Ruas Floridas…

Last night we went to the first night of the Ruas Floridas festival in nearby Redondo. Translated this means ‘the flowered streets’ and we went along not sure what to expect but looking forward to a night out.

We arrived at about 9.oo ish as there was a band on at 10pm and we wanted to have a wander around first.

The town was heaving, I seriously haven’t seen so many people since we have been in Portugal. Families, young and old were all out in force to make the most of their evening out.

I was expecting the streets to be decorated with real flowers but I guess in the height of the Portuguese summer this isn’t practical and instead the streets were decorated with silk and crepe flowers. Each street had a different theme and the amount of work that must have gone into each display was amazing.

We wandered through the crowds taking photo’s and gradually made our way to the main square where the concert was to be aired. A full sized stage stood at one end and we found a spot to await the entrance of ‘Jose Cid’. We had been told that they were a rock band and so were tentatively looking forward to them.

When the band finally came on stage it looked promising with them attired in cut off shorts and t shirts. Then someone came out and put a chandelier on the piano that stood in the middle of the stage. Hmmmmm……..this didn’t have such a rock vibe too it.

Then Jose or Cid or whatever he is called came onto the stage and our hopes of listening to rock covers were shattered. Having obviously styled himself on a cross between Liberace and Elton John he launched into a rousing ‘Euro trash’ style pop song. The scary thing was that the whole crowd were singing along – seems Jose Cid is quite the celebrity in Portugal…..lol. At one point he jumped up and started waving his scarf around before sitting back down again – not sure what that was about but the crowd seemed to love it!!

After about half a dozen songs (that all sounded the same) we retreated to a bar for refreshments and then tried to retrace out tracks back to the car. It was a fun night out and it is always interesting to see another culture at its best. Enjoy the photo’s

The start of the Parque Infantile – the childrens park

The little children seemed a little confused and disappointed that they couldn’t play on the swings!

The Indian themed section

The displays must have taken hours of man power to create

All the streets had canopied roofs made from crepe flowers.

Me amongst the roses!!

More roses

A wishing well – or pond not sure but lovely all the same

This was my favourite street – hats and handbags!!

Not so keen on the wig!!

Wouldn’t you just love some of these hats?

One of my favourites

Butterfiles

A desert scene

The stage awaiting the band

And finally, Jose Cid – or just plain Cid as I think he is know. Megastar Portuguese rocker, modeled on Liberace and Elton John and judging by the ‘swooning’ going on from some of the ‘older’ ladies in the crowd it would seem sex symbol!!

Feliz aniversário

On Wednesday we celebrated hubbie’s birthday. Birthday’s are national holidays in our household and so we downed tools and spent the day sightseeing and relaxing.

First up was a fortifying breaksfast for hubby to set him up right for his big day ahead and then I loaded up some food and off we set for the nearby village of Reguengos de Monsaraz.

Set on the side of Europe’s largest lake we had been told it was one of the most beautiful areas in Portugal.

So, off we set curious as to what we would find. About 50 minutes later we arrived at the Lake – yes very big but not a patch on the Lake District and Scottish Lochs. Still we parked up and walked down to the shore and sat and had our food I had packed.

After recharging our batteries we made our way up to Monsaraz perched up on one of the hills overlooking the Lake. It is a tiny little medieval town and was just delightful and had quite a fairytale feel to it. We wandered through the little streets feeling as though we had stepped back in time. The Knights Templar fortified Monsaraz back in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The locals call Monsaraz  ‘Ninho das Aquia’ – Eagles Nest and of all the little villages we have visited so far it is by far the loveliest and well kept. There are several little craft shops and a handful of restaurants and bars so we have agreed to come back and sample them another day.

The only downside to Monsaraz can be found when you walk into the old castle at the far end of the village. Hubby climbed the iron stairs to the top of the castle walls whilst I wandered around at ground level. I had an uneasy feeling about this end of town that I couldn’t put my finger on until I came around a corner and found myself in a small bull ring. Apparently they bull fight here when they can afford a bull and use it as a football pitch the rest of the time. Not being a huge fan of bull fighting!! – really can’t get my head around such a cruel activity I left hubby to explore up top and had a little wander around the nearest craft shop purchasing some raw honey that caught my eye.

Reunited with hubby we stopped for refreshment – me a coffee(driving) and him a very welcome cold beer. It was getting very hot by this stage and so we retired to the car and headed home.

Back on site for lunch and a lazy afternoon sat in the shade of a tree sampling some different beers we whiled away the hours and then Sebio joined us in the evening for some more drinks before we called it a day and took our weary bones to bed.

Monsaraz up on the hill behind the Lake

Looking down on the Lake from Monsaraz

Walking through the city gates

Beautiful flowers that smelt of vanilla

I love these old doorways

The bull ring :(

Coffee and beer break

Back on site chilling with a beer!

Birthday cake – I managed to get some fruit on it!!!

