Rain stops play....alot.

Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Portugal  , Alentejo,
Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rain rain rain rain rain. Thunder. Lightning. Beautiful rainbow. Rain rain rain. Wind (and not just that caused by the bean soup). Is this really the sunny Portuguese winter we've come for?!

Despite the very on/off weather we had a great time in Carol's wild valley. When it rained, we drank a lot of tea, and when the sun dared to shine we'd high-tail it outside to weed, dig, make bonfires, smash up rocky floors with a pick axe, clean the water tank, and maybe lug some wood. During our stay we learnt important lessons in water conservation (solar water pumps apparently don't play nice when it's not sunny), debated for hours on what makes a perfect cup of tea, and watched our thighs become as big as tree trunks from the many walks up the hill to the van.

In the tradition of wwoofing/helpxing, we spent the entire period being extremely well fed by our host, and we enjoyed some cracking games of 'Maggs' game' around the table in the evening (your game has gone international, Maggs!). Laura drank too much beer and ate too much brie. Again. However, she has found her 'pick-axe eye' and her muscles are bigger. That in itself calls for a brie and beer celebration.

Thursday 31st December was due to be our last day at Carol's....as long as we could make it up the dirt track and out of the valley. The near constant rain had made things muddy and slippery, and a 4x4 Brian the van ain't. After a sunny spell that had managed to last nearly an hour, we declared the steep dirt track surely dried out, gave goodbye thanks and hugs, and tentatively followed in the tyre tracks of a 4x4 pick up truck who was leaving at the same time. We experienced a few slightly white knuckle moments but the track was pretty solid, and we breathed a very big sigh of relief when we got to the end. A phone call back to Carol's to let them know we'd made it out of the valley, and off to the Algarve we drove....basking in sunshine!
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