Upon picking my sister up at Faro airport on Tuesday 18th July, I was surprised to see she had brought someone with her, my nephew! It was a treat and BattleKid was only delighted to see his cousin. As my sister, G, had never been to either Ayamonte or Vila Real de Santo Antonio, we headed off early on the Wednesday to show her both.
My nephew loves Ayamonte as he is half Spanish so he got to practise a bit while we were there. We did a bit of shopping and had brunch before getting the ferry back to Vila Real. My nephew and I visited our favourite shop there, Ale Hop, and we sat down afterwards for an ice cream and cold drink.
My sister enjoyed it but said her trip wasn’t long enough as she left on the Friday, leaving my nephew behind until the following Tuesday. We took him shopping in Gran Plaza in Tavira where I finally managed to pick myself up some new, decent flip flops in the form of Ipanema ones. My old ones are still going strong but are getting a bit grubby looking with the dust and sand around our park so new ones for outings were in order.
On the Monday before my nephew left, we recorded some videos for each other’s YouTube channels which I thoroughly enjoyed. My nephew has a very successful channel with over 2k subscribers! To see one of our collaboration videos, read on.
We had fun and got it done while BattleKid was snoozing on my parents’ sofa. I’m not sure we’d have gotten as much done had he been awake. Tuesday morning, we dropped him off at the airport before heading home to relax.
One thing that has become a regular occurance is an afternoon swim in the pool on our site. I must admit our pool is not as warm as my parents but it’s a nice luxury to be able to jump in to cool off at the end of the day. We are also lucky to have a restaurant on site if I don’t feel like cooking dinner. Ricardo, the manager and chef, will open the kitchen for us even if it is closed as we are residents. We are very fortunate and he is a lovely man with really good English. He’s also great with BattleKid.
I sometimes have to pinch myself that this is my life now. I’m not on holidays, as I thought coming back from London, and we’re lucky in that we’ve only experienced 40°C once. The weather has been great, hovering around 30°C with dips up and down when we want it. It is going to be strange getting back into jeans and long-sleeved tops for our trip to Portland and Yellowstone but I know we’ll be coming back to warm weather, if only until our Bluestone trip in October!
Oh, and we’ve finally booked our trip to Disneyland Paris for December. I’ve been doing a lot of research where that is concerned, thinking about planning our first family trip, what rides BattleKid can go on and enjoy, and where to eat.
To be continued…
One thing I was apprehensive about before we left the UK was how it might affect my blog and the opportunities that came my way. While some PR’s have said they won’t send stuff to Portugal for review, others have been more than happy. Two such brands are Cosy Holder and My Piccolo.
We received a Cosy Holder and some My Piccolo pouches for review in the second week of July and had fun trying them out. I’ve also been lucky enough to have one sponsored post opportunity come my way and a few others offered, although I had to say no. One sounded good but for some reason didn’t come about and I’m not sure why.
So, in between reviewing some products, we took it easy in the second week of July and did some crafts, painting and playing with play doh while I got on with drafting blog posts and editing some videos for our YouTube channel which has been pretty much abandoned of late.
That said, on the third Saturday of July we had another Animal Vision charity event lined up in the form of a Fado. This is a concert of traditional music and song which featured two guitar players and four singers. The origins of Fado music can be traced back to Lisbon in the 1820’s, perhaps earlier.
We were treated to two ladies and two men singing songs that were both mournful and joyful and I have to say, one particular man and one lady blew us away. They had the most amazing voices, and although we had no idea what they were saying, we adults thoroughly enjoyed it. BattleKid loved the live music but wasn’t too fussed over the singing, putting his hands over ears during some of the singing. This amused the people sitting behind us.
Again, the proceeds of this event went towards the fundraising for the x-ray machine for Novavet, and at the end of the concert we learned more about the reason behind the fundraising.
One couple had a cat who they brought to Novavet. They learned she had breast cancer but were unable to see if it had spread or to what degree as Novavet don’t have an x-ray machine/scanner. Unfortunately, this meant the vets were unable to properly treat her and perhaps save her life. When asked by the couple whose cat it was why they didn’t have one, they were told of the cost of such a machine. Novavet said in order to fund one they would have to raise their prices significantly and they didn’t want to do that.
