After four and half years of only seeing Brett, Silvia, Mateo and Leo via Skype, we finally got to spend some quality time with them in Carvoeiro over the Easter Holiday. The boys have done a lot of growing up since we last got to hug them. Mateo (9) has moved into the big boy stage and although he is very active, it seems to me that he is adopting a bit of Brett's laid back nature. Leo (6) has a very sweet nature and is a chatter box firecracker, all go, all the time. They were both thrilled with Lola, every morning when she'd come down stairs, there was a chorus of 'Lola's' that brought a huge smile to all of our faces. For an old girl that has never really spent much time with kids, she handled it all with her usual grace.
We stayed at a resort (Quinta do Paraiso) which had multiple swimming pools and a small playground which helped to keep the boys entertained in between our other activities. One afternoon we took a boat tour to see the caves, beaches and coastline around Carvoeiro. Another day we spent at a nearby Water Slide park, which was a great deal of fun for everyone. We took a drive out to the most southwestern point in Europe, near Sagres, previously known as 'The End of the World' until Columbus visited the Americas. The remaining days were spent at some of the many beautiful beaches in the area. It was a great holiday for us all, a truly memorable time.
Another exciting event that happened during the week they stayed with us, was that I had my residency appointment with the Portuguese immigration authorities. I'm happy to say that it went very smoothly and I'm now a legal resident of Portugal. I count myself lucky as I wasn't subjected to any of the 'Variable Bureaucratic' nonsense that we've heard so much about. But as Conrad noted, I was very well prepared and no doubt the staff appreciates it when people come in who have all their ducks in a row. The most important aspect of having my residency, is that I can now travel freely in and out of Portugal (and the EU) without having to worry about time or visa restrictions.
After our wonderful time in Carvoeiro, we headed to North of Lisboa to São Martinho do Porto. A smaller beach town set on a beautiful seashell shaped bay, just south of the world famous surf town, Nazeré. After taking our typical day or two to settle in, we've been working hard on our 'Lynch's who Lunch' technique combined with a little bit of exploration.
Benagil Cave was named the worlds most beautiful cave by National Geographic. It was stunning, but it has become a bit overrun with humans.
We called this one the human toilet
Praia Dos Caneiros - near Ferragudo
Sand cliff slides - Praia dos Caneiros
Our new morning walk destination - São Martinho do Porto
Lynch's who Lunch Gallery
Practice makes perfect!