This is the life in Loule, Algarve, Portugal
Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
147Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Mark and Sally's
To start off, a photo to show the strenuous conditions under which I have crafted this entry...
Another couple of weeks of helpexing and this time for Mark and Sally in Loule. They are both creative people and some of the work has been to assist with ongoing projects. We've helped decorate a room, filled the old woodworm holes in an old trunk, sanded the trunk and filled again, cleared land, at least three more bonfires, emptied a storage room, tunnelled under a path to lay a pipe and other jobs. The only request we've been reticent to complete was when Sally asked us to prepare a meal. We both blanched as Sally is an excellent cook and she has worked in a professional capacity as chef. We backed out of that one!
We can pick fresh lemons and clementines from the trees in the garden for breakfast.
No photos of the Moorish market building, but on a Saturday there is a large market in Loule. There are huge volumes of stalls selling fruit and veg outside the market but fewer stalls inside. Recently the town council equivalent refurbished the market building and put up the rents. So now the produce is in the surrounding streets! Whilst at the house, I had noticed that the kitchen work surfaces were far too low and then whilst wandering through the market crowds, I felt tall. My eye level was just about at the top of most Portuguese men's heads. The ladies were even smaller. Tourists failed to blend in by not only the obvious generous height but also by the lack of woolly clothing favoured by locals in these chilly months.
I've been working in just a shirt (and trousers) some days outside, but mostly with a thin jumper to keep the wind out. The last week has been balmy with spring like temperatures, dew on the ground in the morning and occasional showers. When we arrived here earlier this month, the orchard was full of bare trees and a floor covering of clover leaves. We've watched the non-native Jamaican buttercups come into flower and the buds swell on the trees. There are now a few almond blossoms and the bees are very active.
Laura has been delighted with the local creepy crawlies. There is a huge black bumble bee that we see occasionally. It has the colouring of an overgrown bluebottle fly but is more bumble bee shaped. She has also spotted geckos and salamanders.
The birds have been interesting too, and with the aid of a local bird book, we've identified crested larks, sardinian warblers and black shouldered kites. We're house sitting this week, so plenty of walks with the dogs and hopefully more wildlife spotting but it's more likely to be looking for animal tracks. Laura has tried to sneak out on her own as the dogs scare off the animals but we don't get a choice, we walk and they herd us down the drive and out of the village!
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