Christmas in the Algarve.

What a wonderful few days we’ve enjoy!  Temperatures have been in the low 20’s each day and my favourite decoration has been the big yellow sun in the sky each day.  It’s been glorious except for the fact that Marc continues to battle his stomach virus.  Despite that, he has enjoyed as much as he can.

We hosted a revilion on December 24th and in addition to the four of us, our friend Gwen McCauley joined us.  Marc and Françoise had done all the cooking, an array of French-Canadian dishes, and we feasted in front of the roaring fireplace accompanied by great conversation peppered with much laughter.

Christmas morning Gwen picke me up and we headed off to Armação de Pêra for the annual Santa Swim……such fun.

Gwen and I wandered around the town a little before heading home.

Later that day it was I who was on cooking duty.  A wonderful fresh turkey with all the trimmings and a stuffing, somewhat traditional but with the addition of figs……Gwen joined us again and another fabulous meal and evening.

Boxing Day I headed off with Françoise and David to take a small tour of some of the Eastern Algarve towns.  We stopped and wandered around in a few of them, had lunch in Vila Real de Santo Antonio then a circuitous route home, pooped by the time we arrived but perked up by a lovely gin and tonic in front of the fire!!!


This morning Françoise and I took David to the Faro airport, he is off to Barcelona.  His Maman was brave, no tears just big hugs goodbye and a smile in her heart for their first Christmas together in eight years.

img_1550Once home I was in need of some physical activity following these few days of non-stop eating and so I changed into my hiking boots and headed off into the mountains.  What a great treat that was…….I didn’t see a single soul but I did discover that so many things have suddenly popped into bloom, including the wild paperwhites……….at one point I smelled them and recognized the scent so climbed over an old crumbling wall and there they were.


Marc was feeling like a soup, Françoise a lazy afternoon and a shower and so Marc and I headed over to Ana’s.

A slow walk home……

And now, as the afternoon starts to come to a close, we’ve started a fire, the music is playing, Françoise is playing on her lap-top and Marc is working on a new piece of collage. A new book is next on my agenda……… is grand for us.

***********************************************************************Nous avons passer un Noël tranquille mais traditionnelle. Le ragoût de pâte de cochon, la ou plutôt les tourtières et la source aux œufs ((spécialité de Françoise) qu menu le 24 au soir, puis le lendemain, la dinde farcie de Randy, les pommes de terre, les petits pois (Le Sieur, que Françoise à emporter du Canada spécialement pour l’occasion) sans compter les canneberges également complément de madame Brazeau. J’oubliais les carottes et la sauce. Ouf ! Randy a travaillé fort le jour de Noël pour une bonne cause. Et Les deux soir Gwen était des nôtres ainsi de David, le fils de Françoise. Il est venu passé quelques jours avec nous puis est repartis ce matin rejoindre sa blonde à Barcelone. Ils passeront le nouvel an la bas en Espagne, dans la famille de celle-ci et retournerons travaillé en Suisse le temps venu. 

Les soirées ont étés remplis de contes et d’expériences vécus, drôle et moins drôle mais toujours cocasses à entendre. Gwen en à plusieurs à dire et à rire. 

J’ai malheureusement passé des moments moins facile car je suis infligé d’un virus qui ne semble pas vouloir lâcher prise. Le temps saura faire sont travail et la clinique et Les bons médecins portugais aussi. 

Pour une première fois sans neige, sans glace, sans tuques ni mitaines et bottes c’est bien réussi. Je croyais que je manquerais un peu tout de même notre légendaire Noël blanc mais non. Finalement quand je regarde de par ma fenêtre de chambre à coucher et que je vois les papyrus et le palmier et que justement la fenêtre est rester ouverte toute la nuit pour avoir un peu de fraîcheur extérieur, je me dit que je ne manque pas la température et les tempéraments météorologiques d’Ottawa.

Aujourd’hui, David partie nous, Françoise, Randy et moi reprenons tranquillement un rythme d’avant Noël qui nous convient parfaitement. 


  1. Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas in the Algarve. I loved the pictures of the Sandra swim and lovely beaches. The country trail looks like it is surely becoming you tomorrow. I am still in Cape Breton as I woke up to a blizzard this am (not forecast to be this). So, just getting ready to go out and shovel and hope to travel to Halifax tomorrow. No Cabot Trail yesterday due to blowing snow and high winds in the Highlands, burr! Enjoy your lwonderfully warm weather!


  2. O.M.G at the beach in Armação de Pêra!!!! Now that is gorgeous!!!!

    The paperwhites are so lovely.

    I would LOVE to wander along that trail you found, the one you’ll be walking tomorrow. It looks like you could discover many interesting things there.

    Yum! Both the cuttlefish and the soup looked delicious.

    Loved the picture of you and Marc on the patio.

    Renoir takes great photo’s. LOL

    Glad to hear you all had a nice Christmas.



    1. Many of the beaches here look like that, some go on for miles and miles. Yes, can’t wait to explore that path…….it climbs quite a bit but is in a valley between two of the mountains…..I’m hoping to see wild boar!


  3. It sounds like you had great Christmas celebrations. I enjoy reading your blog and I am glad you are still enjoying it at the Quinta. I am hoping that the weather will continue to be nice and comfortable. Can’t wait to be there with you guys! The countdown has now started for us!! Bises.


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