One of the questions we are probably asked most (after the inevitable what’s the weather like!) is ‘what do you do?’. Well some days are not that different to back home really – with the shopping, blogging, long lunches, meeting up with friends, reading and the inevitable paperwork that seems to find you wherever you are in the world. Other days are far more active as we fit in birding, walks and something touristy.

Portugal 544Today was a little bit of everything as we began the day with paperwork including a planned business telephone call from England for Robert. By 10am we were in the market picking up a few necessities for the fridge such as cured meat, olives and salad. On leaving the market it was so glorious we decided to stop for a meia de leite for Robert and a chá verde for me. We managed to resist the Pastel de nata!

Green tea is found in most cafes here, in fact green tea has been a staple drink in Portugal since the 18th century. The Portuguese were introduced to tea in the 16th century, it wasn’t until the late 17th century that it became a popular drink for the British following the marriage of King Charles II to Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess.

After half hour or so of just chatting we returned to the apartment, well I did. Robert had to pop into the hotel to organise a second apartment for his sister who is joining us for a month in February. So exciting! Whilst Robert was negotiating rates I was sorting kitchen cupboards, we have bought so much additional kitchen equipment that a rethink in the kitchen was required.

By now it was lunchtime but we had decided on a late lunch, so it was back to the computers for both of us. Robert caught up with Winchester paperwork, and me with photographs and blogs. Amazing how much time you can lose in front of a screen.

DSCN0820Lunch was at our favourite restaurant – Vai e Volta. As always the grilled fish was delicious. It has been a week since we were last here and there have been some changes – the first is a delicious addition to the olives and bread appetisers – tuna in home made mayonnaise, and the second are some pretty new bowls on a tray in which the side dishes are served in. If you enjoy your fish simply grilled and want to try traditional Portuguese dishes then Vai e Volta is an absolute must visit when in Olhão.

DSCN0821After a quick detour via the new organic shop, Pingo Doce and the Tourist Information Office to pick up the December guide, we returned to the apartment for afternoon tea  on the balcony (was after 4pm by now). A couple of telephone calls later we found the energy for a short stroll around the salt pans. Out of sync with the tides for true birding, but still a lovely way to spend the late afternoon/early evening. The sun does not set until after 5pm here in the winter.

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Our evenings are spent either relaxing on the balcony, watching some rather bizarre TV or reading. We do cook some evenings and occasionally we go out for a meal but generally much prefer a day like today with a large and prolonged lunch and light snacks in the evening of Portuguese cheese and Spanish ham.