Novavet will care for any animal that is brought to them, whether their owners can afford the treatment or not. Most people can, but if they increased their prices, they would be unable to treat many of the animals that are brought to them. So, the couple started Animal Vision and fundraising for an x-ray machine for Novavet. And this is a cause we are more than happy to support.
At the end of the Fado, I saw the couple who had helped arrange the Flamenco evening and they came over for a chat to see how we are settling in. They have told me there will be another night in Xicken Piri Piri and I said we look forward to it, which we will. Any event help by Animal Vision will be supported by the Battle Family and my parents. We’ve enjoyed both events we’ve attended so far for this worthy cause.
The next week my sister (the third girl) arrived on the Tuesday with a surprise for us!
To be continued…
Read more about our adventures in Portugal in my Portugal Diaries section.
We had an earlier start to the day and had a lovely light breakfast on my parents’ deck of sausage, bacon, eggs and toast. My mum went to Mass for 10am and while she was gone I got stuck into cleaning for her. I thought it only fair since she and my Dad were letting us stay, not only for Easter, but also when we were arriving in May until our own place was ready. While I did that, BattleKid was checking for hares with his Lolo’s binoculars.
Once my mum was back, we all got dressed nicely and headed to see BattleDad’s aunt, who had invited us for Easter Sunday dinner. I hadn’t met her before and she and her family couldn’t have been more welcoming. She has been lucky enough to be living near Tavira for 5 years now, having retired down there from Ireland. I met her husband, her two daughters and one of her grandsons. They were all lovely and also very welcoming to my parents who came along for lunch too.
We had a lovely Sunday roast with them and spent a lovely few hours in their company and we all looked forward to seeing each other again once we moved down.
We left their house just after 4pm, and as I thought, BattleKid fell asleep in the car on the way back. Once we got back BattleDad and I started to pack our stuff up. That said, we were leaving behind two bags of clothes to cover us for the few weeks we’d be staying with my folks when we moved down. I was grateful we had the option to do so as the car would be rammed with the dog as well.
None of us were particularly hungry so we had a snack and put BattleKid to bed at 8pm. I had an awful night’s sleep with BattleDad’s snoring which is never ideal the night before travelling.
We were up at 6.15am and had some tea and toast before loading up the car and saying Ate Breve to my parents (which means See you soon in Portuguese). We dropped the car back and were at the airport for 8.15am. Check in was easy, the same cannot be said of passport control in Faro Airport.
Faro Airport is having a makeover, which means departures is crazy at the moment. We spent over an hour queuing to get through security, and had to go straight to our gate as they had called for boarding by the time we got through. We left Portugal in high spirits, knowing that when we returned in 6 weeks time, it would be for good.
7.30am seemed to becoming a regular occurrence and after having breakfast we headed into Tavira hopeful. We were hoping the ferry to Ilha de Tavira would be running so we could visit the beach.
You see, Tavira is a town on the coast but the beaches of Tavira and surrounding areas are located on islands, separated from the mainland by little inlets of water. It all forms part of a nature reserve called the Ria Formosa and you need to get ferries across the inlets to reach them.
The ferries do not run all year round, and normally only run for May to October. However, thankfully since Easter was later this year, the ferry was running. We got the 10am ferry across, which took 20 minutes to get to the Ilha. We paid for a parasol and 2 beds, costing just €10 and spent a lovely few hours at the beach.
BattleKid had a whale of a time playing in the sand, building sand castles, chasing waves, splashing both BattleDad and his Lolo. And as we were there early, it wasn’t too packed. I could see how it might get very busy during the summer months.
We decided to head for a ferry at 1.30pm but had gotten the times all mixed up. It turned out ok as we had a lovely lunch in one of the restaurants on the beach before getting the right ferry back. BattleKid fell asleep on the boat and it was hardly surprising with all the fresh air and fun he had had.
We did a bit of shopping before going back to my parents’ house for dinner and bedtime. Despite his earlier nap he was in bed by 8pm and asleep soon after. We had a lovely day at the beach and can see us spending a lot more time at the beach once we move down permanently.