Happy days :) :)

Night from hell…

This photo should give you some idea of how hot it was in the caravan last night.

Attempting to sleep was a task of mammoth proportions as I lay on top of the bed and struggled to breath.

Since the spider episode hubby has not allowed me to have the windows open at night; just the two roof vents. (I don’t think I have shared the spider incident here but basically several months back hubby awoke in the night to find a big old fat spider sat on his arm. Having a spider phobia of biblical proportions meant that that particular night was a sleepless one too!!)

Last night there was just no air in the caravan and what little there was felt like it had been heated to volcanic levels. I would have tossed and turned but I feared that any movement would see me spontaneously combust  and so I was sure not to move a muscle – didn’t stop hubby throwing himself around and sighing loudly though !! :(

I managed to sleep fitfully until about 3.45 when Oscar could take it no more and started the countdown to being let out. To give him his due the temperature in the caravan had started to creep back up again by this stage and so quite rightly he must have thought morning had arrived. Trouble is there are foxes around and so we keep them in until about 5ish just in case. So from 3.45 onwards we were subjected to the whole range of Oscar ‘mooseking’ – a sound akin to someone trapping his tail in the door at the same time as pulling out his toe nails. He has it down to a fine art now and does it from the comfort of his bed just raising his head to ensure maximum noise – little swine. I lasted until 4.30 and then gave in and let both him and Molly out.

Hubby also decided that enough was enough and got up too and so that was my nights sleep – or not….

The forecast is hotter today and tomorrow it is going to be even hotter.

I feel like a boil in the bag ready meal!!!

:) :) :)

 

 

The temperatures rising…..

Quick weather update – this week is going to be hot, hot, hot….

Forecasts are for 39C which is 102F in old money.

We went to sleep last night with the temperature in the caravan still at 31C (89F) with two fans on Oscar who refuses to settle unless it is 29C or below (I kid you not) and awoke this morning at 5am to a more pleasant 25C

Working in these temperatures when you have no air conditioning (have looked into buying a small unit but they weigh a lot and we are up to the max in weight in terms of towing already) is a matter of steely determination, lots of water and the promise of a dip in the pool at the end of the day.

Not that I am complaining, I just checked the weather for Diss in Norfolk where we were living this time last year and it is a stunning 18C or 64F !!!!

I never knew that it got this hot in Portugal, I’m actually a little shocked by it. We were talking to our dentist last week and she said that average temperatures for July and August are around the 40 – 45C mark (104-113F) blimey and we thought they were having something of a little heatwave this year but sounds like it is actually a little colder than normal!!! :)

Ha ha ….. back to melting for me……

 

 

Catch up post….

I haven’t been around this blog much over the last week so I thought I had better let you know that I haven’t fallen of the end of the world – not quite yet anyway.

Life has been rather hectic since I got back from the UK as I am working furiously with a business coach licking my business into shape. It is going really well but not leaving much time left for anything else.

Apart from going out to the shops twice a week the only other excursions we have been having have been to the dentist :(

Hubby started the ball rolling a month or so ago when he decided that the on/off headache he had been having for about a month was actually a bad tooth. So, after discussion with Sebio (our go to point for basically anything) he was dispatched to Sebio’s dentist in nearby Ronanda. He came back singing her praises but also with the not so good news that he needed a root canal treatment (long and potentially painful).

Anyway, the treatment has progressed, the pain been managed and he is now the proud owner of a new shiny white amalgam free filling – woo hoo. He is also having his other amalgam fillings replaced as dental care here in Portugal is very cheap.

As with buses that always come along in two’s or three’s on the flight home from the UK I noticed that a gland in my neck had become enlarged and was painful. When it didn’t subside and I started to get some pain in a back tooth a trip to the dentist was arranged for me as well. Not one to miss out I am also now in the process of having a root canal treatment and so Friday’s are now ‘dentist day’!!

Other news, the site is now filling up a little bit more as the summer holidays take hold. Most people are only here over night as we are on the main drag across to Lisbon and the coast, so not too much disruption to our lovely quiet routine!!

There was a problem with the hot water in the showers at the back-end of last week and over the weekend. They basically got colder and colder until there was no hot water in them at all. Sebio did take a little persuading that there was a problem as the system has only been in a year. I think at first he thought it was just us as no-one else had said anything even though the site was quite busy at the time. Once he did realise that there was a problem though (took some ‘gentle’ persuasion from hubby and some words that I’m not quite sure he understood!!) he got it sorted pronto and we now have lovely hot water again.

Baby John (see previous post) is now just over two weeks old and looking like an old hand at the grazing and mooching around lark. He wanders quite some way from his mum but doesn’t seem bothered at all. He seems to like hanging around the older calves which is sweet.

