Enjoying winter in Algarve with a stroll and dunk on Praia do Barril, Santa Luzia.
It’s been a wonderful winter in Algarve. Very little rain or cloud to block the glorious winter sun. I watched a few videos of the storm in the UK yesterday and was reminded of the many wet and windy days in Devon last winter. It’s almost one year since we packed up the car and headed back to Algarve and I don’t think we’ve had more than 7 days of rain in that whole year. I know that there’s more to life than just the weather, but waking up to sunshine pouring through the bedroom window puts a smile on my face before I’ve even opened my eyes.
Today we had some lovely vegan pancakes for breakfast with maple syrup and cinnamon, a huge pot of Jasmin tea and a compulsory double espresso before we headed out to the beach. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I posted a cheeky photo of me naked on the beach this week (scroll down to view). All rather unplanned, but I want to see more natural ageing bodies in my feed so I feel I need to contribute to the cause. I’d like to say that I always stroll along the beach completely naked (it is a designated naturist beach), but I simply don’t feel the need to cast away my clothes. Last year I was stung 6 times by wasps over the course of the summer, the thought of getting stung on any of my lady bits is enough to make my eyes water. Personally I think most people look better clothed. Having said that, I don’t have a problem with nudity, and the double standard of the male vs female nipple is beyond my comprehension. Free all the nipples!
Sparkles and a dunking.
I decided to take a dip today and was enjoying the view of the sun dancing on the ocean beyond my toes as I floated in the Atlantic, when I noticed a rather large wave heading my way. In those few seconds I was trying to calculate whether the wave would break before me, or if I had the option to simply ride over the wave and continue my wallowing. Mid calculation, I realised it was time to grab my sunglasses and jump as high as I could to avoid the wave that was about to break ON MY HEAD.
… I managed to hold onto my sunglasses but lost my cap as I tumbled in the wave. I popped up just in time to see the next one coming so made the decision to dive through it rather than try to avoid it. Shaun was on the beach approaching the shoreline, wondering whether I would appear laughing or gasping for air after my slamming from the wave. I gave him a thumbs up to indicate I didn’t need saving and scouted around for my hat, whilst making a swift exit from the sudden swell. There was a bit of a rip current, so I swam parallel to the beach until I was safely out of it, enabling me to easily return to shore. Bikini off, my lovely hooded towel poncho on, and it was time to soak up some sun in the dunes.
It’s a dog’s life.
Ginger and Bird love the beach. As soon as they see me packing my backpack with my swim stuff they run to the car to jump in. We have collapsible crates in the back of the car which they snuggle in to and get comfy for the 5 minute car ride to the boardwalk by the beach. We used these crates when we drove from the UK to Portugal and I can highly recommend them for anyone wanting comfort for their dogs, with the convenience of easy storage when not in use.
Bird loves to swim in the shallows looking for fish, Ginger on the other hand, likes to run along the high tide line of flotsam and jetsam to find disgusting things to either eat or roll in. She almost died twice from eating washed up palm oil on the beach in Devon about 7 years ago. Now she prefers dead birds and rotting fish, the smellier the better. There’s a risk she could eat palm oil again, so I could put a muzzle on her, but that would prevent her from enjoying her game of chasing Bird with sticks and fetching the ball. I do worry so keep an eye on everything she munches on.
This week we’ve had the most amazing sunsets, one of the best things about winter in Algarve. As my friend Sarah once said, you need clouds to make a good sunset. I guess the same can be said about a good life. We need a few dark days to appreciate the good ones.
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