Settling In

Each year when we arrive here we take the first few days to “settle in”, which includes lots of running around!! There are the usual suspects: groceries, finding our way around a new accommodation, buying the things we realize we forgot to bring, (yes, that still happens after all these years), and of course, adjusting to the five hour time difference. We’re old hands at all these tasks, especially the sleeping part, and this year we had the added task of going to retrieve our boxes that have been in storage since we last departed. We took care of that yesterday morning then the unpacking was much like Christmas morning…….”Oh my God!, I forgot we had that”!

Last evening our friend James, who arrived a couple of days before us, had invited the five of us for dinner. Such a pleasure to reconnect and a marvelous treat to have a wonderful hot meal that we didn’t have to prepare while trying to stay awake.

When I got up this morning I headed out to our upstairs terrace just to breath it all in. I love being in the mountains. Here are a few photos from the rooftop just to give you a sense of where we are situated.

Yes, the sky is really that blue, one of the many things that we love about being here. We are quite nestled in a valley with scattered homes, most local people (I say this based on the names on the mailboxes at the end of the road), and although there are dogs on most properties, so far the nights have been exceptionally quiet, quite unlike our stay in Estoi where the dogs sang all night long. The one thing I have not yet heard is the morning rooster, which I love. In time perhaps.

Buying bread and a trip to the Olhão bakery that provides our favourite (obrigado Bela) plus a stop at the Chinese store to get canvases for Marc was first on our Friday morning “settling in” tasks. Who do we bump into, Pat and Gary! A small world it is for us Canadians and our habits here in Portugal. From there we decided to head to the Fuzeta beach, simply to be close to the water, breath in the fresh air, and walk on the sand. It was low tide and sand stretched on forever. The beach, hardly occupied.

We were disappointed to discover that one of our favourite fish restaurants (O Pedro) is no longer there. We’re hoping that perhaps he relocated somewhere else in town and with time we’ll find him. And so, with that we headed onwards to Moncarapacho and decided to stop for a spontaneous lunch on the main square. Never disappointing.

Bellies and soul full we headed back to the car for our home trek and as we passed it, found the local church open. As Joanne had never been inside we took advantage of the availability.

Home and still feeling a bit energized we abandoned Marc then Joanne and I headed off for a small walk, meandering down our long drive and making a large loop down the small hidden road we live on, then to main route, and back around. Only took about 40 minutes and it felt great to stretch our legs.

I like to stop at the cluster of mail boxes to check out the names and get a sense of who lives nearby. Our neighbours who brought us the clementines and oranges for example, now when I see them I can call them by name rather than simply and José his wife!!

There is always a “special” moment that makes us laugh most days. Today as we walked away from the mailboxes I could smell the distinct odor of “merde”!! Unbeknownst to me Joanne also smelled it and thought it was me but politely did not say anything! I on the other hand spoke up and we discovered that Joanne had walked directly into said “merde” and therefore had to stay downwind of me for the rest of our journey. I do believe a new nickname might be in order.

And so evolves our time here in this beautiful country of Portugal and specifically in the exquisite Algarve.

Ficar Atento!

13 thoughts on “Settling In

  1. Gary and I should’ve carried on meandering into Montcarpacio. Perhaps we would have crossed paths again! We too saw paperwhites, scabosia, geraniums, black eyed Susie vines and a trumpet vine. To see all this greenery! And then the orange, olive, lemon, almond, carob and fig trees. Food enough for everyone.

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    1. You’ve got that right…..we used the lemons you gave us and an orange from next door. Such flavour and I too am loving the flowers

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  2. Beautiful, breathtaking! Enjoy yourselves !

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    1. It’s impossible not to enjoy!! LOL. We feel so lucky to have finally arrived, and just in time according to the Ottawa weather.

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  3. Well il looks like we will get some food porn this winter! Just wait until we are in France in June! I love the crèche in the church, the figurines remind me of the “santons de Provence” I put out every Christmas. I sure hope you helped Joanne get the “merde” off her shoes!

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    1. I will love seeing your food photos……..I decided to post some this year as last year I had complaint! LOL And no, Joanne was on her own.

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  4. Lovely pictures. Watch where you step though😁

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    1. Don’t worry, I’m very careful as I too had a very similar experience a couple of years ago.

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  5. What is Biqueirao? Looks like a kind of fish. Now, I’m homesick for Portugal after seeing these photos. Can’t wait to join you.

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    1. It’s fresh anchovies. In a lovely balsamic vinaigrette. I adore them and have them whenever I can find them on a menu here. What is your arrival date again? I have it somewhere but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

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      1. We fly March 7th, arrive 10ish March 8. Can hardly wait.

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  6. Wonderful….as I read & as you can imagine, I am living vicariously through you & Marc & dreaming of our planned trip to Portugal in ?November 😊
    Please share any tips for travel,accommodations ,etc during your leisurely writing times under the Bougainvillea?

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    1. Hey Louise, drop me a note and give me your planned itinerary and I’ll be more than happy to send off a few things your way. As you know, I love it here and will continue to come every year until I can’t!!!

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