Our Winter Plans Have Begun

Pousada Palácio de Estói

It’s a bit mind boggling for us but here we are, back in Portugal, this time for a period of six entire months!!  We thought about it long and hard and determined that if we truly wanted to avoid any Canadian winter weather it only made sense for us to exit mid November, which meant being away from friends and family during the Christmas season, and obviously staying as long as the country would allow us………three months in the EU followed by a three month visa from Portugal. which you cannot apply for in advance, you make application here once you hit the first 90 day mark.  Our friend, Gwen McCauley did it last year and it really is only a paper exercise, which fortunately she can guide us though.

And so, armed with knowledge and a love of Portugal, we made our plans and on Sunday, November 20th, we boarded Air Transat and as we sat on the tarmac we looked out the window and large fluffy snowflakes started to fall!!!!  Winter waving goodbye!

This trip we have decided to stay in two different location, both still within the Algarve.  From arrival till March 31st we have taken a lovely apartment, Quinta Pè da Cruz, in the village of Estoi, which has a population of just under 4000 .  It’s roughly 15 kms from our previous yearly accommodations, which we will return to on April 1st until May 21st, at which point we return to Canada.

And so, we have arrived, we are busy getting settled in our new “home away from home” yet at the same time, feel as if we have been here forever as we know people, we have many friends coming and going this year, some staying with us, some have rented their own places nearby.  Exciting times ahead.

I don’t know how often I will be blogging. I do know that Marc will be contributing frequently “en français”, for which I am delighted.  And so with that in mind, follow along if you like.  In the meantime, here are a few photos from our first 24 hours here.

As always, colour abounds and Mother Nature never fails to please.

And how wonderful that we get to sit outside and enjoy a delightful meal, the sun warming us to the bone….happy despite a tiny bit of jet lag.



  1. Like the new blog. J’ai bien hâte d’avoir les impressions du moment. C’est toujours intéressant, divertissant et un ravissement pour les yeux XOX


  2. I’m loving this already even though I do love winter. In fact, you two, the day you left and saw those big fluffy snowflakes, Mark and I went x-country skiing. Its one of my traditions to pick a road with a grassy shoulder for the first snowfall ski on “rock” skis. So, after playing in the white stuff, I will sit down with a cup of tea and see how you Canadians boys are enjoying life. Hugs Annie


  3. Départ juste en temps les amis… Depuis lundi dernier, le superbe automne a fait place à un paysage digne d’une carte de Noël moche, la lumière est grise, tout est couvert de neige et les routes font concurrence aux patinoires. Profitez-en bien!


  4. It feels so good to recognize those familiar places on your beautiful photos! I can almost smell the jasmine that is growing by the back fence. Looking forward to being there with you guys!


  5. Good to hear that life is so beautiful in Potugal. Thanks for the nice email Randy. I wasn’t hooked up for the blog.
    Hugs & kisses


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