Monday 29 February 2016

Ferragudo, Monchique and Alvor

Portugal, 15th – 20th February 2016

Taking over from where Jo left it last time, we had several more days of a busy week with my parents on holiday visiting us. It was nice to spend time with them down here and we had a great time doing more sightseeing and walking. It was a shame the weather wasn’t too good, it was mixed with mainly dull skies, some rain showers and a bit of sun. Typically after my mum and dad went home it improved that day becoming sunny and warm, then the following days were very nice with sun and temperatures around 22°C.

Thursday 25 February 2016

Portimão, Lagos and Silves

Portugal, 11th – 14th February 2016

We’re still in the Algarve, where I am pleased to report the newly working water pump is getting liberal usage; nothing quite makes you appreciate showers like going a month without running water.  Matt’s parents have been and gone, and after a week of dining out we’re getting used to a life of luxury, having eaten out eight times over a course of nine days and having plans to try out another place soon.  A little beyond our usual extravagance?  Maybe.  Then again, when you can get decent meals for about €8-10 a head in Portugal, it would be wrong not to: at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Into the Heart of the Algarve

The beach at Boca do Rio

Portugal, 6th – 11th February 2016

Since last time we’ve moved onto the more sheltered and busier south coast of the Algarve. We’ve been making our way along actually having a deadline to work to for a change, the day that my parents arrive for a holiday visiting us. In the process we’ve skipped the area roughly from Lagos to Portimão to leave new places to visit as we’ll be basing ourselves here for a week while they’re down. After a successful week free parking at beaches we encountered the Police moving us on, which happened to be in the middle of the night!

Sunday 7 February 2016

Retreading Old Steps along the South-West Coast

Portugal, 1st – 5th February 2016

Praia do Amado
It may have taken us six weeks behind our original schedule, but we’ve finally done it: we’ve hit the Algarve.  In van land, our electronics are still charged, there’s still water in the tank, and my Eat Less Meat resolution is still in place, still without complaints from Matt.  As we’ve been freecamping our important scientific research into Alentejo wine has had to be scaled back a little (in the interest of responsible drinking whilst in charge of a vehicle), but I can confirm that all bottles consumed so far have been perfectly palatable.  We’ve even branched out into a Portuguese wine from outside of the Alentejo region, because any decent researcher needs to make sure they have a control group.  That being said, €2.50 is our upper limit for a bottle and we’re still big endorsers of the supermarket wine briks, so take from that what you will.

Monday 1 February 2016

Santiago do Cacém and the Alentejo Coast

Portugal, 24th – 31st January 2016

Ilha do Pessegueiro from the coastal Fisherman's Trail
This last week we visited Santiago do Cacém before going slightly north to the coast around Santo André, including spending some time on a campsite to get some jobs done. From here we’ve started picking up our route south down the Alentejo coast towards the Algarve. We’re now into the area we already know having come up as far north as this point during our time down here last winter, but are not intending to just cover the same things again; instead we plan to see new places amongst the ones we saw before, but also hopefully stay at our favourite spots again.

With today being the end of the month Jo has updated our spending accounts and found we’ve only spent €412, or £310, this month in Portugal which is only 37% of our monthly budget! At this rate we’ll be hanging around here a bit longer and our budget will keep lasting longer. Happy days!