3rd Jan to 30th Jan 2019
Once the New Year was out of the way we continued to stay by the beach in Manta Rota until the 8th January, notching up a new record of exactly three weeks at this one location. We ended our days here feasting several times from the local piri-piri chicken take-away place and at a few, new to us, barbecue restaurants near the N125 main road.
Chicken from ‘Ze da Tasca’ on the N125. The normal portion was a whole small chicken…
We had set aside January as the month we would investigate the possibility of purchasing a piece of rural land and this task took us to many different places along the East and Central Algarve region. We saw different plots of land at the following places: Corte do Gado, Azinhal, Sapal Chao, and Fonte in the Castro Marim district, Fonte Louzeiros near Silves, several in Loule and Albufeira districts and Luz and Estorninhos in the Tavira region. Without going into a lot detail about this property/land search the adventure took us down all sorts of tracks and dirt roads, there was even one plot where we had to cross a river which cut through the land, needless to say we left the van at the entrance track and continued on foot.
Our month spent hunting for land took us to some interesting and beautiful places.
The search has also taken us to several public offices too for meetings with urban/rural planners including at The Commission for the Coordination and Development of the Algarve Region (CCDR) in Faro city centre and several times to the council at Castro Marim to enable us to understand more the restrictions and limitations associated to rural land. Having to attend these meetings posed a new challenge of being on the road and that was what to wear, as I could not just rock up in my normal attire of flip flops and shorts! Thankfully I had a pair of casual smart trousers and a box fresh set of new Vans on board, these combined with a short sleeve beach shirt smartened me up sufficiently for these more formal occasions.
The CCDR building in Faro, venue for one of our meetings
Alongside the land search we did stay at some new places too. In at attempt for something different from the Manta Rota coastal scenery we took a few days driving around the Serra de Castro Marim enjoying the stunning views from on top of and within the mountain range passing through numerous small and simple rural villages. We stayed overnight at a stop over at Bentos which was very peaceful and completely pitch black at night.
In the mountains at Bentos
All of our other stop overs depended on convenience and which estate agents we were meeting as the land search took priority over our own tourism and therefore we bounced around Vila Real, Praia de Cabecao, Castro Marim, Monte Gordo, Faro, Praia de Faro, Quarteira, Vilamoura and Barregem Arade, all places we have stopped at before and no doubt in the future will do again!
Rita’s supermarket in Castro Marim
There are always great sunsets when you are parked up at Sao Fransico parking in Faro. It was here we tied up with Jacqui and Richard again for a couple of chilled out days
Early morning on Monte Gordo beach I found this ‘marisqueira’ working away. Early fisherman gets the clam.
Also on Monte Gordo was this washed up starfish that confused Rita’s nose.
In summary, it was a huge learning curve and it will take considerably more time researching and working with the local authorities to find and acquire a piece of land that suits our needs without contravening the local and national laws for land development. However, we achieved and learned much more than we originally thought possible and we are really pleased with ourselves for having stepped off the starting blocks on what could be the next chapter in our lives……
Even though we were busy in January, we still found time for some down time………… Faro old town.