As soon as I was back, we had two main things to start working on. First was to plan our holidays for the year and secondly was what sort of house can we built. We would need to consider both as the house and actions required may drive when we needed to be in Portugal.
Maria & Paulo had already said that they would be more than happy to help us through the process of finding architects and builders and anything else that we might need. This is much more than any Estate agent would do in the UK, but this is Portugal and things are very different. It was lovely to experience the partnership / friendly approach and the fact that although they had done their bit, they really wanted to help us through the next stages. We were to experience this many times over the coming months, so if you are going to do something similar, do develop a partnership, it makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable.
Scheduling was going to be key. We knew we would have to drive things a bit, so let’s plan for a spring and a Summer Break; we can leave any others till later in the year. After a review of the academic year, remember Teresa is in education. We decided we would try for a week at Easter and just over two weeks in the summer, August time. We had really enjoyed the drive down and back in the previous year and wanted to do it again, but felt for a week it was too much. We also wanted to maximize our time in Portugal. So the decision was to fly for Easter and drive again in August as we were planning 16 days overall.