Resting in the Algarve

We’ve been in the town of Lagos, Portgual for a few weeks now. After the intense movement of April and the first part of May, it has been nice to stay in one place. We’ve been doing our best to rest, relax and regroup while we are here. The pace here is a gentle one and we are enjoying it.

I keep saying that the places we visit are beautiful… and Lagos is beautiful. But I’m afraid that I’m using that word so much that it is losing it’s meaning. Hopefully, in this post I can show you the kind of beautiful that we are seeing here in Lagos.

Lagos is a town in the Algarve, which makes up the southern part of Portgual that borders onto the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a location full of beaches, grotto and other-worldly-like cliffs and pillars that dot the ocean.IMG_20170606_204846188

The shade of blue in the ocean is an almost perfect colour complement to the orange earth that is sporadically peeks its way out between the huge succulent plants on the coastline.IMG_20170531_203935924

And the flowers… Bougainvillea is one of those vines that always stops me in my tracks. The combination of the colour and the abunance of the blooms is so striking that time stops for me every time that I see it. I try to walk down to the “accessible beach” (the beach that doesn’t require you to go down 200 steps to get to it) which is down the street from us as often as I can. There are bougainvillea spilling over many of the property walls on this walk.IMG_20170606_111647378_HDR

Many of the streets of Lagos are lined with rows of Jackaranda trees. I’d never seen one before we came here. The shade of purple took my breath away the first time I saw one.IMG_20170525_190500977_HDR

The sunsets here can be stunning too. This photo was taken one evening from our patio area.IMG_20170609_211321727

As a mother though, I will always be biased… and the most beautiful thing in the world to me will be the smiles of my children.19074782_10155245104610450_924005377_o

One of Marcus’s favourite memories from his travels in his childhood was staying near the beach in Majorca when he was around Artie’s age. I’ve heard hundreds of times how he loved exploring the tide pools and snorkeling there. He wanted this kind of experience for our kids at some point while we traveled. Staying in Lagos, was about giving our kids that kind of a magical beach experience. We are a few minutes away from 4 different beaches with where we are staying, and we try to get down to one of them every day.IMG_20170610_170446133

I confess, Portuguese tarts (I love them so…) were a big draw for me. And we are enjoying the Port as well.IMG_20170604_204430229

We’re finding the food in general to be very good quality and reasonably priced (compared to Paris and Athens anyway) . Our food budget has been very grateful for this. This picture shows what we were able to buy with just under 100 euro (about $150 CDN). The fruits and vegetables are really nice quality, and the meats and cheese are very reasonably priced.IMG_20170531_143824893

There is a delightful little zoo about 20 minutes away from where we are staying. What I love about this zoo, is the attention that has been paid in the landscape design to provide shade. It is a pleasant zoo to walk through, and experience.IMG_20170607_142929706

Artie loved feeding the goats in the farm animal area. He asked if we could get a barn when we got home so he could have some goats.IMG_20170607_145630437

The pygmy hippopotamus were a close second favourite to the goats. I’m sure these guys are vicious in a fight, but they looked soooooo cute in the water.IMG_20170607_151721757

Yesterday, we visited the science centre here in Lagos which is near the marina, and has gorgeous views of marina from the top “science garden” areas.IMG_20170613_155701312

This centre was unique, in that it was built around the theme of sailing. There are a dozens of interactive displays within the museum and each and every one of them links in some way back to Portugal’s proud history and legacy of sailing.IMG_20170613_160511610_HDR

The centre is an incredible bargain, with an entry fee of only 7 euro a family. I expect that we will visit here again before we leave Lagos.IMG_20170613_154551917

About a year ago, we were in one of the most intense periods of preparation for our travels. Our house was up for sale, we were doing the work of getting rid of our stuff, and we were taking care of the details of planning and preparation. I remember being so stressed out through all of that… I had a dream the other night that we were back in that stage again. However, in the dream – I wasn’t stressed. I was excited. People who I (really, really) didn’t like were walking away with my boxes of things that I wanted to keep… and I didn’t care. At one point in the dream I was in a class where we were asked what we were going to do for the summer. I shot my hand up in the air and said “I’m going to Portugal” with the enthusiasm of a kid going to Disney. When I woke up from the dream, in the midst of that fuzzy “Where am I?” space, I realized I was in Portugal. I had the best warm tingles run through my body and smile come over my face while I laid in bed. It is pretty cool to wake up and realize that you are living a dream come true.

Traveling like we have been has been a lot of work. There are a lot of details to deal with, and a lot of unknowns. There have been moments where all three of my companions have had temper tantrums and meltdowns at the same time… and I’ve wanted to simply walk away from the lot of them and pretend that they are not related to me. (Actually – I have walked away… they were all being so bad… but I did come back.)  The stress has taken a toll on my body, and I didn’t count on that.

But, even with all of that – I’m so glad that we are doing this. I’m glad that we’ve gotten to see so many places, and experience so many things that have existed for us in our daydreams. I’m glad that my kids are also seeing that “making dreams come true” is possible… if you are willing to do the work that goes along with it.

Kay Green

About the Author

Kay Green

Professionally, I am an e-learning instructional designer who breaks down the barriers of space and time in learning. Personally, I'm the Mom in the Little-Green Family, and co-planner in our adventures.

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