Central Portugal – Off the Tourist Trail


Ciao …. Hello from Italy

It has been a couple of months since I left my lovely Portuguese village to work in Lake Garda for the Summer. After a busy start I have finally got my act together and am sitting in the campsite bar, beer in hand, and ready to write.
The first month was full of the usual ups and downs that come with starting a new job, trying to understand the system & daily routines, and the first few weeks were spent doing something called MONTAGE, which to you and me means scrubbing, cleaning and getting accommodation spick and span for when the holidaymakers arrive.
My hands smelled of bleach from dawn til dusk.

The view of lake Garda from the campsite

The view of lake Garda from the campsite

We opened on the 21st March, and by Easter week all our mobile homes were full. It was definitely a case of learning on the job.
When guests checked in at our reception one of the team cycled in front of their car and took them to their accommodation.
With over 100 families arriving on Easter weekend, that was a fair bit of cycling for 6 people.

Anyone that knows me, knows cycling is not one of my strengths. I am just about able to ride a bike (as long as I don’t have to fit through small spaces, or take my hand off the handlebar) so I am happy to report I did not fall off, or collapse from exhaustion .
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Something that I find even harder than cycling is finding my way from one place to another without getting hopelessly lost . I just have no memory for directions, and even if I go the same way to the same place 5 times, every time feels like the first time.

This is the map of the site,

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So you can imagine my concern.
I was seriously worried that I might cycle off and not be able to find the mobile home. I was overjoyed and amazed that I managed to get my guests to the right place, without taking them on a wild goose chase.
After a month of cycling every day , I am pleased to say the locations are beginning to make more sense, now and my legs are getting stronger by the day.

I have now moved from a mobile home into a tent, where I will live for the next 6 months or so, and been enjoying the sunny warm days.
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On my days off I have started to explore the area.
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The nearby town of Peschiera del Garda .

The nearby town of Peschiera del Garda .

More about that next time


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Over the last few weeks there’s been lots of great things happening in my life.
I have visited new places, met lovely new people, and generally had lots of fun.

Heres a few photos of what I have been up to over the last few weeks.

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Holiday time with mum and dad…

It has been lovely having my mum and dad here on holiday for the last couple of weeks.

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Picture My week – Penela, prepositions and paint .



Picture My First Week of 2014 . Back home again


Firstly I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year ( better late than never).

After spending December and the start of the New Year with my family in England, I am now back in Portugal, and settling back into my life in the village that time forgot.

After being away for so long, it has taken me the last week to get myself organised. Physically and mentally.

The usual jobs of unpacking, getting the washing done, food shopping, cleaning the house, ordering wood, and “persuading ” the car to start after 5 weeks of inactivity were easily sorted.

The “mental organising” has been harder to get on top of.
I have struggled to get out of my cozy warm bed this week.
My body clock seems stuck on holiday mode, and so does my brain !

The wet weather has meant I haven’t managed my walk in the woods,( which always helps me get mentally prepared for the day) and I have not done half the things I wanted to get done.

After such a long break, I had lots of ideas of what I wanted to get started on this week, but instead I found myself like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
I haven’t been completely inactive though. I had a lovely time playing with my latest crafting equipment, and made lots of greetings cards.

To be honest I think my plans were a tad overly ambitious. I didn’t take into account the change in routine.

So I have put together a (realistic) timetable for next week, and am going to attempt to stick with it.
The toughest bit will be getting out of bed by 7.30 !

I’m looking forward to having some discipline and routine back in my days again, and to blogging on a regular basis.

In the meantime here are a few photos taken in my first week back.

PICTURE MY WEEK – A wonderful day in Manchester


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Picture My week . Friends , food and ” fancy dress”

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