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


It’s Getting Hot in Here 6

Posted on July 16, 2010 by Ben Algarve

It’s time for a little confession. I have been reluctant to admit to this but it is important I give readers planning to move to Portugal a fair and honest assessment of our time here including the good and bad – so here goes:

This past week we have been struggling, a little tiny bit, with the heat. There you go, I said it.

Hot, hot, hot

Hot, hot, hot

Having complained about the English climate for years, it feels awfully ungrateful to complain in any way about a constant blue sky, temperatures in the low 30s every single day and not so much as a hint of rain, but the relentless heat does have its drawbacks.

It’s important to emphasise that when we have friends here and are spending days by the pool, in and out of the sea and relaxing on beaches, the heat isn’t a problem at all. It is more the times when we have work and chores to do when it is a bit of a struggle.

Mainly it is the nights. When for weeks it rarely goes below 25C in the middle of the night, sleeping becomes a problem, and even if you accept a huge bill for air conditioning, it is not a perfect solution. Air conditioned air is not particularly good for you, and if you inadvertently fall asleep with it on, you make up with a sore throat and not feeling particularly tip-top.

It is reassuring to see that it doesn’t just seem to be us. We walked into town the other day and there seemed to be a general air of lethargy amongst everyone from the Portuguese to the tourists. It is just a lot more effort to get anything done.

All this said, every day we feel more used to it, and we are working to wean ourselves off the air conditioning, relying more on fans and a water spray.

Watching the UK weather from afar in the past week – going from heat-wave and then back to grey and rainy reminds me what we left behind, and it was that sudden disappearance of summer that used to really get me down. I certainly wouldn’t want to swap back, even though I do have a secret desire to see a day of rain at some point!

Have a lovely sunny weekend.

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Everybody Loves The Sunshine 2

Posted on May 21, 2010 by Ben Algarve

I don’t usually post on a Friday but I thought it was worth an extra quick update today just to say that this was the week the weather truly arrived here in the Algarve.

We haven’t seen a cloud all week and have really relaxed into the rhythm of the summer, which for me involves doing the bulk of my work in the morning and evening in order to have the afternoon free to enjoy the sun! This is something I think I am going to get used to.

We have been pleasantly surprised that with the low humidity, even when the thermometer has hit 30C this week it hasn’t at any point felt “too hot” for us, so we are sunnyless concerned that it will be too much for us when we get into the sweltering heat of July and August.

There have, in fact, only been two occasions so far this year when I have been uncomfortably hot. The first when I realised earlier this week that the day the temperature hits 30 degrees is not the wisest day to go on a long bike-ride, and the second on the London underground on a humid day earlier this month.

The only thing causing a slight concern is a truly shocking electricity bill that dropped onto our door-mat earlier this week. We hope very much it is an estimated reading as if it IS correct we will not be putting the air conditioning on when it does get warmer! We have tried a couple of times this week to provide a new reading but while we have three different readings on our meter, the electric company website has only one space to enter the new one – the situation is testing the limits of our Portuguese, our patience, AND Google translate.

I am pleased to see that our friends and family will be having some beautiful weather back in England this weekend. In fact our current heat-wave is due to end tomorrow and temperatures in London look like they may be better than here tomorrow and Sunday – if I listen carefully I’m sure I can hear a few of our friends chuckling about that fact!

Have a lovely, sunny weekend.

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Here comes the sun / rain again…. 2

Posted on January 11, 2010 by Ben Algarve

When people come to visit us in Portugal it always gives us a chance to re-evaluate our decision – it encourages us to view the place through their eyes and is a good chance to take stock. After a slightly complicated Christmas (see previous post,) and torrential rain, we were most grateful that our relatives brought some sunshine with them!

Praia De Rocha - Early January

Praia De Rocha - Early January

We have spent a fantastic four days re-exploring our town and other parts of the Algarve, as well as sampling plenty of food and wine (for some new Tavira restaurant reviews see my new post at

Although the weather was only 13/14 deg C, the sun was blazing and on a day visit to Praia De Rocha we were able to sit outside (when shielded from the wind) and even fitted in some paddling!

As always, it was sad to see them go home – it always makes the house feel strangely empty when visitors leave, and gives us the same kind of “end of the holiday” feeling we used to get when leaving Portugal as visitors. Shortly after they left I looked out of the window, saw white houses and palm trees and almost had to pinch myself when I remembered that I don’t have to go “home” and that I still live here. It was a great feeling!

Unfortunately, it seems our visitors took the sunshine away again when they left as Sunday was another day of torrential rain, leaky window frames, and new patches of mould on the walls, but I am very happy that our guests were able to see the Algarve in the sun…

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