If we are lucky in our lives, we get unexpected windows of opportunity, a chance to do something totally different, to change tack or to travel a different path. Two years ago this month, I was offered an impromptu visit to Portugal – it was to change my life for ever. I knew if I missed this opportunity I would regret it for life. Six weeks later, I relocated here.
I moved from South West England to South West Portugal. As one of my best friends rather quaintly put it, “I moved from the ass end of nowhere to the ass end of the ass end of nowhere.”
From Here to there:
From this house:
To this house:
I am proud to say that I now live in Alentejo, a very beautiful part of Portugal. Alentejo is a rural/agricultural region famous for its produce– particularly olives, wines and fruit, its cork and its beautiful countryside and beaches.
The pace of life here is very much governed by nature – in summer we rise early with the sun – in winter we get a lie in! Garden crops are often still planned by the moon and almost all gardens are for food – not a blade of grass in sight.
Alentejo is dotted with small villages each with their own customs, their own histories and their own stories to tell. They celebrate their lives in their art, their music and their food. Each area has its own bread and sometimes their own vegetable or specialist dish. They hold festivals to celebrate all of these where traditional clothing is worn and ancient songs are sung and history is made all over again.
I hope to share with you my adventures and journeys throughout Alentejo and beyond as I explore the wealth of Portugal.