of this blog of her experiences in Portugal so expect to see that soon.

Summer is well and truly here now, and not a day goes by without a minor panic about how big our next electricity bill will be with the air conditioning on all the time. The Algarve is like a completely different place to even just two weeks ago – every major coastal town is like a party-zone every night of the week. It is quite exciting at the moment to see the contrast but I’m sure it won’t be long before we want all the tourists to go home and give us back our little piece of paradise.

Until then though, we are loving our first Portuguese summer, having an apartment that smells of sun cream and even the constant dry and stingy skin from all the time we are spending in the sea. It’s all rather good.

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