For all you non 80’s children, Reach the Beach is a fantastic album by the FIXX.
If you’re interested, you can hear it in its entirety here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5An9Ii1Tbk
Portugal is still in lockdown and has recently announced that the lockdown will be extended until end of March. The good news is that some things will open up as soon as next week – the week of March 15th. They are also announcing their plan for the gradual reopening in the next couple of days. Portugal, especially this Algarve area, relies heavily on the summer tourist crowds which would typically start arriving from May and run through to October. My plan is to be in Portugal until end of May and hopefully pay a visit to the family around the US Memorial Day timeframe. After that, I hope the rest of Europe is also a little more open and I could venture out. Whether that’s going to involve proving you’ve had one of the accepted vaccines is yet to be seen but there is heavy talk about requiring this to enter certain countries. I believe most of the EU will require such evidence from the casual tourist once they feel there’s been enough time for most of the adult population to get vaccinated.
I arrived on March 1st and made sure to self isolate for the prescribed 10 days. Yesterday I went in to the town of Portimaio and visited the Praia da Rocha. There are a lot of bars/restaurants that line a man made boardwalk – all completely closed at the moment. There were just a few people down at the beach taking a walk but you are not supposed to go to sunbathe. Other than actually being on the beach, everyone was obeying rules of distancing and not just being idle. I had a delightful 2 mile walk mostly along the elevated boardwalk. It was probably in the upper 60’s – about 20 Celsius. I need to start thinking in Celsius! Not a cloud in the sky. I didn’t have sunscreen and got a bit of color in my hour or so out there. I can’t imagine wanting to be here in the height of summer when it’s probably around 30 or more Celsius – that’s above 85F. I’m not one for really warm weather. I bought an investment property here and hope to have it rented in the high season and hang out here in the low season, which is generally November through April. Last and perhaps some of this year being the exception.
It is often said that the Algarve has aspects of Southern California, and I do believe it reminds me a lot of the Laguna Beach area, where I was just from. There is a lot of surfing and mountain biking for those seeking some sports. They also love canoeing and paddle boarding, hiking, etc. I can’t wait to venture out a bit further as things relax. Next week I have my first doctor appointment – on St. Patrick’s Day! I’ll let you know how it goes.