Welcome to my Blog!

Below is a list of recent posts, there is a menu on the left where you can choose to see older posts by date or by the labels (tags) I have given them. This means you can easily find all my posts about a specific subject. I hope you you enjoy my blog, if you do you can subscribe by using the button above. More about me... ♥ I left behind life as I knew it and started on a journey. The journey in a physical sense has seen me living on the road for ten years now travelling in the UK, Ireland France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. This journey has and continues to be amazing, discovering new places and meeting new people who constantly inspire me. On an emotional level this journey has made me re-evaluate everything I believe in, made me question today's society and helped me to become more open hearted and honest about myself and with others. I am learning to love myself more which in turn has let me love others more. ♥ ♥ I have respect and love for the earth

Conservas (preserves)

We are great fans of conservas, (preserves is the literal translation and means all tinned goods), we mostly have tinned fish. In the UK it is not such a big thing and a lot of people would maybe have a tin of tuna and a tin of sardines in the cupboard for a sandwich filler or to chuck in with some pasta. In Spain and Portugal tinned fish has always been a massive industry and anyone who has holidayed in Portugal will have probably seen the beautifully designed tins and the shops dedicated to them. While we were in Ayamonte in Spain we saw a whole shop dedicated to conservas! Sadly they were closed for carnival while we were there but we looked in envy through the windows at all the tins of fish! We regularly eat tins of fish for lunch with a salad or crackers or an array of nibbles and they are a great little thing to keep in the van. We are always on the look out for tins of fish we haven't tried before. Here are a few we tried recently. Sprats fried in oil. Mackerel in olive oil

Oliveira do Hospital Cheese festival

Every year in March, our nearby town of Oliveira do Hospital holds Portugal's biggest cheese festival. Around 300 exhibitors usually participate and not only is there cheese, there is lots of other traditional produce especially produce from the Serra da Estrela region. There are cheese producers, including the dairies that produce the Serra da Estrela PDO Cheese. Sausages from the region, honey, wine, liqueurs and spirits, bread and cakes, and crafts. Every year, an invited cheese is associated with the event and visitors can go around all the stalls tasting cheese, sausages, Dão wine, and other traditional gastronomic products. The event ends with the largest curd cheese in the world, weighing around 70 kg, manufactured live, offered to all who want to taste it and accompanied by pumpkin jam, also produced at the event. We had a great time sampling cheeses and buying a few as well as quite a few liquors! Thanks for looking :) xxx

Across the mountains

We left the border with Spain and set of to climb over the south side of the Serra da Estrela mountains and back down the other side. Our first stop was Paul, yes a place called Paul! A lovely mountainside village near to Covilhã, situated on the southern slope of the wide Estrela Mountain range, on the left bank of the pleasant Caia river. We stayed there for the night at a spot that was on the app Park4Night. One of the comments said not to worry about the cobbled street and I can understand why! It is fairly narrow and steep, although looks worse from the top than it actually is! We went down, (and back up again the following day), with no problem. This lovely village has been, inclusively, voted as the second most Portuguese village, being the first one Monsanto. It is worth to visit its winding narrow streets, surrounded by small houses in agricultural areas, with some interesting monuments. The highest point that we travelled through on our way home was between Paul, and Poco de

A trip into border country

We decided to head home via the very east of Portugal and the border with Spain, sometimes crossing over into Spain. It was a route neither of us had ever done before although we had crossed through between the two countries at some of the points we passed. It was a great decision and one of the most interesting trips we have taken. I would highly recommend it for people in campervans. There are loads of free aires along the route and spectacular views along with lots of interesting history. First stop was Ayamonte, literally the first town in Spain when driving east through the Algarve on the motorway. We couldn't have hoped for a better night as although carnival had been in the week they were still celebrating it on the weekend when we arrived. We immediately went and got tapas and soaked up the atmosphere of Spain and the Spanish people. A people really quite different from the Portuguese despite their closeness. We have both lived in Spain and have some Spanish language, Frank

The Algarve

We always enjoy the south-west corner of the Algarve. The main town Lagos is vibrant and lively in the summer, but all year round has some things going on. It is touristy but not too much, it has a great beach, gorgeous restaurants, fabulous nightlife, and is in close driving distance of other amazing beaches along the south and west coast, traditional villages and national parks. The nearby town, Sagres is a surfers paradise with great surfing to be had on the west beach and tranquil swimming on the south beach. Also nearby is the more traditional town of Aljezur, and inland is Monchique and Silves, both worth a visit. We lived down here for quite a while, some of 2018, most of 2019 and half of 2020 so know it very well. We don't really like the rest of the coast along the Algarve, it's just a bit too touristy for us generally, although there are a few nice places. Inland Algarve can also be beautiful. We returned to one of our old park ups at the marina in Lagos which has eas

Trip down to the Algarve

After getting back from cold, rainy Ireland in mid January the most important job we had was to prune the trees and the vines. They hadn't been done for a few years and so desperately needed it, and we needed to do it while it was still winter and nothing was growing! That took a few weeks, I didn't really take many photos as I was too busy pruning! Anyway more of the quinta will appear later in the blog, for now let's catch up with the road trip we did down to the Algarve for some winter sun! In mid February we decided to go and have a month in the south before the spring started springing! There would be lots to do on the quinta in the spring and we were desperate to get in the sea! Our first stop was the town of Tomar. Tomar was created inside the walls of the Convento de Cristo, constructed under the orders of Gualdim de Pais, the fourth Grand Master of the Knights Templar of Portugal in the late 12th century. Tomar was the last Templar town to be commissioned for const