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


It’s a Family Affair 0

Posted on July 26, 2010 by Ben Algarve

Once again some visitors have left and home feels strangely empty – we are, however, getting a bit more used to the transition!

This time we had some family over and spent a wonderful week doing the tourist bit in the local area.

As well as our trip to Zoomarine, which I wrote about in a previous post, we have visited beaches, stopped at numerous cafes and restaurants for sustenance and experimented with two new modes of transport….

A pedalo on the sea, complete with an inbuilt slide, was tremendous fun and a whole lot less straightforward than you would expect! When you take into account waves, currents and everything being extremely slippery, it is a wonder that we returned from the experience with only minor injuries – all completely worth it for being able to splash into the sea in heat.

Even more exciting was our experience on the electric mopeds they currently have for rent on the seafront at Cabanas. These machines have pedals so are ridden like a bike but also

Electric Moped - fun

Electric Moped - fun

have an electric motor and a couple of compartments to store shopping. As they are classified as bikes, you are allowed to ride them on the Ecovia cycle routes, keeping you away from the Portuguese traffic.

This is a fantastic and very eco-friendly means of transport and ideal for little trips to the local shops where we live…we are looking into the possibilities of getting two of our own and look forward to a more extended trial of the bikes having booked a half-day on them later in the week.

Pego Do Inferno

Pego Do Inferno

As always it made us appreciate where we live all the more having people to share it with us – a particular highlight being the beautiful waterfall of Pego Do Inferno, where we all swam in the cool water, and a couple of our number worked up the courage to swing from a rope by the waterfall into the water below. This magical place is slightly off the tourist track and so good to visit in the summer.

We have certainly noticed it is VERY busy around these parts now – some beaches, such as Montegordo and Praia Verde are ludicrously busy, and when we visited the latter yesterday we had to queue long enough to get out of the car park to warrant a game of “I-Spy” in the car! We have identified one local beach that gets largely bypassed by the worst of the crowds, and I’m afraid I am unwilling to disclose which one it is 😉

So, once again, back to work and reality after sharing another holiday with some more visitors – time to get the house clean and tidy, go and see how much beer is left in the fridge, and look forward to the next arrivals. Happy days.

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Algarve in Summer 5

Posted on July 09, 2010 by Ben Algarve

As we look forward to another hot and sunny weekend, I thought I would write a quick post about the Algarve in the summer.

Busy Beaches

Busy Beaches

We have never been here in July or August before, so the last couple of weeks have been something of an eye-opener.  Trips to anywhere west of Faro are off the menu until September, after our last trip to Praia De Rocha since the tourists descended en masse resulted us using the word “hellhole” without any hint of irony.

We are lucky to live at the quieter end of the Algarve where, although the holiday-makers are very much in evidence, the character of the area seems to survive, and the bulk of the boozy teenagers are kept contained in certain bars!

At the moment, this new summer vibe is pleasing, and the holiday mood rubs off on us in a good way (except for when there’s no room around the pool downstairs!)

It is also good that our ability to speak some Portuguese separates us out from the tourists, and we are quite enjoying showing off our language skills in the butchers and fishmongers!

Weather wise – no complaints here! We had been a little concerned it may be too hot for us, and it may well get hotter in the coming weeks, but so far we seem to be adjusting very well to temperatures in the low to mid 30s every single day. It is surprising how quickly you get used to it – to the extent that if it is 35C one day and drops to 31C the day after you almost wish it was slightly warmer.

The nights are not so straightforward, and we have had some where it hasn’t dropped below 25C in the night and is back to 32C by 9am. These nights, it can be tricky to remain asleep without keeping the air-conditioning on constantly, which isn’t good for the skin or the wallet! All in all though, we are loving this new climate and suspect that by the autumn we will be joining the Portuguese in their jackets and scarves and looking strangely at visitors wearing flip-flops when it’s “only” 23C!

The jury’s out as to whether we will continue to enjoy this complete change of pace and invasion of our new local area – either way you can be sure I will let you know.

Have a lovely weekend.

Photo Credit: Planax

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A Busy Month in Portugal 5

Posted on April 20, 2010 by Ben Algarve

Just time for a quick update today. April has been our busiest month since arriving in Portugal – three groups of visitors back-to-back, with just enough time to make our home presentable in between times!

It has been wonderful to share our new life with some of our nearest and dearest and as usual it has made us freshly appreciate how lucky we are to be here in the Algarve. We have introduced people to their first iberico ham, shared a range of potent Portuguese liqueurs, and, best of all, enjoyed joining some dear friends on their first expedition to the beach with their 8 month old baby.

SuperBock - no shortage of this at the moment

SuperBock - no shortage of this at the moment

It is strange having so many people here because the house feels so alive one moment and then strangely quiet and empty the next – it then takes a couple of days to adjust back to having the place to ourselves. It doesn’t help that at the end of our visits we have to go on yet another whirlwind trip to the UK to attend a friend’s wedding (volcanic ash permitting!)

One other thing we are learning quickly is that when people come to visit it means they are on holiday – that in turn means they intend to eat and drink at holiday pace. Whilst it is wonderful to have this infectious holiday feeling around all of the time, I don’t think it is doing our livers or waist-lines an awful lot of good! We have to enforce alcohol-free days and a strict salad-eating regime between guests!

Next month is a quiet one, as we have no more guests until June, so we intend to have a nice, quiet month. We will try not to spend all of our month’s money by the 15th, accept that we have now had enough restaurant meals to last until Christmas and eat a lot of cheap, healthy food. This is the intention anyway! Let’s see how it goes 🙂

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