Home detention

Back in Olhão. A wide range of mixed emotions washed over me. The disappointment of a failed round-the-world bike ride. The feeling of being stuck and not making any progress. The last few months back and forth across Spain felt just a dream that unfolded in the blink of an eye, and in reality I never really left this apartment. But still, somehow, it felt like I was back home. And, as we now have a proper kitchen, at least I was looking forward to the amazing mashed broccoli Sofia makes.

The sense of community and "let's get through this together" philosophy that we felt in Olhão last spring had turned into a negative atmosphere and harsh but ambiguous restrictions. Sometimes everything was closed, sometimes not. The police were enforcing the quarantines with patrols and checkpoints. You were allowed to walk near your home accompanied by someone from the same household, but not much else, and the police were watching.

It was strange to read about the pandemic back home in Sweden. There seemed to be a lot of complaints that there were not enough restrictions, while we tried to live a life in Portugal by avoiding the police. One should be careful what one wishes for, and living in a fascist state is not something to desire, something the Portuguese were well aware of. While we were not quite so oppressed yet, there was a mood of gloom about the society that wasn't fun to bear. Restrictions certainly didn't seem to stop the spread of the virus.

We needed to entertain ourselves to avoid going crazy. We hung out with our friends in secret, walking through the narrow backstreets rather than the main oceanfront road to avoid any police encounter. On those occasions when the restrictions were eased we might meet at the neighbourhood café, but for the most part we socialized behind closed doors.

I spent most of my time in front of the TV or browsing on my phone. That's when I started noticing that I needed to take my glasses off and put them on again more often, depending on the distance I was looking.

The horror! The virus causes ageing!

At first, the restrictions aren't that bad.

Trip to Praia da Falésia.

Working for Arne, refurbishing his roof terrace.

The local café.

Despite the restrictions, the Christmas decorations must be put up!

Tineke is having a vernissage between lockdowns.

The restrictions eased for the holidays and as Swedes do, we went to IKEA for traditional food.

More decorations.

Illegal Christmas party!

Not the most enthusiastic New Years celebration.

They are building a boardwalk across the river, but for now, this is how to do it.

An open bar in the neighbouring town of Fuseta!

Another walk along the salinas.

The daily routine of watching the sunset from our roof terrace.

Police crack down on an old woman who is illegally resting.

Taking a walk in the countryside restores a sense of freedom, for a little while.

Lady, the neighbours dog.

Illegal birthday party!