Nat and I always wanted to spend a week in Portugal again before the summer was out on this side of the hemisphere, and especially that we havenâ€™t had much of a summer this year in London. We both wanted to spend time with our family and lots of time on the beach trying to get some colour back into our skins that we lost from the London clouds.
My Grandma had no idea Giulio was on this side of the world. She got the biggest surprised when she saw Giulio at the airport. It was really good to see her so happy.
As weâ€™d just been to the Global Gathering festival in rain and muddy conditions, on the flight over Giulio started to develop a bad cough and cold. The poor guy ended up missing the first two days of action confined to his bed at home because he was so sick.
Once again my aunty Cidallia was so ac
commodating for us and her hospitality was fantastic. She made sure nearly every day there was something to do.
We pretty much spent nearly every day at the beach for lengthy periods of time. On the night we arrived we had the obligatory Portuguese family dinner which is always fantastic. Itâ€™s great to see all our family in the one room again and they always put on a great feast.
On the second day we spent all day at Praia de Faro (Faro Beach) and when I say all day I mean from 11am till 7pm or so. The beach is really embedded in the Portuguese culture. They couldnâ€™t survive without it. I didnâ€™t take to the water on this day because the water was freezing. The cold temperatures from the UK are blowing cold water down to the coast of Portugal whereas normally it is Africa blowing warm water to Portugal. The air temperature was still over 30 degrees and the sun was out in force which made it strange. I spent the day in the sun soaking it up and relaxing.
On the third day we went about an hour south to Praia Verde (Green Beach), itâ€™s called that because of the green coloured sea weed that is on the shore. Again we spent all day there over 6 to 7 hours. Afterwards we went for a dinner at my mumâ€™s auntâ€™s farm for another Portuguese family dinner with other members from the family. Once again it was great to see the others again and of course they put on a grand feast.
On the fourth day we caught a 30 minute boat to Farol Island. Itâ€™s only a tiny island but it was probably the nicest beach we had been to with great views, a lighthouse and no seaweed. This was the first day I swam as there were some warm currents and the water was crystal clear. Afterwards my aunty put on another family dinner which was great. Again itâ€™s always good to catch up with the relatives and converse while eating good food.
At this point both my sister and I were starting to get sick, no doubt catching whatever death virus Giulio had. By the end of the night my cold was full swing into action. Nat just had a bit of a cough.
On the fifth day we headed about an hour and half south to Sagres. This is an important site in terms of historical terms. It has great importance to the Portuguese to do with their naval explorations. If you want to read more about it click here. We had lunch nearby and of course went to a local beach. For the first day of the trip the sun was not perfectly clear blue. The sun was no where to be seen so we didnâ€™t hang around for long. I was sick as a dog by this stage so I wasnâ€™t keen for beach anyway. I just lied on a towel trying to sleep.
On our last we just pretty much relaxed as I was definitely all beached out and sick as a dog. I just wanted to take it easy before our flight.
We arrived at the airport for them to tell us that our plane still hadnâ€™t left London and would be delayed from 18:50 to 22:30. What a nightmare. I was sick as a dog waiting in the airport nearly four hours for our flight. The flight home was one of the worst flights Iâ€™ve ever had. I was so sick and nose was running lick a tap. Anyway to cut a long story short, I had two spoonfuls of the in flight meal and went to the toilet t have a spew. We landed on the ground and they took an hour to bring out our bags. There I was waiting with a couple planes worth of people all staring at the baggage collection screens waiting for it to tell us what carousel to go to. All while my nose was still pouring. We got the bags and then rain for the train and I missed my 02:00 train by literally 10 seconds so I had to wait another full hour for the 03:00 train. Finally I arrived in central London, caught a cab home and got home at 04:00. Of course I called in sick. Had another spew after breakfast on Monday morning and called in sick again on Tuesday. I havenâ€™t taken two sick days off in a row for years. And as a contractor with no sick pay, it cost me dearly.
Giulio ended up going to the hospital for antibiotics. He didnâ€™t really get well for ages. He stayed in Portugal for another week or so before beginning his trip through Europe.
The trip to Portugal for a week was great. It was good to have some time off from work and get some colour back into my skin. It was great to see my Grandma with all of the siblings from my family (the first time since we were all little rug rats).
To see the photos from the trip, visit here: