18th December 2017 – 1st January 2018
Life has taken a rather chilled out affair at the moment. We are still in the same site having moved to various different locations due to people booking certain pitches. Obviously we had never booked, just rolled up and are still here nearly 6 weeks later. It is amazing and the things you learn. There are people here that book 5-7 years in advance for the same pitch each year securing their little piece of Portugal with the sunshine. Now sunshine on the pitch is the major talking point and people trying to move pitches to get the sun for as many hours in the day as possible. The pitches that everyone are desperate for now are the ones that must be empty in the summer as everyone want the shade in the height of August, when over 2000 people descend on the site. Must be horrendous.
We have hired a car for most of the time we have been here, costing less than €8.00 per day and she’s a brand new Seat Ibiza. Chloe loves it, being able to hang her head outside the window and catch the breeze as we head for our daily ritual of the beach walk in the afternoons. We have explored a lot of the beaches around and on some days never see another sole on them. The beaches go for miles and it makes you realise how very lucky we are to be doing this.
We have visited most of towns in the area and most are worth a visit. Sagres to watch the sunset go down by the castle, once again no dogs allowed inside and so we sat on the cliffs outside.
Praia da Luz is our most local beach and it seems to be a hub for the British, it has a lovely beach with striking coloured cliffs. There is a great cafe which does the best french onion soup David & his Mum have ever tasted (English Chef). Cooked fresh everyday, I have yet to try the Lancashire Hotpot, but I will before I leave ! Can you see how we just love the local cuisine.
Lagos is our main shopping town and worth a visit along the front and again over the main bridge we have found a beach that goes for miles. On the way back we stop at the Marina for a Portuguese Galao Coffee before heading home.
Portimao is famous for it’s Sardine fishing and I first visited this town nearly 30 years ago. Now back in the day, the boats used to pull up along the quay, unload the fresh sardines and be cooked on the quay side by the numerous restaurants that filled the area. Today, all this has gone, the boats are banished over the other side of the water and the few restaurants that are left are hidden, if you didn’t know where they were, you would never find them. If you are ever in Portimao, head towards the blue bridge along the paved walkway by the water and you will see an arch, through the arch are the few restaurants that are left. But the sardines, potatoes and salad are a must if you go to Portimao.
Christmas Day we decided we should immerse ourselves and so we booked lunch is the restaurant, turkey was on the menu and the music played. It was OK but as we love cold turkey we decided to buy a small one and on Boxing Day I cooked it. We had a traditional Christmas Dinner minus the crackers. I was proud of our little oven, the Christmas lights that Mum had bought gave us the festive feel. The following day the cold turkey and the famous Branson Pickle was gorgeous. Poor David missed his red cabbage and pickled onions though !
New Years Eve was quiet, Chloe not being great with fireworks tried to hide when Midnight chimed and the power of modern technology allowed us to see the New Year in with our dearest friends Nicola & Phil in the U.K.
A New Year has dawned and as we watched the first sunset go down on 2018 and my friend Nicola later saying ‘I wonder where you will be watching the sunset go down next year’ I think wow, and pitch myself.
Wishing you all that are reading this, happiness, peace and health in 2018. If you can, I hope our little adventure will inspire you to realise a dream in 2018.