This wall of pottery is outside a big local pottery store in Sagres. We drive by it all the time. Today we decided to stop. I’m feeling very Portuguese in my canvas striped shoes that I bought for 5 Euros at a little shop here.
Yes, Stella is the boss of the beach. We ran around barefoot and it was warm today in the sun. The water is cold and gorgeous.
Janet and Stella running around on the beach. This is Praia Cordoama.
Praia Cordoama . A day for bare feet.
Very much a beach shack … Praia Cordoama.

Sagres Beaches

There is little variation with the sea water temperature throughout the year ranging from 15°C in the winter to only 19°C in the height of the summer. This lack of variation is attributed to the Atlantic Ocean and the general sea currents from the north and west. If you are spending any extended periods within the sea, you will need a decent wetsuit.

PORTUGUESE SALT and other foods.

Portuguese salt is exceptional. Flor De Sal or Fleur de Sel is divine. This one has basil in it. Flower of Salt means that it was harvested from evaporated sea water. It’s a beautiful process described in the link below.

One of our first Portuguese culinary joys was the salt. Our first housesit host welcomed us with a gorgeous home cooked meal of salmon steaks, broccoli, light salad, and wild rice. The meal was delicious and he is an excellent cook… and he and his wife introduced us to Portuguese Salts. Right away we loved the jars, the presentation, the history, the flavors … the whole thing. I promise to bring some back with me.

Photo of can of tuna fish, because the canned tuna here is SOOOO good.. BOM is so far our favorite brand. For Sardines as well. Tuna is called ATUM. This can says Atum em Posta which is our basic chunk tuna fish. This is in water, “ao natural”. I also love the version in olive oil, “azeite” and there is one with olive oil and oregano. Insanely good.
Vegetables! We do a lot of our own cooking and shop often. Working out of a small fridge which is absolutely fine. I took all these vegetables: carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, and broccoli …. and made a soup. Very Portuguese. You blend the whole thing up. Also, as a side note, onions here are incredibly flavorful…sweet and crunchy and tasty… I’ve heard others say this as well. Tomatoes are firmer (at least at this time of year?) paler, and very tasty.

Bom apetite.


You can’t buy hand sanitizer anywhere so Donny made his own.  Alcohol and lemongrass aloe.

We are taking care of ourselves.  But no panic around here that we are aware of.  People go about life. And lots of hand washing. !

ZUMBA:   This gal, Stela, spelled with one L, works here at Pontalaia where Donny and I are staying. (She’s one of the reasons we like it here so much!)   She is from Brazil and has lived in Sagres for 15 years.  The other day she invited me to a Zumba class here in little Sagres.  Of course I went… turns out she is the instructor.  Never in my life have I attended such a class of VIBRANT music, FABULOUS energy, all ages and body types.  Stela could seriously dance on the world stage…she’s incredible.  And she’s a great teacher.  What a fun fun thing.  I keep going back. 52024148_2451216634906468_7715697477822709760_n

WINDY!!   It’s very windy here in Sagres the past few days.  Sunny and the windy.


About 8 kilometers from Sagres we drove to Pria do Telheiro.

Praia do Telheiro Google Maps. I’m getting better a screen shots etc. but still learning. Donny looks around on Google Satellite and finds cool places to explore.

Just about 8 kilometers from Sagres is another super gorgeous beach location. There are so many places like this with nice access but off the regular roads. We met some young guys from Germany putting on their wetsuits and getting into the surf. We also met an English couple about our age who bought a house about a half an hour north of the beach area. They are still working in England but come here a lot. You never know who you might encounter standing on a cliff looking at the ocean!!

Donny and Stella on a rock overlooking the ocean. Yes, Stella is smiling. I saw her go and sit next to Donny and lean against his back and I’m so glad I got this shot.
Janet and Stella on the cliffs over the sandy beach. There is a semi-challenging path down to the beach but the surfers dash down it in their bare feet carrying their surfboards. We were slower!! But Stella hiked the whole thing.
Cliffs, water, sand, wind…. it’s essential to us.
Again… so glad I got this shot. Surfer and his footprints headed into the water. We will go back here often and hang out. Bringing a picnic next time.

I’M SORRY, I DON’T SPEAK PORTUGUESE…. but I’m getting better!!

It is much better to say, “I don’t speak Portuguese”, than… “Do you speak English?”

We have found that many many many people DO speak English and are happy to do so.

But we let them decide.

Our vocabularies are definitely growing.

