We had an earlier start to the day and had a lovely light breakfast on my parents’ deck of sausage, bacon, eggs and toast. My mum went to Mass for 10am and while she was gone I got stuck into cleaning for her. I thought it only fair since she and my Dad were letting us stay, not only for Easter, but also when we were arriving in May until our own place was ready. While I did that, BattleKid was checking for hares with his Lolo’s binoculars.
Once my mum was back, we all got dressed nicely and headed to see BattleDad’s aunt, who had invited us for Easter Sunday dinner. I hadn’t met her before and she and her family couldn’t have been more welcoming. She has been lucky enough to be living near Tavira for 5 years now, having retired down there from Ireland. I met her husband, her two daughters and one of her grandsons. They were all lovely and also very welcoming to my parents who came along for lunch too.
We had a lovely Sunday roast with them and spent a lovely few hours in their company and we all looked forward to seeing each other again once we moved down.
We left their house just after 4pm, and as I thought, BattleKid fell asleep in the car on the way back. Once we got back BattleDad and I started to pack our stuff up. That said, we were leaving behind two bags of clothes to cover us for the few weeks we’d be staying with my folks when we moved down. I was grateful we had the option to do so as the car would be rammed with the dog as well.
None of us were particularly hungry so we had a snack and put BattleKid to bed at 8pm. I had an awful night’s sleep with BattleDad’s snoring which is never ideal the night before travelling.
We were up at 6.15am and had some tea and toast before loading up the car and saying Ate Breve to my parents (which means See you soon in Portuguese). We dropped the car back and were at the airport for 8.15am. Check in was easy, the same cannot be said of passport control in Faro Airport.
Faro Airport is having a makeover, which means departures is crazy at the moment. We spent over an hour queuing to get through security, and had to go straight to our gate as they had called for boarding by the time we got through. We left Portugal in high spirits, knowing that when we returned in 6 weeks time, it would be for good.
7.30am seemed to becoming a regular occurrence and after having breakfast we headed into Tavira hopeful. We were hoping the ferry to Ilha de Tavira would be running so we could visit the beach.
You see, Tavira is a town on the coast but the beaches of Tavira and surrounding areas are located on islands, separated from the mainland by little inlets of water. It all forms part of a nature reserve called the Ria Formosa and you need to get ferries across the inlets to reach them.
The ferries do not run all year round, and normally only run for May to October. However, thankfully since Easter was later this year, the ferry was running. We got the 10am ferry across, which took 20 minutes to get to the Ilha. We paid for a parasol and 2 beds, costing just €10 and spent a lovely few hours at the beach.
BattleKid had a whale of a time playing in the sand, building sand castles, chasing waves, splashing both BattleDad and his Lolo. And as we were there early, it wasn’t too packed. I could see how it might get very busy during the summer months.
We decided to head for a ferry at 1.30pm but had gotten the times all mixed up. It turned out ok as we had a lovely lunch in one of the restaurants on the beach before getting the right ferry back. BattleKid fell asleep on the boat and it was hardly surprising with all the fresh air and fun he had had.
We did a bit of shopping before going back to my parents’ house for dinner and bedtime. Despite his earlier nap he was in bed by 8pm and asleep soon after. We had a lovely day at the beach and can see us spending a lot more time at the beach once we move down permanently.
We were up pretty early again so, after getting dressed, we took a walk down to Cabanas de Tavira, which is not too far from my parents’ place. Cabanas is a lovely seaside town, with lots of cafes along the front and a boardwalk too. We walked to the end of the boardwalk and back and stopped for tea and toasties in one of the cafes. I have to say, the Portuguese know how to do good toasties.
After our brunch we walked back and I have to say I was starting to feel the heat on my back. Could I live in it I wondered? We had some cool drinks at my parents place before dropping to Gran Plaza again for some shopping. While there we browsed the shops and checked out garden furniture for our new place. It would be a while before we needed it, but there is not harm in looking.
My Dad picked himself up a grill and table for his own decking. He had been considering a barbecue but thought this was a good alternative. Less cleaning involved. BattleDad and I spotted some lovely garden table and chairs in a shop called JYSK.
After looking at garden furniture, we stopped for tea and cakes up in the food court from the coffee shop before my mum and I hit C&A. It’s a shop I used to frequent regularly when they were in Liffey Valley all those years ago. While Mum and I shopped for clothes, the men got the food shop in Continente. Fair swap I’d say.
Enjoying dinner out on the desk was lovely and relaxing and someone was ready for bed by 7pm, leaving us adults to have a few hours peace before we turned in ourselves.
We all were awake early, partly thanks to a certain little boy. We got up and dressed and headed into Tavira for breakfast on the square. This was the first time BattleDad and I had been into Tavira together and it felt a bit strange. We both were familiar with the town but separately until now.
We then headed to the Municipal Offices in Tavira to organise our fiscal numbers. We were seen within an hour but at least it was done and dusted. Afterwards, we headed to an insurance brokers to get home insurance for our holiday home. I enquired about pet insurance and found our dog is covered (up to a certain amount) on the home insurance.
With all our business done and dusted we headed to Gran Plaza Shopping Centre for some lunch. The food court there has plenty to choose from and it is always good food. After filling up we got supplies in Contenente (think Tesco or Asda) before heading back to my parents’ place. We got our swimming togs on and went for a swim in their pool.
As lovely as it was, it was a tad bit cold so we didn’t stay in too long. After showers, we got into our pj’s as we weren’t planning on going anywhere else for the rest of the day. It was a quiet evening after dinner with BattleKid settling quite well. We spent another few relaxing hours on the deck with my parents before heading to bed ourselves. Yes, I could get used to this way of life!
After staying overnight in a Holiday Inn Express not far from the airport, we were up at 4.30am to get to Bristol for check in. We didn’t fancy getting up at 3am to make it to the airport for 5am, so decided a hotel closer by and more sleep was a better idea. After dropping the car off at the Meet and Greet in the Express car park, we made our way into the terminal. We checked in with no problems and made our way through security in record time, thanks to mama booking FastTrack.
We went into the Brunell Bar and had a good breakfast before our flight was called at 6.30am. The flight was quite a smooth one after takeoff at 7.20. As we headed south we left behind the cold and grey and replaced it with sunshine and blue skies. This was our first time visiting Portugal together as a family. I had gone last Easter with BattleKid on my own and BattleDad in January. He had gone as a scouting mission to check out options for us moving down there.
We arrived just before 10am and soon found the bus to take us to our car hire a few minutes from the airport. And this is when we got a nasty surprise. BattleDad had hired a car online and paid for the full excess waiver. However, the car hire company (not to be named) would not accept the other insurance policy and so we had to take out theirs, at an extra cost of €100. Not the start of our holiday we were expecting.
We arrived at my parents place just before mid-day. They had emigrated to Portugal just a week before and were in high spirits. Lunch and a relaxing catch up were in order after our flight.
At 3pm, we visited the park where we were planning to move to and I saw our static holiday home for the first time. BattleDad had viewed it in January during his trip. We met our site manager too, who is very nice and helpful. After seeing the home, which was waiting to be sited, we visited our plot and I was impressed by the size of it. I thought “Yes, we can do this for a few years”.
We headed back to my folks place and took a walk around their site. We passed by the pool and had a break at the playground before having a late dinner. We got BattleKid into bed by 8.30pm before another catch-up on the deck with my parents. The weather had been good to us on our first day and we went to bed just after 10pm, looking forward to the rest of our holiday. I even managed to finish a book I’d be reading. Go me!
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