Caroline and Sven's further adventures 2016 travel blog

Salt ponds near to Tavira where the sea water is evaporated in...

Making sure we behave ourselves at the beach and don't swim too...

Junk fish sculpture at Tavira beach.

Wide sandy beach, clear water, blue skies.

A typical Portuguese look - whitewashed house, terracotta tiles and colourful bouganvilia...

Entrance to our room at our WOOFing job.

Trimming "donkey feet" off the base of an olive tree.

Sven by the side balcony of Dorine's beautifully restored and renovated house.

Almonds are hit off the tree and onto a net with a...

Almonds were transported to the house in a wheelbarrow. These are not...

Almonds attached to a branch. Some need quite a firm whack to...

Carob pods are also hit down from the trees with long bamboo...

Sacks of carob pods ready for pick up to be taken to...

Sorting through the almonds, ensuring their outer pod is removed before they...

Some of the carob pods on the way to the storage depot.

Unloading carob pods in the storeroom.

Taking water to horses that had been left tied up out in...

A cork tree that has had its cork removed recently.

Thick cork layer that is removed every 9 years. All wine bottles...

Lunch on Calatro Island, a ferry ride from Tavira, just before returning...


We spent a couple of days in Tavira, in a guest house upstairs from the middle of the cobbled town square. Here, salt is harvested where sea water is trapped and evaporates. To get to the beach from Tavira you need to take a ferry across the estuary to a wide, uncrowded sandbar beach.

Our final WOOFing job was with a Dutch lady who has been in Portugal for 16 years. Dorine's first three years were spent completely renovating the house, which includes a homestay suite and a swimming pool. She has 2 1/2 hectares of figs, almonds, olives and carob trees. We went with her one day to Pilates class. A while since we had done it!

We had a few different jobs here - cut donkey feet off olive trees before harvest in October, knocked down carob pods from the big trees onto nets and put them into sacks and knocked down almonds onto nets to be collected. The almond outer casing and leaves needed be separated from the nut before it is taken to a local person who has a nut cracking machine. The bags of carob pods were taken by truck to a depot where they are stored, then sent for processing.

On our day off we took the ferry from Olhao to Calatro, a fishing village on a sandy off shore island where we walked along the (almost) deserted beach to the lighthouse end where we lunched and caught the ferry back.

There is one interesting Portuguese innovation we have discovered in smaller towns. The traffic lights through the main street are set at green, but will be triggered to go red if people drive faster than 50km through the town. Seems to work well!

We have flown back to Stockholm to help Chelsea pack and move as Raul has gone for Red Cross to Ukraine for 3 weeks. His apartment sold rather quickly so they are renting meanwhile and will look for a place to buy later.

... And so ends our travel journal for this trip. We fly from Stockholm to Canada on 6 October in time for Skyla's second birthday. We will stay with Krysta and Steve initially, awaiting the birth of their second baby due 24 October. Hopefully he/she will be early or at least on time as I return to Stockholm on 31 October again hopefully in time for Chelsea and Raul's first baby due November 8. Sven will remain in Canada and I'll fly back just before Xmas.

We are all hoping to congregate in Kelowna for Xmas this year with Chelsea, Raul and new baby joining us for a few weeks.

We will need to get ourselves organised with a vehicle first and then somewhere to live. The apartment we bought two years ago is rented out until June 2017 and we have decided to sell it and buy a townhouse.

We can still be reached on our email giles-hansen@xtra.co.nz. It is always nice to hear from you and keep up with the news.

We are looking forward to welcoming two new grand children before the end of the year and next year getting settled and seeing how retired life really is. Still feels just like we are on holidays. We will make sure we get an abode with a spare room so you can come for a visit!

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