The Portugal Diaries #10

So, after finishing his calls by 5pm, we decided to jump into the car and go exploring. And we hit the beach but not Fabrica. We hit a beach called Manta Rota which is a sandy beach that stretches for miles. And even better, you don’t need to get a boat to it. You simply walk out the boardwalk and you’re right on the beach.living arrows my sunday photo

It was still quite busy with lots of people still arriving. It seems it is a popular thing to head to the beach after work! And we had a great time. BattleKid got thoroughly soaked and I was glad I had a spare change of clothes as we headed to Xicken Piri Piri for dinner afterwards.

So nice was Manta Rota that on my sister’s last day I picked them up early and we headed there for a few hours to let BattleKid and his cousin play in the sand. They had a ball and it was lovely seeing them enjoying themselves. After showers and lunch, I dropped my parents home before carrying on to Faro airport to drop my sister and niece off. My sister really didn’t want to go home but they’ll be back later in the year.

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Playing in the sand with his cousin
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Burying me in the sand!

We had a quiet few days after our visitors but on the first Sunday of July, we decided to get out early and carry on exploring. We had been told of a castle fort at a place called Castro Marim that might be a good place for some dragon hunting, so off we went. I was very surprised that it was only 20 minutes for our home.

Castro Marim has two forts on top of hills. One is open to the public and in we went, on the hunt of our first dragon in Portugal. It was a great place to spend an hour or two and I’ll be writing all about our visit soon. Afterwards we stopped at a café at the bottom of the castle hill and had toasties and a cuppa before setting off for home. I can see us returning to Castro Marim time and time again.

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The second fort of Castro Marim
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Just taking a break from dragon hunting

After the weekend, and once BattleDad was finished work on Monday evening, we headed back to Manta Rota but not to the beach this time. We wanted to take BattleKid somewhere flat to practise his cycling and there was no better place we could think of than the big square in front of Manta Rota beach. He had a great time for over half an hour before we stopped for dinner.

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Cycling on Manta Rota

Later that week we had a trip inland lined up but it turned out even better than I thought it would. Stay tuned to find out why!

To be continued…

Cath x      

Read more of my Portugal Diaries here.          

Living Arrows 34/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

Kahlil Gibran

We finally hit the beach again last week on Friday. Hubby was finished work early so we headed to the beach just after 3 for a few hours. Although it had been a hot day, there was a nice breeze at the beach.

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Can I just get to the beach now!

We all had fun jumping waves, making sandcastles, pouring water and even shared some ice creams. We’re off on holiday next week but are hoping to enjoy a lot more beach time in the cooler days of September.

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Living Arrows 28/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

Kahlil Gibran

In the last week we have the pleasure of visiting not one but two castles here in Portugal. I had no idea there were so many in Portugal, let alone within two hours of us.

The first we visited was in a town 20 minutes from us called Castro Marim. Castro Marim has two fort-type castles on opposite hills, one which is open to the public and one which isn’t. We had a lovely time wandering around, looking for dragons of course, and imagining what it was like to live there hundreds of years ago.

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Just taking a break from dragon hunting

We also visited a castle in a town called Beja which is 2 hours drive from us. We were meeting up with friends from Wales who were in Lisbon on holiday and who kindly offered to meet halfway. It was so good seeing M and his new fiancee P, who is lovely, and we spent a lovely hour wandering around the castle, hunting for dragons, before having a bite to eat and a coffee. I was blown away by this castle. And guess what? We passed another one in a town called Mertola which we are going to return to!

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Standing in the courtyard of Beja Castle

We also spent last Friday evening at the beach after BattleDad finished work. I still can’t quite believe that this is our life now; popping to the beach after work on Friday while it’s still hot is still something dreams are made of.

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Jumping the waves on Manta Rota beach

Linking up with Donna of What The Redhead Said. If you’d like to take part or see some other Living Arrows posts, please click the badge below.

