Monday 22 April 2013

Holiday Vacation To The Algarve Looking At Allotments And Smallholdings. (A Busman's Holiday?)

Well we missed the hurricanes in Ireland because we have just spent a week on the Algarve in Portugal.  Weather was rather superb (26 degrees), 2 Euros/2.50 a large glass.  Accommodation was very basic (5 floors up in a high rise flat.  The bed was like a rock and the telly didn't work.  Apart from that.  A good time was had by all.

My highlight was going on a speedboat in Lagos, watching a dolphin show and visiting Monchique.  We went on a coach tour up the mountains and passed many abandoned smallholdings and saw quite a few productive one's too.  We also noticed quite a few orange trees.  Smallholdings with villas can still be bought relatively cheap.  What you would do for a living.  Is another question.  Portugal is a modern country though and it's very cheap to live there.  The weather means everything doesn't it when you have a smallholding or an allotment?

Any road.  I am back and I will catch up with the blogs I follow this week.  Here's a few photographs for you.
Sorry the date is wrong still.  Amazing villa and garden in Monchique.

Storks nest.

Praia Da Rocha.


The amazing Dolphins.  My eyes started watering..  Amazing surreal experience. 

Orange tree.

Man tending his vegetable garden in Monchique.  He was using an Azada, like mine.


  1. Sounds like you may be thinking of moving there on a permanent basis

  2. Hi Ronnie, Portugal is a gorgeous and inexpensive country with fantastic weather. But you would need to learn Portuguese and cope with extremely hot weather in July and August. If you want a relatively cheap holiday with superb weather, it's the place to go.


  3. Welcome back, good to see a few pics, especially the little gardens being cultivated.

    My guess is that Portugal would be a good place to have a holding, but maybe a bit further North, the problem would be making any money, probably the same as Ireland but you don't understand the language and culture.

    Pity you didn't bring us some sunshine back with you, it's reverted to winter here, cold, rain and wind. A bit of ploughing been done and a lot of lambs in evidence, but nothing much else happening, it's still too wet.
    Managed to get the back garden grass cut, the fine day was Saturday, just as well, it's poured down since.

    Raggy cat continuing its hedonistic lifestyle, I think it would love Portugal with a nice warm climate.

  4. Hi Cumbrian, It's always great to hear from you. I think your right it would be difficult to make any money other than repping for tourist companies. You could also end up with the bitter ex pat syndrome of missing the British Isles.

    I like the Portuguese people. They are cool characters and act like you have always lived there. Portugal is very cheap and the weather is fantastic. I thought they could do with more disabled lifts and handrails on steps for everybody.

    Went in a pub and a English chap asked the Irish landlord if he could smoke. He replied:

    "Why shouldn't you?"

    Nice to see smokers being treated civil. I think the smoking ban killed off many pubs. Why can't there be a seperate (inside) area with fans for smokers?

    Mizzle this morning. Nice this afternoon. The local farm centre is importing big bales of straw from England. They are allowing 2 per farmer at 30 Euros a bale. A lot of farms have no grass. Very hard to fatten cattle.

    Domino went outside for first time last night. Caught us his first young rat this morning. Will reward him tonight. Raggy cat would like Portugal. Saw one man drinking a pint of lager and eating a grilled sardine for his dinner last week. I'll stick to a Club sandwich or a ham and tomato sandwich.


  5. Yes, you noticed the lack of handrails, ramps etc and the many slopes and steps just about everywhere. we like Portugal but that's the big reason it's difficult for us to go there.

    The Portugese and British are very old allies, so they tend to be welcoming and friendly to us, and I'm pleased to hear the bars are smoker-friendly.

    Pretty miserable this morning, you mizzle would probably describe it nicely, heating thermostat set at 16 and it's still on, so keeping cool as well. There does seem to be a lot of big bales still stacked in some fields, maybe they had a bumper grass crop last year. Haven't seen any cattle about outside yet though, but the sheep seem to be doing well, plenty of lambs about.

    Good to hear Domio is earning his keep, and a rat at that, well worthy of a reward.
    Raggy cat getting more domesticated, it's put its weight back on due to plenty of milk and biccies, seems to be spending a lot of time in front of the fire. saw it up a tree the other night, about 15' up, just sitting quietly, our local Mr pheasant was sitting in exactly the same place the night after.

  6. Hi Cumbrian,

    I found Portugal to be friendly, inexpensive and its got a very agreeable climate. The old back didn't ache at all. There is also public transport to get about.

    Noticed any new steps and ramps have a minimal amount of handrails. They could improve the beach approach areas by installing lifts and more handrails.

    Do you know of any foreign resorts that are geared up for elderly and people with walking difficulties?

    A lot of farmers have no grass and the marts are full of unwanted cattle. It's supposed to be the longest winter on record.

    Dry here today. More rain tonight.

    Perhaps we should buy a derelict smallholding in Portugal? I noticed red building blocks for sale for twelve cents a piece. But what would you do for a living? The countryside doesn't seem to have any employment prospects for most people.

    Domino is earning his keep, like Raggy cat does.


  7. Yes, we like Portugal, but all the hills a bit of a problem, maybe we should try the Northern areas, although they're not as popular as the Algarve.

    For wheelchairs, Benidorm's good along the front, 2 long beaches with about 5 miles of flat level promenade, but not many hotels suitable, and 2 streets back it's hills in every direction, in winter it's full of wheelchairs, buggies and zimmers
    Fuertaventura we like, it's the quietest of the Canaries, our favoured hotel is very wheelchair-friendly.
    The part of S.E, France we like is also a flat area, it's actually in a flood plain.
    Holland, and Amsterdam in particular is very flat, only problem is cobbled streets in some of the older areas.
    Marrakesh area of Morocco is also a flat area with some wheelchair-friendly complexes.
    Mauritius is mostly complexes, the accessible ones are very good, but they're usually miles from anywhere else, the good news is they drive on our side of the road with a 35 mph speed limit which is largely obeyed.
    Pathos end of Cyprus is OK along the beaches, and again they drive on our side.
    Torremolinos and Fuingerola have good long flat level promenades, but Benelmadina in between them doesn't.

    Places we liked but not much good are Malta, Menorca, Portugal, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Maderia, Kos. Dominican Republic is biggish complexes, they tell you not to stray too far outside them, but they're on the beach and fairly flat, accommodation usually 3 floors high, but no lifts.

    Surprisingly perhaps, not that many hotels are particularly wheelchair-friendly, even a lot of beach-side ones have steps.
    So we have to be selective when choosing accommodation.

    Be nice to have a derelict in Portugal, as long as you have enough money to live on for a good long time, it might be cheap but it's not free.

    Bit brighter here this afternoon, but still that cold breeze,
    Raggy cat asleep in front of fire.

  8. Thanks Cumbrian for telling us about all the different resorts. I think resorts should be made (helped) to make themselves more wheelchair, pram, old and peple with mobility issues, more friendly. I remember going to Scarborough when I was a child and there was a lift in the north bay and the south bay down the cliffs to the beach area. It also gave two people a job.

    Rural employment/unemployment is a big problem. Here in Ireland. Rural police stations, post offices and pubs close every week. The public transport is also very poor. It seems there is a price for living in a beautiful location - no social life or employment prospects.

    Damp here today. They call Ireland the kettle, with its mizzle and mist.



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