Archive for April, 2011

Wide-mouthed Bass World Champion, Paulo Jorge Ramos, makes the Quinta’s “Fishing Holidays in Portugal” a success!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

IMG_1049, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

The Wide-mouthed Bass World Champion, Paulo Jorge Ramos, lives in Santa Clara and is regularly taking the Quinta’s guests fishing for this marvelous sports species this year.
This picture shows him picking up Christophe and Alexandre Normand from France at the Quinta’s dock for a day’s outing.
Christophe later said that the day had been “Splendide! Excellent! Mieux que je ne le pensais!” And of Paulo Jorge? “Il connait très bien le lac et ses poissons, n’est-ce pas? Magnifique!”

Shock and Horror as Portugal’s Financial Crisis cuts length of 25th April Fireworks display

Monday, April 25th, 2011

As Portugal’s financial crisis begins to bite, so there are signs that the authorities are beginning to tighten their belts, and one manifestation of this was the length of Odemira’s fireworks display to mark the Carnation Revolution of 1974 - when the country kicked out the Fascist regime of Salazar and Caetano and swung wildly to the left, (the least bloodthirsty revolution in recorded history), - being reduced from its usual half hour duration to an extravaganza of just 15 minutes.
Sad to see it so small of course, as this date was the defining moment in recent Portuguese history, and more so in this area than in many others in Portugal, and thus deserves to be remembered and celebrated here more than anywhere else, but the times they are a’changing  and we simply hope that the Câmara, (our local County Council), will still be able to save some money to repair the roads around here which are falling to bits at an ever-increasing rate.
Anyway, enough of my whingeing! It’s great to see that, even if it has to be shortened to suit the times, the display continues its normal high quality and I post the above for the many fans of this spectacle who couldn’t make it down to celebrate with us this weekend.

Another new species in the Quinta’s gardens!

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

IMG_0753, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Another new species has colonised the Quinta’s gardens!
It’s fantastic how as the garden matures so it becomes more and more attractive and new birds appear here.
This Cirl Bunting has been singing away prominently for the last week or so but every time he’s seen my camera he’s high-tailed it into the undergrowth … until yesterday afternoon, and I’m over the moon with having got this shot.

More stunning flowers

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Poppies-0475, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Another quick roadside shot of some of the beautiful, beautiful flowers at this time of year. This time they’re just common poppies - but in such profusion as to take your breath away, and, mixed in as they are with the crops in the fields, they turn every view into an impressionist painting.

Sunrise over the Plains

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Sunrise-0573, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

I spend, as a lot of you will know, an inordinate amount of my time showing our guests the birdlife that surrounds the Quinta, and many many mornings I’m up before dawn to be in the right place at the right time. The early bird, as they say, catches the worm, but if you want to catch the bird then there’s no option than to be up even earlier.

I know some people have trouble getting up early, especially on holiday, but there are some wonderful compensations, and none better in my opinion than to see the sun “come up like thunder” across the Plains of the Alentejo.

Flower-filled days in the Alentejo; what a Holiday!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Flower-meadow-0107, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Another small taste of what the countryside is like around here at this time of year. A real joy to be lucky enough to have a “job” that gives me so much time and opportunity to see the stunning flowers that surround the Quinta right now. The birds are simply fantastic too; all the latest postings can be seen on the Quinta’s Birdwatching site.

Bee-eater-9915

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Bee-eater-9915, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Sometimes everything comes together and I get a shot I’m truly proud of; this was one of those times a couple of days ago …

Spanish-Festoon-0019

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Spanish-Festoon-0019, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

The warm days of Spring have produced a truly wonderful brood of butterflies this year, and these Spanish Festoons are some of the best. Everything seems to be buzzing at the moment and with the streams all still flowing it really is the most perfect setting for long lazy walks nearby.

Wild-Gladioli-0048

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Wild-Gladioli-0048, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Last year I saw this particular meadow full of wild gladiolus down in Cortebrique but failed to take a snap of it as I was in too much of a hurry; a mistake i was sure not to repeat this year!

A real success for the Quinta!

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Frank-&-Daniela-7.4.11-9761, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Driving through Cortebrique this morning and someone shouted out to me, “Congratulations!”
“What for?” I asked.
“Why, for being #1 on Google of course; didn’t you know?”
“#1 on Google? I had no idea”, I replied truthfully. Though both Daniela and I work hard to promote the Quinta and countryside tourism in general in this area, I had no idea we’d apparently been so successful. “What search terms were you using?” I asked, intrigued.
“Quinta Portugal,” my friend replied, “and what’s so clever of you is that “Quinta” isn’t even in the name of your site. You beat all the big boys, all the other tourist sites and even all the “Quinta for sale” sites. Very smart. Congratulations! How did you do it?”
I had to come clean of course and say I didn’t know; as I say we work hard at our internet presence here, and maybe our Birding Site helps in this respect, but whether I know how it came about or not, it’s still a huge feather in our cap and we’re justly proud of ourselves and all of us hope our many friends and volunteers will be too, as it’s just as much thanks to all of you as to anything we’ve done.
Right, enough scribbling, I’m off down to the village to get the bubbly!