We are off to a grand beginning!! Our Toronto to Lisboa flight left on time yet arrived in Lisboa 55 minutes early. We determined that because we were already booked for the 14h00 train we wouldn’t rush to try and catch the 10h02 train but as it turned out, even without trying, we arrived at the train station with plenty of time to cash in our existing tickets in exchange for the earlier train!! What luck. A quick email off to Konrad, who was picking us up in Faro, and we arrived in the quinta at the same time we would have been catching the train in Lisboa. Tired but happy, we arrived.
In addition to enthusiastic hugs of welcome, we also found a well stocked fridge, a roaring (but completely unnecessary) fire to quell any dampness and all around us lush green with welcoming splashes of colour. It’s amazing how we forget just how beautiful it all looks when we first get here. This is the earliest we have arrived in Portugal and already we are finding things in bloom, or certainly, at a stage of fullness we’ve not yet experienced.
To say we slept well is an understatement……we passed out!! We’re not as young as we used to be (go ahead, make fun all you want).
This first morning, how magnificent to wake to blue sky, sunshine and birds. A lazy breakfast and then off with Konrad to pick up our rental car.
A funny thing happened on the way to the car rental. Well, maybe “funny” is not the best word! Most times when we passed a MatDiver (store) last year, Marc would comment that we should stop some day and check it out. We never did. This morning, driving down the small highway from Estoi to Faro, Konrad’s thirty year old Mercedes suddenly started making noise. We had a flat!!! Right across the street from MatDiver. Guess who finally got to see the inside of one??
While we sipped our first bica…..
We now know that we don’t have to stray very far to get almost anything you can think of to purchase. MatDdiver has it all…..hardware, pet food, vino, groceries, and even a tiny little cafe. Tire fixed and off we go to get the rental.
We headed to do our first major grocery shop before heading back home and with a full fridge, headed off to have hugs, lunch, hugs, bicas and hugs……….with Ana and Simão. What a welcome. Marion and David, our British friends were sitting on the patio when we arrived, a surprise for us, and an additional treat. How wonderful it is to be back and see our wonderful friends and receive such a welcome. Even Elsa demanded hugs this time!! Simão surprised us with one of our favourite meals for lunch….
I can’t express how “at home” we feel here and how incredibly joyful we feel at having returned and immediately falling into a state of bliss. As we sat enjoying lunch and catching up with these marvelous people we looked at each other and said, “imagine, six months of being this happy. What a curse!”
Of course day one we are still a little tired and needing to pay attention to that. With lunch over we headed towards home with an easy pace and once arriving Marc headed in to put away our groceries while I wandered along one of the tiny roads to take the back way in as I had seen a few things in bloom I wanted to look at close up.
And so begins our time here. It’s just after 16h00……the doors and windows are open……the birds are singing away in the background (as is the dam dehumidifier) and we will soon head back to the square to enjoy a glass of vino with our friends.
To close, two shots I took today while we were waiting on the mechanic.