algarving weeknotes

weeknotes 45/21

– after a break of almost one year, i’m back to chinese lessons in preparation of the level 5 exam. the deadline at the end of march is a bit ambitious and i don’t think i’ll be able to keep it up until then, but it’s something to aim for. i found a coursera that should help, and still do skritter revisions every day. wish me luck!

– we tried the flying jacob, a swedish recipe, invented by someone who worked in the flight industry. combining chicken with bananas and peanuts was unexpectedly nice.

– another long walk, this one of 25kms or so, between vila real de santo antónio and tavira. we took the train early in the morning, and walked our way back home. the weather was perfect for it, and walking in urban environments (instead of just the hills) was fun for a change. we had a stop in a café to recharge, and also had time to check out some eurasian coots along the way!

algarving in portugal photography

analogue wednesday #267

our southern shores.

algarving in portugal

bee-eater update

remember the bee-eater from week 27? turns out, the little guy had some spinal trauma and paralysed legs, and we were told the prognosis wasn’t great… so we held our breath and held on to hope for a while, and it paid off!

although he wasn’t 100% recovered, the doctors at rias thought he was strong enough to have a good chance of survival, and the timing was right to release him before they all migrated to africa… so off we went to do that. our friends were around and took some really nice photos.

isn’t that the most beautiful bird? i was a bit sad we hadn’t gotten pictures of it on the day we delivered it, as we were too scared to hurt him further, and thought for sure we would never get another chance to see a bee-eater so close again in our lives… but he pulled through, and so we were lucky to be able to send him off. :)

i did a little video too, to mark the day:

hurray! fly safely little one!

algarving analogue wednesdays

analogue wednesday #264

long days, perfect for long walks on the beach.

algarving in portugal

the campervan trip

we watched nomadland sometime ago, and it made me think back to our own campervan trip in november last year, and all the other things i haven’t written about on the blog yet. well, no time like now, right?

we’d been meaning to do a campervan trip for a few years already — it was even on my previous 101 list! they’re a bit expensive to rent… but on the other hand, it’s like taking your home with you on a holiday — and in the middle of a pandemic, that seemed like a reasonably safe option for a short getaway. so we booked one for a few days last year and off we went!

i had never been inside of one, but it’s actually pretty nice and the space is all neatly optimized (these guys did a good tour of the van and its features).

before trying it out, i was a bit concerned about whether we’d be comfortable sleeping there, but it wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as i had imagined… though on the last day we parked on a bit of a slope which definitely didn’t help! otherwise, everything was rather straightforward and easy enough, even the water/electrical bits. we made decaf and cooked simple meals, gave the shower a try, and also tried staying at different camping grounds, which we had all to ourselves that late in the season.

for the most part, the plan was to go visit our favourite spots in the southwest coast and alentejo, do a bit of hiking and birdwatching and just chill, away from everyone. the weather was nice and sunny, so we took our time lazily driving around and checking out some trails we had long bookmarked. one was a really easy circular path around the barão de são joão, which featured nice views, stone pine woods and lots of sculptures mixed in.

we checked out the abetardas trail, and did the scenic route through the cliffs. the southwest coast was still as beautiful as we remembered it, and after such an intense year, we really needed those blue skies and salty air to recharge.

we enjoyed the experience and will probably repeat it at some point – maybe even upgrade to a van with solar panels! :)