Algarvean Daze

Events & Activities - mainly during the daytime - across the Algarve

Happiness Is A Warm Puppy. Or Kitty. Or Budgie...

One of the few drawbacks to living in the Algarve is pets. Not the act of owning pets, thats no problem, but what to do with those furry friends when travel and holidays becken.

When we lived in England we had a great friend and neighbour who popped in twice a day to look after our crew. We would not impose on our neighbours here however, as they are simply that - neighbours. And after a bad experience many years ago at a cattery where our little bitty buddies came home covered in fleas we have not used similar facilities since.

A couple of years ago, when taking our first holiday since moving to the Algarve, we eventually found a couple to housesit. Not only did they look after our moggies, the garden benefited from far more attention than we would probably have lavished upon it. It was great to return home to find everything in order.

I have to say I found the experience of using housesitters quite easy, compared to the difficulty we had in trying to FIND a housesitter. The ones we knew of were already booked, some that were recommended were unwilling to travel to us for the short period we were to be away. It took a lot of perseverance to eventually locate one who could tend to our needs.

Avoiding a repetition of this tedium in the future has caused us to put together a directory of housesitters so that availibility for any period of vacancy can be checked by a single group text to all involved. It works for us, and it could work for you.

Algarve House SittersIf you need a housesitter, go to ALGARVE HOUSE SITTERS and contact us.

It doesn't get much easier than that.

It's An Ill Wind That Blows No Good

Back in the late 90s, prior to our becoming professionally unemployed, taking a break away from it all was easy. Go to the apartment on the Isle of Wight. Go to the cottage in the Algarve. Now it's a little different. Since we now live permanently in that little Algarvean cottage, and have sold the island apartment, where do we go?

The underlying theme of this blog tends to be all things Algarvean. So logically we should be looking for that little getaway venue here in the Algarve. So much for logic. In a repeat of an internal break last year, we will be returning this Spring to Palmela and then going on for a few days to see what Obidos has to offer. While there we will be looking for another property, possibly a character property, maybe coastal, maybe mountain-ish. Why don't we stay in the Algarve? Other than the fact that we already own property here, it's because northern property is comparatively cheap. And cheap is good.

Recent properties we have viewed on-line have included a semi-ruin, much like the one we converted into our home, at €35k, a pair of renovated cottages, a 1 bed and a 2 bed, both for €80k and a completely renovated hilltop windmill at €89k.

With property prices like this, it really doesn't matter whichever way the economic wind is currently blowing.

Planned Parenthood

Cats. We love cats. We've had them all our lives. When we were splitting our time between the UK and Portugal, our cats traveled with us. They are a part of the family.

Cal and PetalWell, that family is growing. Our neighbours have the cutest little girl-cat they call Kika. We didn't know that name when we named her Petalinha, or Petal for short. Every morning she is sitting outside our kitchen door. We feed her any food our two have left from the previous day, and this offering is always gratefully and hungrily accepted. Every day she and Calvos, our youngest, chase each other up the jacaranda tree and across the deck, stalk mice in the orchard, and when she tires of her games with Cal, she sneaks back into the house to see what fresh food is waiting.

And the problem is...? The problem is that our Portuguese neighbours have not had her spayed. When she recently came into season, she spent all her time here, screeching, and not even the bemused, platonic attentions (ours have been neutered) of our two would shut her up. Finally, a stray provided the service she required, and after a few days where Cal would have nothing to do with her, they are again best of friends.

So now the countdown clock is running. We are dreading her deciding that our shed or outdoor living room is a great place to give birth. Our Portuguese is not proficient enough to hold a delicate conversation with her owners about their responsibilities, let alone the need for them to spend their meager income on having her spayed. We would pay, but they are proud and wouldn't accept our offer, I'm sure. So the clock continues to run, she continues to spend more time here, and the little furry twinkles in her Tom's eye continue to grow within her.

Does anyone want a cuddly little kitten?

Golf Holiday - Expenses Paid

Golf in the AlgarveThe Bill Goff Sunshine Challenge offers golfers the chance to compete in the Algarve, on a week's golf holiday worth £650.

Regional winners of UK competitions sponsored by a number of sports related publications will be flown to the Algarve where they will compete in the event, which takes place in November. The closing date for entries is 30 April 2009.

Rules and details of the sponsors are available at the Sunshine Challenge website.

Asleep At The Donkey

It was one of those Kodak moments when, as events would have it, there was no Kodak around even though I have attached a photo - just to give you an idea.

On the road to Alte, as we were headed out for a lunch during one of the increasingly rare moments of dry sunlight, we came upon our gentleman gypsy.

An elderly traveler, dressed in black, with his donkey and cart, headed toward Messines doesn't normally attract more than my passing attention. He was different, however. There was a demeanor about his posture as he guided his ass along the road, totally oblivious to oncoming and overtaking vehicular traffic.

As we went past him the reason for his malaise became apparent. Whether through fatigue or an early medronho-laden lunch, he was asleep. Gently swaying, slack reins wrapped around his hands, he was oblivious as the world hurtled by and his animal continued to plod along, possibly following an oft traveled route.

When we retired to Portugal a part of the reason was to learn how to unwind. We still have a long way to go.

Reasons To Live In Portugal - Part 1

A Saturday night in, parked in front of the TV, wind howling and copious amounts of lashing rain arriving in wave after wave. Is this any reason to prefer Portugal to any other country? Of course not.

My Dishy, Sunny FlowerBut what was I doing? Watching UK telly via the 1.37m satellite dish I upgraded to a couple of years ago, when I determined the standard DIY 80cm dish didn't gather enough of a signal to maintain a picture in even a moderate drizzle. So having splashed out for a suitable parabolica, here I was, a fire blazing, snug and warm, being entertained.

Why is this better? Because I am not paying a UK licence fee of £139.50, annually, for the privilege of viewing advert-laden, oft-repeated, dumbed-down programs. The quality of the shows on offer isn't better because I'm here, it's better because it's now true value for money.