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Be In The Picture 6

At the start of each month, which comes around so quickly these days, I look back on the pictures I’ve taken for the month and each time I am surprised. Since starting to take part in Be In the Picture I make a big effort to ensure there are a few pictures taken of me for BattleKid to have in the future, even if it is in these posts.

We are almost 2 months in Portugal and we’ve all been spending a lot more time together as a family, which was one of our reasons for moving down here. We’ve been blessed with gorgeous weather with just a few days where we’ve needed to shelter indoors with the air con on as the temperatures crept beyond 35ºC.

So let’s take a look back at the month. Earlier this month I’ve been trying to keep on top of both blog work and a course I’m doing but I’ve been finding it hard. I have been known to bribe a certain someone with Disney Cars 2 and the odd biscuit so I can get some work done. Bad mum, I know but sometimes it has to be done!

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All that effort was to get some stuff done before I jetted back to the UK for a weekend in London with 2 of my sisters for the Take That concert. It was a great weekend with visits to The Shard, The London Eye, Duck Tours and also the Ice Bar. We also hit Oxford Street for a bit of shopping, as you do!

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Sisters in London
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Outside the Shard
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Ice Bar drinkies
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Boy is it cold in the Ice Bar

After the fab weekend in London, the rest of the following week was all about relaxing and nice dinners as a family.

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BattleDad then had an overnight in London himself for a Guns and Roses concert and as soon as he got back he was packing up for yet another week in Paris to be at the client site. So, going solo, BattleKid and I decided to check out some of the local beaches early one morning while the sun wasn’t too hot. We visited Cacela Vehla but there wasn’t much of a beach. We did however discover a small one at Fabrica and enjoyed a morning on the sand collecting shells.

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Me and my boy at Fabrica
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Nothing like the sand between your toes before 10am

Once BattleDad was back it was haircut time for the boy. While we waited he offered to be a pillow!

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On the last Monday of the month, BattleDad finished his client calls by 5pm, so we decided to go exploring as a little boy had had a nap earlier so there would be no early bedtime. We headed for Manta Rota and discovered a glorious beach. We had a lovely evening on the beach.

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Kicking sand at Manta Rota
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Chasing the boy at Manta Rota

It was such a nice beach that I took my sister and niece, who were visiting, on their last day before they needed to be at the airport for their flight home to Ireland.

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Chilling on Manta Rota beach
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Being buried by the boy

I’ve also been thoroughly enjoying the fact I can wear summer gear! Even with a small bit of rain, I’ve been in t-shirts, summery blouses, shorts, skirts and dresses. I’m so used to it now that putting a pair of jeans on me in London felt so alien. I’m not sure how I’m going to fare in Bluestone in October or even Disneyland Paris in December, which we finally booked!

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Enjoying my summer wardrobe

So there you have it, June was a busy month and as you can see I’ve been making a real effort to get in front of the camera, with and without the boy. If you missed last months Be in the Picture, you can find it here.

Be in the Picture was created by Kerry of Kerry Louise Norris and Alana of Baby Holiday in which they encouraged us to get in front of the camera instead of always being behind it. I’m guilty of this and by joining in with Be in the Picture, it ensures BattleKid will have pictures of me as well of himself when he grows up

Living Arrows 27/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

Kahlil Gibran

Last week we discovered yet another beach near us, Manta Rota, and what a beach it was. Miles of sand, gloriously warm water and all while in the beautiful Portuguese evening sun. We went after BattleDad finished his client calls, modelling our Saltrock t-shirts, and although we didn’t arrive until nearly 6pm, there were still lots of people still there and more arriving.

We had fun on the beach, the boys splashing in the water and I was glad I brought a change of clothes for a certain little person. We loved it so much that we even brought my sister and niece there on the last day of their visit before they were due at the airport and fun was had by all. I think we’ll be there again this week!

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Linking up with Donna of What The Redhead Said. If you’d like to take part or see some other Living Arrows posts, please click the badge below.

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