portugal, travel, travel with kids, Uncategorized

Portugal – the beginning of a 3 month stay

As I got on the plane to Portugal with Rocky I couldn’t help feeling like this was the last leg of the tour, the end is in sight now and I know its going to go far too quickly, so we have to make the most of it and make every minute count.

Rocky hadn’t been too well when we left the UK but he perked up a bit the day we flew and so off we went on our next adventure. Ian met us at Faro airport and it was great to see him and be together as a family again. He’d had a busy week finding somewhere for us to be for the next 3 months but had finally settled into a 3 bedroom apartment in Praia da Luz.

Praia da luz is a coastal town just outside Lagos, with a lovely beach with swings and a slide for kids, beautiful coastal walking paths, and bars and restaurants to suit everyone. It’s also famous for being the town which Madeleine McCann disappeared from almost 12 years ago. People have sounded surprised and concerned when we tell them this, but really its probably now the safest place to be with kids. Kids disappear from all over the world and we, just like any parent, would be on constant watch no matter where we are in the world. Its such a scary thought and I can’t imagine what the McCanns are going through even now. The new Netflix documentary about Madeleines disappearance came out the week we arrived in the town so it was intriguing to watch, especially knowing all the streets and places featured, and of course the apartment which is only two blocks away from us. I really hope the parents get some closure soon.

Our time in Portugal didn’t get the best of starts, Rocky still wasn’t right and was not himself for at least the first couple of weeks, and I caught some kind of flu/virus thing that completely floored me for a good 10 days. That, coupled with the fact that we couldn’t find a nursery for Rocky to go to and so we were all in each others (snotty) pockets and were driving each other crazy. We eventually found a great kids club for Rocky to go to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. It gives Ian and I some time together and gives Rocky some time with other kids, so although its not a nursery environment its fine for now and everyone’s happy.

Once all the sickness past (and Ian was over the moon that he dodged it), we started to get out and about a bit more. We’ve met some lovely people, mainly through a great kids/parents meet up on a Wednesday morning, and we’ve been exploring the local area, loads of beautiful beaches which we get to discover whilst on the hunt for a wave for Ian to surf.
It really is a beautiful part of the world, the coastline is amazing, I think the only negative for me though is that the ocean is freezing cold (or there abouts) so I can’t take Rocky for a swim at the beach, I think I’m going to have to get him a wetsuit top, and therefore me one too because lets face it if he’s going in so am I. We have an indoor pool at the apartment though so he still gets plenty of swim time.

Ian and I took the opportunity to take it in turns for some time away with our friends. I escaped to Lisbon for 3 nights with my friend Clare. Clare and I have known each other since we were 16, and as both of us now have children we don’t often get quality time to catch up so this was the absolute perfect weekend. Firstly, Lisbon is an amazing city. I’d been told this but hadn’t appreciated why. Imagine lots of hills covered in small cobbled streets with trams working their way around and up and down. Little tapas restaurants and roof top bars galore. Portuguese tarts and sangria to die for. Historic castles and cathedrals. And its own Golden Gate Bridge – or something that looks very like it. We spent the weekend exploring and sampling the amazing food and sangria and also ‘Ginja’ – the famous cherry liquor.

Rocky and I then visited France for week to stay with my Dad and his wife Carol, and that’s definitely one of the positives of being over this side of the world. Being close to family all this time has been wonderful and so a trip to France was a must while we were in Portugal. Rocky ate croissants, helped his Grandad in the garden and scooted his way to the beach and back. We found a great skate park and he just loved following the big kids around and watching them as they did tricks and jumps. I took the scooter with us because he’s been enjoying it so much recently. It actually worked out great in the airport, loads of space to scoot around and it kept him entertained especially as both our flights were delayed.

We’re back in Portugal now and with nearly 5 weeks left here we have lots planned. We have friends we met in Sri Lanka visiting us this week and we also plan to drive over the border to Seville for a visit, as well as lots more to explore around the local area.

We are devastated by the recent events in Sri Lanka and our thoughts and love goes out to the Sri Lankan people as well as all our friends over there. Our time there was so special and we’re shocked that Sri Lanka has been targeted. We’re due to go there again for 3 weeks before we return to Australia and as it stands thats still our plan, but we haven’t made a firm decision yet..

 

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