You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth
We’ve had friends from Wales over visiting us here in Portugal and we’ve had a lovely time. We brought them into Tavira on Saturday. We watched the Tavira beach ferry coming in, which was a surprise, as we were sure it would be finished for the season. We had a lovely brunch in a cafe off the square and the kids enjoyed seeing the terrapins in the water around the band stand.
On Sunday we visited our nearest beach, Manta Rota. This little dude has enjoyed seeing his pal and had an especially fun time at the beach on Sunday. Now that the temperatures are coming down a bit, we’re able to enjoy the beach more and I think it may become a regular weekend trip!
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One thing I was apprehensive about before we left the UK was how it might affect my blog and the opportunities that came my way. While some PR’s have said they won’t send stuff to Portugal for review, others have been more than happy. Two such brands are Cosy Holder and My Piccolo.
We received a Cosy Holder and some My Piccolo pouches for review in the second week of July and had fun trying them out. I’ve also been lucky enough to have one sponsored post opportunity come my way and a few others offered, although I had to say no. One sounded good but for some reason didn’t come about and I’m not sure why.
So, in between reviewing some products, we took it easy in the second week of July and did some crafts, painting and playing with play doh while I got on with drafting blog posts and editing some videos for our YouTube channel which has been pretty much abandoned of late.
That said, on the third Saturday of July we had another Animal Vision charity event lined up in the form of a Fado. This is a concert of traditional music and song which featured two guitar players and four singers. The origins of Fado music can be traced back to Lisbon in the 1820’s, perhaps earlier.
We were treated to two ladies and two men singing songs that were both mournful and joyful and I have to say, one particular man and one lady blew us away. They had the most amazing voices, and although we had no idea what they were saying, we adults thoroughly enjoyed it. BattleKid loved the live music but wasn’t too fussed over the singing, putting his hands over ears during some of the singing. This amused the people sitting behind us.
Again, the proceeds of this event went towards the fundraising for the x-ray machine for Novavet, and at the end of the concert we learned more about the reason behind the fundraising.
One couple had a cat who they brought to Novavet. They learned she had breast cancer but were unable to see if it had spread or to what degree as Novavet don’t have an x-ray machine/scanner. Unfortunately, this meant the vets were unable to properly treat her and perhaps save her life. When asked by the couple whose cat it was why they didn’t have one, they were told of the cost of such a machine. Novavet said in order to fund one they would have to raise their prices significantly and they didn’t want to do that.
Novavet will care for any animal that is brought to them, whether their owners can afford the treatment or not. Most people can, but if they increased their prices, they would be unable to treat many of the animals that are brought to them. So, the couple started Animal Vision and fundraising for an x-ray machine for Novavet. And this is a cause we are more than happy to support.
At the end of the Fado, I saw the couple who had helped arrange the Flamenco evening and they came over for a chat to see how we are settling in. They have told me there will be another night in Xicken Piri Piri and I said we look forward to it, which we will. Any event help by Animal Vision will be supported by the Battle Family and my parents. We’ve enjoyed both events we’ve attended so far for this worthy cause.
The next week my sister (the third girl) arrived on the Tuesday with a surprise for us!
To be continued…
Read more about our adventures in Portugal in my Portugal Diaries section.
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.
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