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  • Tony

Living in Portugal - June 2023

When we first started looking at moving abroad, there were several items/requirements that we thought were important for our ideal home base. Needless to say Portugal, the Algarve, and more specifically where we live in Alvor has fulfilled many of those needs.

One of the key items we looked for was close proximity to an airport that could provide easy travel through Europe and abroad. With the airport in Faro only about 40 minutes from us we were counting on it to provide the ease of travel that we were looking for. It wasn't until recently that we've been able to test this theory and it has been everything that we could have expected. In addition to connecting to larger international hubs, Faro airport is a large base for several regional and low fare airlines with direct schedules across the continent. The great part of this is that most of the regionals avoid the heavily trafficked International hubs and utilize more regional, smaller airports that are in most cases easier to navigate. For example on a few recent trips we've flown into Paris Orly instead of CDG, Milan Bergamo instead of Malpensa or Linate.

Through our recent travels we've been able to confirm one more thing that makes Portugal a great place for us to live. Its close proximity to explore, not only within Portugal but throughout the continent, and convenient options for travel adds to our list of reasons why we love it here. The only way it could be better is for Portugal to catch up with the rest of Europe and provide fast/convenient train travel too...

Check out our two most recent, remarkable trips to Italy this month.

We haven't spent much time at home recently, but continue to be blessed with great neighbors, new friends, beautiful surroundings and weather. June provided spring sunshine early in the month, much needed rain in the middle, and very warm summer temperatures (mid 90´s) toward the end of the month. The summer heat has arrived just in time for the wave of summer travelers, here to enjoy the great beaches, Portuguese cuisine, festivals and activities that mark the summer travel season

In late July were headed to our biggest soccer experience since arriving in Portugal, The Algarve Trophy Tournament, an informal match up which will feature Cristiano Ronaldo's new home team Al Nassr, and Portugal's favorite Benfica. Were looking forward to seeing Renaldo and the other top professionals play.

The gardens continue to flourish in the warm Algarvian sun. Mary's flowers and chilies continue to add color and flavor, Teresa´s Garden continues to provide us and those around the small farm with plenty of fresh produce. She's planted several tomato plants including the popular european sweet cherry, a black heirloom variety, and Plum. Same as last year there will be more tomatoes and figs in a few months than the entire community could consume! Luis finished his Petanque court (similar to Bocce Ball) and is ready for activity.

This months activities and photos.

Travel occupied most of our time this month but here are a few of the local highlights

An afternoon at our favorite beach

Dinner at a very traditional Portuguese family run restaurant Mata Porco in Portimao. Pork tenderloin and fresh Sea Bass both grilled over a wood fire. Traditional for the region and very tasty.

Another wine society dinner, the last before a break for the summer. A casual evening at Pedras d’el Rei resort near St Luzia and Barril beach. Nara, the Chef is renowned for her traditional Portuguese/Mediterranean cuisine and assembled a nice menu for the evening to pair with a selection of Spanish wines presented by Nicola of Spanish Palette.

Since the dinner was near Tavira, about an hour drive from our house, we had planned to stay at the Pedras d’el Rei resort in one of the apartments/Vilas but upon check in the rooms were very dated and didn't appear to be well kept. We opted to instead stay overnight at the Pousada Convento Tavira (Pousada do Convento da Graça). The hotel was exceptional, inside of an old convent with modern rooms and amenities. An early lunch and an afternoon by the pool was perfect.

Getting our Mexican fix in Alvor at La Fiesta Cantina Mexicana. Not quite the same as the food in Carpinteria but does satisfy the craving. Chicken Nachos, Enchiladas, Negra Modelo, and a Paloma hit the spot!

Two huge international beach music festivals at Praia de Rocha near us happen in late June and early July. This week we got to see the crowds descending on our area for the Afro Nation Music Festival, next week we'll see an even larger number for the Rolling Loud Festival.

Barney and Sonny living the dream...

As always we hope everyone is doing well, healthy, happy, and thriving. We miss you and love you all...A lot!

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