Living in Portugal – Goodbye Winter

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Let’s get the bad bit out of the way first: the first couple of weeks of our 2011 in Portugal were pretty crap.

A rapid succession of stomach upset, flu and then ear infection, all accompanied by a heavy dose of post-Christmas blues, resulted in the very beginning of the year feeling quite some distance from “living the dream.” This serves to illustrate the fact that living in Portugal, or any other “hot” country doesn’t suddenly make you immune from the rubbishy bits life throws at you sometimes.

Thankfully by the start of this week, rest, antibiotics and a regime of early, brisk walks, had fully restored my lust for life.

A January Walk in Portugal
A January Walk in Portugal

I’m pleased to report that we haven’t so far had a repeat of last year’s soaking wet winter, and the weather in the last week or so has finally made us realise why the Algarve is a popular destination for winter sun. It’s hardly been shorts and flip-flops weather, but most days HAVE delivered t-shirt and shades weather.

The area is blissfully quiet, and my early morning walks have taken me past fields covered in yellow flowers, rows of almond trees dripping with pinky white blossom, and sparkling sea views, complete with locals wading in the Ria Formosa searching for clams.

Down the road where some of our family live, the orange harvest has begun, and we look forward to popping over there this coming weekend to assist, both in picking the fruit and finding ways to use the considerable glut of shiny citrus!

After such a depressing start to the year, it’s wonderful to feel inspired again, and it’s uplifting to wander around the quiet sunny streets in the morning, losing count of the number of smiles and “Bom Dia” greetings I have exchanged on my trek. It’s impossible not to feel blessed when my mind goes back to a couple of years ago, when we would have been fighting through the ice and rain on the morning drive into London.

Living in Portugal - The Start of the Orange Harvest
Living in Portugal - The Start of the Orange Harvest

My already high spirits were boosted when, earlier in the week, I received the exciting news that this blog has won an award from Expat Arrivals after being shortlisted from nearly 1000 blogs. This recognition for the time I have put into it has really spurred me on to take it to the next level, and this year I plan to take and upload a lot more photos of our adventures in the Algarve. A big thank you to all the regular readers of this blog who have helped to make it a success!

So – onward and upward! I wish everyone a sunny and positive 2011.

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6 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Congratulations on the award! well deserved 🙂 and Happy New Year… I think we have all been suffering from January blues, wherever we are, but glad to hear you’re back on the way up!!!

  2. Its really good to hear you have received an award, it makes it all worthwhile.
    Good to see that the walks have done their trick, we will be doing them ourselves when we visit Cabanas at the end of February.

  3. It doesnt seem that long ago that you and your wife were the ones wearing shorts and flip flops in ‘winter’ and getting odd looks from the locals does it? Time just flies by -c ant believe its almost February.

    Sorry to hear you were so unwell but glad you are on the mend now. Plenty of fresh orange juice will help 🙂

    Many many congrats on the award . . .

    Happy New Year to you both.


  4. Congratulations on your award – it’s a great site. I’ve been following your blog for some time now as we’ve been considering moving to Portugal for a while.

    This became serious last May when we found a house we liked and subsequently put our house here in England on the market – where it remains! However, if we are meant to move there we will, and meanwhile your site is a fantastic resource – I am finding the books ordered on your recommendation very useful.

    Looking forward to a long weekend in Vilamoura at the beginning of next month and hoping for some sun. At least it should be warmer there.

    Thanks for all your hard work and information.

  5. Thank you to everyone for the congratulations and good wishes, and sincere apologies for such a slow response. I won’t let it happen again! Best wishes

    @Alice – Hi! Been a while! Thanks for your good wishes? AM I right in saying you are Portugal bound this year? That’ll cure the winter blues!

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