Day 1 in Vilamoura
June 25, 2014

Today was our first full day in Vilamoura. Given how late we were up last night, nobody made much of a move to get up early.  Helen and I eventually had breakfast at about 9:30am and then we decided to try and find the better supermarket to get some real food.  We had coordinates from Google Maps but even with those it wasn’t easy to find but we did eventually find it. Shopping at the supposedly best supermarket in Portugal was not an easy task though. The aisles were so narrow you could hardly pass another shopping cart. It is also hard to actually find things. The layout is strange and trying to read Portuguese labels is not easy work either. Chloe comes in handy as she knows Spanish and some of the words are quite similar so she is our walking translator.

dried fishIt always amazes me that when I go to a supermarket anywhere else in the world how they have items we have never seen before. The amount of salted, dried fish available in the supermarket was incredible. Clearly a high demand item – not from us though! They also had some fruit and veg that I have never seen before and we still need to figure out what it is. The good news is that food is not particularly expensive here and is comparable to SA prices and in some cases cheaper.  Chicken for instance is only €3/kg or about R45/kg and that is definitely cheaper than South Africa. We also noticed that shellfish (like prawns) are about 75% of the price we would pay in SA. I can see we are going to eat a lot of chicken and prawns!  We had a full shopping cart and paid pretty much the same as what we would in SA for a full shopping cart.

Helen went for a run when we got home and we didn’t see her for the next hour.  I thought she must have gotten lost (the roads are like a maze around here – thank goodness for a GPS) but it turned out she was just running a long distance in the rain (quite heavy rain for short while) and she did find her way back to us again.

Stephen, Michael and I then went out to the Algarve Shopping Mall. It is a genuine mall like we know them and included an electronics store and also a Hypermarket. The electronics store was essential as we wanted to get SIM cards but ended up with data only cards (Michael tried out his Spanish on the store assistant and it clearly wasn’t that effective) and also a telephone (we actually have a line in the house but they don’t supply a phone) and most importantly a printer (yes that is an essential item in any Temple household). It also turned out that the Hypermarket is really the best supermarket in the Algarve and so now we know we really to shop in future. We also got some essential items we needed for the house like a new dirt bin for the kitchen and screwdrivers (in case Helen wants to fix something).

poolWe got back just after the football had started but in time to watch Suarez bite another opposing player (what is it with that guy’s brain?!). At about 5:45pm our friends the “Blacker’s” arrived.  They are joining us for the next few days in the Algarve. They had a long day thanks to French airtraffic controllers. They went on strike this morning and will be striking for the next 7 days. That means all flights into and over France are disrupted. They were meant to leave just after 6am and they eventually left at 10:20am. They flew into Seville and then drove to us (about 2 hour 30 min drive).

We had our first dinner in the house – a braai of course (barbecue for everyone in the world who isn’t South African). We tried out some Portuguese sausage which was pretty good and definitely worth repeating. Also had some Portuguese wine – I bought the most expensive white wine I could find and it was €3 a bottle – it actually turned out to be passable as well.  We have actually eaten/drunk a few Portuguese things already include Portuguese Rolls (at least that is what we call them in SA – just called rolls here!) and I have also had the Portuguese beer (Super Bock).watching TV

Helen and the “Yellower’s” went out shopping again for more groceries after dinner while we watched the ref rob Ivory Coast of progressing through to the next round. Now everyone is settled in (at 11:50pm) watching an animated movie (we came with everything needed to connect the TV to the internet so that we could stream off it). Only person not here is “Mrs Yellower” who is in bed and probably fast asleep despite the loud laughter from downstairs.

Tomorrow we will hopefully actually start to have a proper look around the area now that we are sort of settled in.

Until then … P, H, S, M & C

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