Unfortunately a big lorry turned up on site two nights ago and one of the cows was dispatched off to the slaughter-house. I don’t know which one it was as I was trying hard not to watch as I was so upset. I spent most of the evening in tears as the thought of it all is just too distressing. I know it is how Sebio makes his living and he really does give them a good life whilst they are here but still………. :(

And lastly for now we went for a bike ride on Sunday morning just up the road from the site. It was a lovely little route around a lake which will be perfect for my longer runs. I took some photos so enjoy!!

Down by the Lake

This would make the perfect little retreat centre. Yoga, raw food, windsurfing on the lake….. :)

Breakfast stop!

Portuguese motorways – always empty because of the extortionate tolls!!

A book???…

Since I started writing this blog about our ‘adventures’ in Bessie the caravan I have had many people asking me if I am going to make this into a book!!??

I do enjoy writing but the thought of putting together a book is a little daunting…..or is it?? See that’s the trouble with me, throw me a challenge and I’m all over it like a hot rash.

So, lets just say I am pondering on the idea and mulling it over a little. I wouldn’t do it until we have our first year under our belt and I would have to make it a bit more interesting than just the posts on here but what do you think???

I’d love some feedback and comments – preferably on here and not facebook (because that helps my ratings and then more people get to see this!!)

I have also just started another blog (I know) called 365 Raw. If you have been reading this blog from the start then a/thank you so much for sticking with it and b/you will know that this blog started its life as a place to document my journey with raw food. That journey has now stepped up a notch and you can find out all about what is going on if you go across there.

In other news, well life has now calmed down a bit since my return from the UK. The cats and Oscar in particular; who had got himself in quite a tissy over my absence (lots of meowing and keeping hubby up at night pining for me) has recovered his composure and is now happy again. Baby John seems to be doing well and is getting stronger by the day (I’ll get some more pictures soon). Days are hot and sticky but you can’t beat the sunshine so you won’t see me complaining.

Life is sweet…..and I’m a happy bunny. :)

 

Gerda and baby John!!!

The campsite we are on at the moment is also a farm and home to a herd of about 20 or so Limousin cows, a bull and about 7 babies. The calves are so sweet and play together in a little group racing around the field as if playing tag.

One of the cows called Gerda was expecting her baby any day and when Sebio went to check on them this morning he discovered she had given birth. He came and called for us first thing as he knew wanted to see it and we walked down to the field amongst them for a closer look.

He discovered the baby was a boy and so decided to call it John!! which was funny (for those of you who don’t know as I only ever call him hubby on here but John is hubby’s name!).It was so sweet and surprisingly strong given that it was only a few hours old. It is Gerda’s third calf and so she is a old hand at the mummy lark. She was attentive to it though and we made sure not to get to close and upset her.

Gerda is the only cow of the herd not to have horns as she had to have them removed as she had worked out that she could put them under the fence and rip it up. Clever Gerda!! as such she is my favourite!!

We also met Bonba (think that is right) who is the daddy. He is a gentle giant and very content in his field with all his ladies. He has sired 8 calves this year with one more to come. Claudia lost her first baby but is in calf again although not due for a few months yet so hopefully we will still be here when she has that.

Welcome to the world baby John -what a great way to start the day…….enjoy the pictures.

Hopefully baby John will get the chance to grow up big and strong just like his daddy…

Home sweet home…

I have just returned from 10 days back in ‘Blighty’ visiting family and friends. It was an action packed 10 days rushing here and there to see people, days out, meals out and 5 different beds to sleep in – well actually 4 different beds and a sofa.

My parents and I spent a day out in a very sunny Hyde Park (I brought some of the Portuguese sun back with me), a day at Greenwich and another very sunny day at Hyde Hall a Royal Horticultural site near Chelmsford. I saw London with renewed appreciation for what a great city it is, glimpsed the Olympic site from the Docklands Railway and suffered a bit with all the exhaust fumes!!

Other days were spent with my little sis and my scrumptious nephews and I had nights out with friends and a rather drunken evening in the company of my brother and sister in law.

Picnics were eaten, meals out had and alcohol was consumed in quantities I’m not quite used to anymore!!

The end result saw me arriving back in Portugal late on Sunday night eager to see hubby and my little fur babies and exhausted and in need of some sleep!!

Ladies who lunch – best friend and our mum’s

Mum and Dad having a pit stop in Green Park

The Serpentine, Hyde Park

The best way to cool off on a hot day!

Beautiful gardens at Hyde Hall

Bet that lawn takes a while to mow!?

Little Moorhen chicks jumping across Lily pads……so cute

Water and trees – two of my favourite things to photograph

‘Rio’ – my sisters gorgeous Akita

‘Archie’ – my brother’s cheeky little Border Terrier

My brother and sister in law – this was the point in the evening when it all started to go horribly wrong – peach schnapps shots anyone!!

The morning after – Archie felt fine, me not so good!!

So, as you can see a fun time was had by all. It was great to catch up with my family and even better that I managed to see a few friends as well. I have to admit though that by the end of the 10 days I was ready to get home for a rest!!

Catching up is a tiring business…….