Donny’s is quite good at remembering words. I learn them, but forget them.

I also get a mix of languages going… I always want to say “BLANCO” or “BLANC” for white.

That’s not the right word…

The word for white is “BRANCO.” Yes, with an “R”.

We are embracing the challenges. And definitely learning.


We wrote many posts about learning Portuguese and teaching Portuguese to foreigners in this blog. But what about the Portuguese themselves? Which languages do they learn? Is it easy to live in Portugal without speaking Portuguese? Are Portuguese open to other cultures? These are some interesting questions that we are going to answer for you.
Portuguese has become a very touristic country. Over the last few years, there has been a huge touristic boom, principally in Lisbon, in Algarve and in Porto. The streets are packed with visitors as soon as the season starts, the airport reaches the maximum of its capacity and you’d better book your room early.
However, the pale people with blue eyes walking around the Portuguese capital are not only tourists: Lisbon also counts its number of happy expats, who where once enchanted by the city and decided to stay. Unlike most of the other international cities in the world, Lisbon is often chosen for the place itself rather than because of an independent professional relocation. Another reason why the expat community keeps growing in Portugal might be how easy it actually is to go about in English. Portuguese people learn English from a very young age and already have a very decent level when they reach the last years of highschool. They also seem very comfortable expressing themselves in another language, as if it was something natural for them to do. The older generation might not be as eager to speak English, but that is also the case in almost every other country where English is not one of the national language.
Next to English, it is not uncommon to hear the Portuguese speak French as well. It used to be the first foreign language taught at school before it was replaced by English. The French are also the most important touristic group in Portugal, which encouraged the workers of the tourism industry to learn French. It might actually be one of the reasons why they love Portugal so much, coming full circle.
And what about Spanish? It is very easy for Portuguese people to learn Spanish. So easy that they don’t need to, as they can understand most of it. They would prefer you to talk English rather than trying to make your Spanish sound Portuguese though.
To conclude, compared to other Romance countries, the Portuguese are quite good at learning other languages. It might be due to the fact that they don’t dub movies, or because they have always been more open to the rest of the world. Being a smaller country at the end of Europe, it was a natural evolution. Having said that, it is always very much appreciated if you try to speak Portuguese


We follow one site in particular that is a group forum and it is just loaded with great, inter-active, up-to-date information.

Americans & FriendsPT on Facebook.

There is a wonderful moderator and the quality of information is really high.

There are also “Files” so you can search for almost anything that may have been addressed before and is available in the files: for example: legal info, VISA info, banking, pet travel, shopping items, language learning, recycling, schooling, parties… on and on.

Americans & FriendsPT posts meet ups and other great stuff that’s happening all over.

It’s SUPER. And has helped us a lot.

Another great site (mentioned previously) is Pure Portugal. This is their regular website but they are also on Facebook. There is also Pure Portugal Living the Good Life. Which is a group discussion and posting forum of all kinds of great things.

Tree trimming? Wells? Special cooking ingredients?

Thank you to the internet and to the fine people who take the time to provide a resource like this.


As most of you know, we joined TrustedHousesitters which is an International Organization that matches property and pet owners with house/pet sitters.

It is $100 to join for a year and you can search by country. And dates. And the choices are enormous. And fun.

For us it wasn’t overwhelming because we only searched in Portugal. But the opportunities appear limitless all over the globe.

The TrustedHouseSitter site is easy to use, the concept is clear, and so far our experience has been absolutely terrific.

We have had two great house/pet sits so far, and we are scheduled for one more before we head back to the USA. Housesitting has given us the chance to connect with people who live in Portugal and experience daily life as one would. The pets are super fun to get to know as well and this has been a great fit for us. And Stella. Traveling with your own pet as we do means that certain situations aren’t always the right match, but we have enjoyed the process of discovery with all kinds of potential sits and the search itself is a great education. Many connections and great conversations.

And amazingly, the other evening, when we were in Porto at the Bar of Soap at the writer’s group, we met a super gal who is also a Trusted HouseSitter! She has been doing this for quite a while all over the world. We made another friend.

Love to all the pets. !!

Donny and super host dog doing some HouseSitting. Our first House Sit in Portugal.
Amazing places to discover.
Donny with darling house kitty making new friends. Cats love Donny. Mutual.
Janet and house host, Suki. Suki took us on lots of walks. Stella and Suki became friends, too. There were two beautiful kitties there, too. Bella and Dottie.