Lets talk about the weather for a little bit! Since I arrived here it had been raining straight for *six* days and on Wednesday night we had an incredible thunderstorm. The day after we woke up to blue skies and temperatures back in the high 20s. Unfortunately for you folks over in the UK, our rain is now your rain as it has been swept up north.
Here’s a very exciting video of rain (I’m working on my video technique!):
The rain has been both a blessing and a curse for the Portuguese. Before it started the temperatures were in the 40s and the ground was cracking, so a bit of rain was welcomed. However, this was just before the harvest time for grapes and it’s a little known fact here in Portugal that rain fall will damage the grapes, so they started picking like mad!
As far as I’m aware, grapes will tend to be picked at the end of September and beginning of October. For farmers that grow them in large vineyards on an industrial scale, they will load large boxes of picked grapes onto the back of antique-looking tractors and drive them to where they will be processed. After my parents picked me up from Porto airport it rained the whole way to the house and we passed many of these tractors with the drivers holding umbrellas over their heads.
Many Portuguese will have vines growing in their garden or small allotments and these are kept for their own personal use. As we found out during a break in the rain, when we took the dogs for a walk and bumped into Tula and Maria as they spent their afternoon picking grapes on their allotment. We asked Tula (on the left) what she was going to do with her grapes and she did an impression of downing a bottle of wine, so that answers that!
However, they did have an abundant of grapes and before we knew it we had been given a carrier bag full of grapes. That’ll keep us going for a long time!