Tuesday, November 29, 2005
As the sun sinks...
I return to my blog after a week spent in southern Portugal. The occasion was to celebtrate my father's 75th birthday which fortunately co-incided with a bout of my winter depression.
The Algarve region,on account of its southerly lattitude, gets 2 extra hours of daylight per day at this time of year, and last Thursday the temperature was in the low 20s. Here in Blighty, the sun has almost sunk below the horizon at 3:50pm.
Despite rain and electrical storms last weekend, the week soon improved, and my father and I spent most afternoons walking the hills and coastline of the Algarve. Dad celebrated his birthday by swimming in the Atlantic!
I returned to Gatwick on Friday night to find the temperature 20 degrees colder and southern Britain hit by snow storms and freezing fog.
To make matters worse, I find that my utility company has increased gas and electricity prices by 15% in my absence. I am now paying nearly £3 per day to keep warm and the lights burning - it is obviously time to commence with my home heat and power generation scheme.
Here I am on the Algarve coastal footpath having walked from Armacon to Benagil and back.
The sea temperature is still about 17 deg C, and the night-time temperature seldom drops below 15 C at this time of year.
The Algarve has tremendous attractions to the Northern European at this time of year. Warm climate, sunshine, extra 2 hours daylight, fertile soils with crops in full growing season. Economically you can live easily for about £20 per day, with food, wine and beer ( & fags) not subject to the crippling levels of taxation we "enjoy" in the UK.
For those who want to experience the Algarve out of season, try Flightline or www.flymonarch.com where return tickets cost as little as 39 Euros.
Roll on retirement, I know where I'm headed!