Thank you, Portugal!

2018 1

(Normally closed these shutters keep the house cool. Can you see the thickness of the wall?)

We are staying in a house on the edge of town, did I tell you that? It’s a very cute traditional Portuguese house. It has shutters on the windows at the front and very small windows at the back and really thick walls. Which all helps to keep the interior of the house very cool. So cool in fact we wear an extra layer when we are inside. It’s the original air conditioning. We have been here three days and I’ve only just realised that something I have been imagining with you, has become real… There are oranges growing in our garden!

2018 3

(Oranges growing in our garden)

Ok I know it’s not technically our garden but it is kinda our garden for today and probably tomorrow and the next day. Einstein seemingly said imagination was more important than intelligence… he was probably thinking of oranges. As well as the oranges, there’s a vine, possibly an almond tree (do almonds grow on trees?) a couple of different palm trees, something that looks like woodbine and a fruit I don’t recognise (picture below.) There are birds tweeting and cars passing on the road outside. Over the road is a field with rows and rows of small trees in blossom but I don’t recognise them either.

2018 1 1

(Unidentified fruit)

This unexpected visit to a real Portuguese house and garden is lovely and the powerful shower is truly lovely. This unexpected week in a small Portuguese town is very different to the way we have been travelling and being temporarily not in control of our destiny has brought up interesting messages…

2018 4

(Also don’t know what theses are…)

Like how much support we have received from the communities in the towns we have travelled through. We have been here in Portugal for two months today. Without the parking spots they provide for motorhomes, without the water and the emptying places, without the electricity and the refuse and recycling bins, without the great mobile data rates, we couldn’t do what we do.

2018 2

(…or this shrub. The flowers smell beautiful)

Sometimes we need a bit of a jolt to realise how incredibly lucky we are and how maybe we’ve been taking it all for granted. Today is a holiday in Portugal. I googled it but at the risk of getting it completely, insultingly wrong, I will find a real Portuguese person to tell me the story. I think it’s going to be about peace and freedom…

Obrigada, Portugal, you are generous and kind and beautiful. Mairead.

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