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Portugal and back.

12th April 2013
We have returned to the UK from Portugal. Not exactly sure why! its been freezing. Can't moan though as we have had a fantastic time down in the South of Portugal. Hello to Ian and Caroline, Peter and Freda, Ken and Ruth, Malcolm and Irene, Peter, Rob and Sarah, Sue and Bruce, Kay and Colin, Bernie and Ann and Peter and her ladyship. Yes and many more. We met with, cycled with ate with, travelled with quiz nighted with, bird watched with and took photographs with friends we met as we travelled.
The weather down there was a little damp at times but that did not dampen spirits. Regular days out travelling by bike or car meant less time spent on camp, and the rally we were on sort of passed us by. We did longer bike rides up steeper hills than before, and thanks to Peter for pushing us along. Thanks also to Freda and Ruth for making Marion very happy to win the final quiz night by a country mile. You will find images from the time spent in the Algarve at http://www.flickr.com/photos/maxwelllawphotography/
I was also keen on taking more travel and people images as I made attempts to engage folk in conversation before asking for their picture. This was a whole new experience for me, and one which was greatly rewarding. The Grey Nomads project is still on!
There were also some seriously good bird watching /photograhic days seeing Shrikes and Eagles, Fan Tailed Warblers Ring Ouzel and any more. I also discovered "Chiggers" which apparently SeaSick Steve once sang about. We twice visited a remote abandoned farmhouse, the second time to find my hat but all I came back with was these tiny itching little blighters which left scars which I still have!
We travelled up to Castro Verde to stay for a week. We ended up staying over 3 weeks. The weather was poor and wet so we abandoned plans to travel to the north of Portugal and stayed put. The campsite had Storks and a 300 strong Cattle Egret roost right outside. Everybody greeted us in a friendly respectful way. We discovered the League for Protection of Nature (LPN) doing great work to ensure endangered species thrive in the area. Rob and Sarah joined us on safari and we had a magnificent day photographing Bustards, Eagles, Stone Curlew, Lesser Kestrel and many many more. In a period of 2 hours one afternoon we watched Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Golden Eagle and Long Legged Buzzard drifting overhead. The countryside was stunning and cycling sublime.
I could go on and on about it all, but then we stopped in Zarautz on our way back through Spain on the North Coast, and then Le Teich reserve near Bordeaux, where I spent hours getting images of the White Spotted Bluethroat.
Back in the UK and after the decorating of mums lounge, we are getting set for a trip to Iceland and the next two exhibitions, in Chichester Oxmarket and Welney WWT.