For the Love of Portugal

2018 13

(The cows have big horns here!)

Two years ago when we first came to Portugal we stayed in campsites whenever we could. This year we only stay when we really need electricity or a shower. Today we have arrived at a campsites we stayed in for ten days that first year. It’s nothing to write home about, as they say… but since I am writing home about it…  maybe it is? It seems like it’s been here forever. The electricity points aren’t as conveniently placed as they could be. The driving surface is very uneven. The toilet/shower/clothes washing (hand washing not machine!) block probably dates back to the seventies. The parking spaces are not marked so it’s hard to figure out where we should position ourselves and it’s on a slope.

2018 12

(Looks like wood but it’s some kind of rock)

So why do we love it? And we do love it. It reminds me of a book I used to read to my children (what should I call grown children?)… when they were children. It was called Awful Arabella by Bill Gillham and was illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain. I think I could possibly recite the whole book I read it so often but basically the story is of a little terror of a girl who came on a visit. She was very naughty but in the end in spite of all her naughtiness everyone was very unhappy when she left.

2018 14

(I love this tree out on it’s own in the field)

I think it’s the thing I love about Portugal. It’s ok with how it is and that’s really attractive. It changes slowly the things it can change but it accepts the rest and gets on with planting, weeding and watering vegetables and people. I know I’m simplifying an entire nation and making huge assumptions while being unable to read the newspapers or understand the television, but… it’s different here and I’m having such a lovely time making sense of it all.

2018 1 1

(Beautiful weathered door)

Each time we arrive in Portugal we’ve been travelling for days through two other countries, France and Spain. France is different to Ireland in so many ways and Spain is also so different to Ireland. Then we get to Portugal and it is very different to Spain and France! Even though it’s so very close in distance. But, and here’s the odd thing, it’s very like Ireland. Ok not the weather. Or the cost of living. Or the language. It’s something less tangible. Could it be that Ireland was joined onto Portugal in the ice age? Could this be why we are so disappointed by our weather?

Is anyone up for towing Ireland down here where it belongs? Mairead.

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