this is the archive for the ‘in portugal’ category:


analogue wednesday #237

Feet with painted sign 1.5m

signs of the pandemic.

garden visitors

we found this little guy on our garden last week, and i was squealing so much that i think i probably scared him away…

but… IT’S A CHAMELEON! (insert 1000 heart eyes emojis) such a treat! the whole ria formosa park is supposed to be a safe haven for them, but with increased construction in the area, places for chameleons to thrive have been fragmented and keep shrinking. these days, it’s almost impossible to find them outside of specific conservation areas, so we were thrilled that this little guy has deemed our little garden worthy of a visit — i hope he’ll come around again, and bring the family!

praying mantis

little pale praying mantis, watch out! there’s a new predator in town!

the plant thief

i’ve mentioned a few times how much i want to bring home all the plants, and how i admire “collection gardens“… so perhaps it was sort of inevitable that i would become one of those people too, grabbing a cutting here and there to bring home. :)

a few years ago on a hike with friends, i noticed the sides of the path we were walking were covered in tiny succulent plants, growing and thriving on slates of schist. they looked like little pinecones, thriving despite the harsh conditions. i was in love…

… so i did something not-so-good and brought a small rock home with me. i ended up hiking the rest of the path with a 2kg or so rock in my hands or in my head, portuguese grandma style, to the amusement of the boy and our friend a., who took these pictures.

but look! three years later, this rock is still thriving in a shady corner of the garden, its little “pinecones” now having other species of succulents as neighbors!

i’m really happy about this! every time i see them i can’t help but smile and remember the story that brought them here. may your gardens and plants be filled with interesting stories too!

walking the southwest coast

earlier this winter, we put a few days aside to walk the rota vicentina, a route of (mostly) seaside trails in the southwest coast of portugal. the challenge and the cliffs lured us in, and as soon as we found a string of days promising good weather, we booked some hostels along the way and went for it — first from sagres to aljezur, and then from aljezur to porto covo.

i have trouble summing up the experience in simple words. weeks later, i still feel the pain and boredom of the kilometers stretching into hours, but also the awe of the breathtaking scenery and the freedom of having nothing to do but walk all day.

it’s funny how time dilates when we’re boot-deep in sand, feet sinking with every step. hours stretch into kilometers, another one and another one, and before we know it, a town of white-washed houses appears like a mirage in the horizon. we know ourselves differently after a long walk. we talk at length with the people walking with us, and sometimes with ourselves. we become the people who recognize birds, who stop to photograph another flower or bush — the people who notice stuff.

slowly, running or walking, we’re becoming familiar with this place we now call home.

one second everyday — december 2019

december at last! after the responsibility of the 150 years celebrations was behind us, we could finally breathe and take a few days off…

… which we spent hiking the west coast! glorious sunny days for the most part, gorgeous trails and just a feeling of simple happiness that comes from sore legs and being out in nature. we’re hoping to complete the trail in early 2020, as soon as we can string together a few more days of good weather. other than that, we saw our first ballet, waited in vain for your christmas postcards to arrive (sigh), and then gave up and drove north in the middle of a storm. the rest of the month was mostly happy family time. :)