I first came on holiday to the Algarve in 1987 with my boyfriend, Paul. We spent 6 amazing weeks in Almancil.
We got daytime jobs to support us on our stay and to make a bit of extra cash. I worked at The Pig and Whistle and Paul worked for a local builder called Martin.
One night we walked to a local bar / restaurante called Palme D’Oro, and we met some Portuguese guys who wanted to buy us drinks. They were very friendly and chatted away to us in broken English. It didn’t take long before curiosity drew more to our table.
We ended up with a table full of people speaking French, Portuguese and English. From then on we spent many nights like that.
One day we went off with some friend in a car to a café where we met a guy called António. António was on crutches. He was a very good looking man, with a mischievious sparkle in his eyes and he spoke a little English.
He told us how difficult it was in Portugal to survive and work. He did casual work and with a broken leg, he was no longer getting any money.
We bid him farewell and moved onto the next café. António was there too. We had no idea how, until he showed us his motorbike.
We all got on very well and chatted a lot. I joked about with him and told him I was a champion chess player in the UK, and he challenged me to a game.
That evening we went 3 on a bike to a bar in the centre of Almancil where we could play chess. Inevitably the game was over in only a few moves as I am not a champion chess player and António was very disappointed, he had expected more of a challenge.
We had such a fun time. The Portuguese we mixed with were warm and welcoming. They were a lot of fun and had a great sense of humour, almost like scousers! 😂
Back then English people hardly mixed with the Portuguese, so we had surprised them all. Word spread about us and when we met new people they had already heard about us!
We were famous!
Some thought we were French.
I have many a tale to tell about back then. The Man with the Gun, the Shed in the Field and Dinner at Everisto’s. The stories in the links are in Portuguese — the translation and transcripts are in a link in the comments under the video.
That’s it for today. Busy day ahead!
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to clap (tap on the hand!)