Flying to Portugal

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As I type this I am 30-odd thousand feet above Portugal or Spain on my journey back to the Algarve, after a quick week working and socialising in London.

We are very much looking forward to re-establishing a routine after our recent residency nightmares, which were exacerbated by three weeks of toothache, which thankfully has abated since a trip to the dentist in London.

Heading home to Portugal
Heading home to Portugal

All in all, June was probably our most unsettled month since moving to Portugal, so I am relishing the thought of something approaching normality, or as least as close to normality as we can get as the real holiday season beings in the Algarve. This means strategic planning is required when visiting shops, beaches and restaurants, to avoid the worst of the hordes.

Montegordo Beach - in quieter times
Montegordo Beach - in quieter times

Tomorrow should be a rather exciting day, as we are finally picking up our own car after 18 months of supporting the local car hire companies. Car hire has proved so affordable throughout the winter that if we could get those rates year round, we would be tempted to just keep renting ad infinitum. The trouble is that in the summer, we can end up paying the same to hire a car for a week as we usually pay per month off-season…..and that is if one is available.

Shortly after finally getting our residency, we were approved for car finance on something nearly new–quite a feat when our income all comes from the UK. I apologise to the environment for the trees that must have been felled to produce all the paperwork that was required! If anyone wants information on what we did and what was required, let me know, but I won´t bore everyone reading the blog with the details here.

I don´t have a lot more to say, having been away from Portugal for a week. Once we arrive back, I look forward to embracing life in the sun, which I have been unable to do fully with residency stress as well as toothache!

All is good right now, but I imagine within a week or two I´ll be complaining about the tourists….there are certainly plenty of them on this plane 😉

QUICK UPDATE: After typing this on Friday on the plane, I didn’t get round to posting it until Tuesday. We are now back, the sun is shining….and…….we have our car! It was a quick and easy process, but at some point soon we really ought to attempt to translate all the bits of paper we mindlessly signed when we collected it. Oh, and my wife is already complaining about traffic and “dawdling tourists.” All much as predicted then really!

Image Credits: Deanster1983 Bert Kaufmann

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4 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Glad you got your car sorted at last!
    re tourists and the summer hordes – we’ve noticed that shops & restaurants are now talking to us in English straight away… we don’t even get the chance to start in Portuguese! must be my pale complexion (must try to get more of a tan I think!) … whereas a few weeks ago we might have had a Portuguese ‘bom dia’ we now hear ‘can I help you?’ eek! But bravely responding in Portuguese (badly!) results in an amazed expression from the locals now….

  2. Hi Alyson,

    We call what you refer to “the battle.” We speak Portuguese, shop person speaks English. We stubbornly persist in speaking Portuguese. If we end the conversation in Portuguese, we win, if we end it in English, we lose. It can be quite fun sometimes. The only time it is frustrating is on the odd occasion when we go into a shop where we have happily spoken Portuguese all winter, but as the tourists are here, it is forgotten that we have spoken the language for months. Then we feel as if we have taken a step back!


  3. Hi Ben – your comments triggered my next blog post! have mentioned your blog and linked across to you – hope you don’t mind!
    thanks for inspiring me.

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