Living in the small, rural hamlet of Brejos do Assa, in the Setúbal Peninsular in central Portugal, life in lockdown over the past three months has, in some ways, not been too distant from the way it was before it all began. This is a small village. Not much happens and not many people visit. Here, life has gone on much the same way as before – the elderly men still gather outside the café, smoking and putting the world to rights, not a face mask between them – except that Dona Natalía who runs the village supermarket/delicatessen/post office/unofficial community centre has finally agreed to wear a face visor.
The Portuguese are a pragmatic nation and, apart from Dona Natalía, naturally cautious when it comes to health so people were already practising a level of social distancing long before temporary legislation was introduced. We have yet to see any police having to enforce lockdown restrictions in our area, they don't need to, people are simply compliant.
For us, the biggest impact has of course been the cancellation of all our travel plans. Ironically, we had more holidays booked for 2020 than in any year since we left the UK way back in 2003 and to date, we've had to cancel two work trips and postpone three holidays. On the up side, we live on a small farm next door to extensive meadows and cork forest so we can go walking every day and are enjoying the wild flower displays; the storks that nest on the roof of a nearby farm; and the egrets that ride the backs of sheep and follow the plough in their search for insects. Unfortunately, the terrain is completely flat so our legs are in for something of a shock once we can travel and get back to serious walking again!
Where’s first on your list?
Depending when and where restrictions are lifted, we are hoping to visit the Norwegian fjords by boat
; we were due to travel there earlier this year to celebrate our Pearl Wedding Anniversary.