Sunday, February 04, 2018

Dreaming of the sun

As most of you know by know, (and if you don't, you will) I don't like the cold; nor do I like the wind, and I especially don't like the rain.

So why, might you ask, am I living in the wettest, windiest country in Europe? Okay, maybe Britain beats the Netherlands when it comes to extremes, but we've had our share lately, haven't we? Which brings me to my next point and that is an idea that is germinating in my soul about spending winter somewhere else.

At the moment, it's just a dream, but it's one I'd like to try and realise. No, it's more than that. I'm determined to realise it one day because I really don't think I can endure too many more of these northern European Januaries. Actually, perhaps I should rephrase that. What I mean is that Koos won't be able to endure me if I have to...well, you get my drift.

So where would I like to go for the winter? I'm thinking of the Spanish/Portuguese border area. That looks a pretty nice place to dream about. There's a river, see. It's called the Guadiana and it is navigable for quite some distance upstream from its mouth at Vila Real de San Antonio and there's a very pretty town where the boats stop at Alcoutim. The river is also the border between Spain and Portugal for quite some way as well. I like what I see of it. I like it a lot, and I could imagine spending winter months there very easily. I could also see us spuddling about on that river too.

Sanlucar (on the Spanish side) and Alcoutim on the opposite
Portuguese (photo courtesy of Rightmove Real Estate)
Faro airport is not so far either...so there seem to be plenty of practical advantages to this dream of mine, don't you think?

Marina on the Guadiana
at Sanlucar (again courtesy of Rightmove)

There's even a train that runs along the coast from the mouth of the river. I think it goes all the way to Lagos. I've been on the stretch from Faro to Tavira on the same line and it was lovely; delightfully informal and hopelessly late, but who cares? There is something warm, relaxed and very friendly about that part of Portugal. The eastern Algarve is not very picturesque, its scenery is a bit sparse and some of the towns are quite shabby, but it has great winter temperature, friendly locals and the kind of informality that I like.

The station at Faro
So you see my dreams have some form, even if they have little chance of early fruition. I can scheme, though, can't I?

Where do you dream of spending the winter months, allemaal? I'd be interested to know.

14 comments:

  1. Sounds like heaven Val! Would suit us two too!

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    1. Just to be a bit warmer, Carol. That’s all I ask. Come and join me :)

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  2. Oh I think this is a super idea, Val. The best of both worlds. My daughter's in-laws in Canada spend the Winter in Florida with a lot of their friends. It seems as they get older, it gets tough in cold climes and the Florida option works as well as Spain/Portugal!

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    1. I think that’s true, Patricia. I’ve never dealt well with the cold, and now it’s affecting me physically too, so joking aside, I’m quite serious about this. It will be much better for me, I think!

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  3. Hi Val, here’s a site you may be interested to visit, https://seasonsyear.com/Portugal . Last night I finished reading African Ways Again which I thouroughly enjoyed. You dedicated a whole chapter to your rather unpleasant experiences of winter in the Byrne valley, so I fully understand your reasoning to escape the North Sea touch of winter! I suggest you go to Portugal around this time for a look and feel if the weather would really suit you! Thank you so much for the mention at the end of book, it was a real surprise and I’m glad I was able to give you the moral support!

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    1. Thank you, Colin! I’m so glad you enjoyed AWA! I’ve appreciated your interest and encouragement no end in the last months, especially when concerned with faring! And yes, the cold and I have never been friends. I realise Portugal won’t be South Africa, but it will definitely be warmer. I intend to do a recce next winter for sure :)

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  4. Now that sounds like your kind of place, Val! I hope your dreams come true. As for us, UK weather doesn't faze us - bring it on!

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    1. It does, doesn’t it, Roger? 1962/3 did it for me as far as cold was concerned, so now my years are advancing, it’s getting even worse. I’ll keep you posted and let you continue enjoying the frost and snow. After all, someone has to like it!

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  5. Let me see ... where would I like to spend the winter ...

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    1. Yes, Jo...haha. I know! One day I might follow your lead!

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  6. We choose to spend out winters here in Southern California.
    High temperature yesterday was about 27 deg C.
    I was going to include a picture of the beach, complete with the Ventura pier and palm trees but I can't post it. You'll just have to imagine.....

    Don

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    1. I’m almost glad you couldn’t show me, Don. I might have had to say something very unpleasant in response. It would just be jealousy of course!

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  7. Lovely, Val. I hope you get to live your dream soon. I'm like you. I don't know how many more Scottish winters I can endure. Texas is my home, but I want to go to the Arizona desert.

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  8. Steph, thank you. But doesn’t Arizona get cold in the desert? I always understood it could be icy at night!

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