Finally we have returned from our “short” trip to the UK. Two and a half weeks became six weeks and then four and a half months later, we were on our way back to Portugal.
It was a surreal experience travelling back, very few people are travelling and Stansted airport only had 7 passenger flights leaving that day. As you might expect the airport was very quiet so no queues. The catering and shops were all closed with the exception of Boots where you could buy a sandwich, you had to queue to get into the shop. As you looked around the airport aircraft were parked but nothing was moving.
The flight was about half full, Lisbon airport was just as quiet with aircraft parked all over the airfield.
Back in Cascais we found the boat was safe if a little grubby. We soon had things unpacked, our only problem has been with the fridge, this was unreliable last summer so this year we hope that it has been fixed properly.
There are few tourists around at the moment. Covid19 measures are very visible around the town. Face masks are mandatory in enclosed spaces, the park has only one entrance and spaces marked out for sitting to ensure people do not get too close. The children’s play areas are still taped off like some crime scene. Restaurants, shops, churches and cinemas and most importantly hairdressers were open. So on Tuesday as a matter of priority both Graham and Judith had hair cuts. If you have lost or forgotten your face masks vending machines are being installed all around the town dispensing 4 masks for 1 euro. The beaches have people enjoying the sun but people are keeping a sensible distance apart. One other noteworthy thing is the distinct lack of litter on the beaches when compared to the photos in recent british newspapers. It seems that the Portuguese manage to carry their litter back home with them!
The marina is very quiet. There are some boats moving around, some heading home. As we mentioned in our last blog, with all the uncertainty we have decided to base ourselves in Cascias and delay our trip to the Algarve and Southern Spain until next year when we hope that Covid 19 will be under control. Staying in Cascias will not be too hard, we have friends here and we found a good Church community over the winter. We have been back there and had lunch with a fellow Brit who lives in Cascias.
We still have a few jobs to do on the boat and then we will get out for a sail to make sure we can still remember how to sail.