We arrive in Coimbra in time to catch the Tango lessons at The Stream, a dance school on the northern outskirts of the city. We meet Hélio and Sónia who teach there and are invited to join their classes as guests. Very nice, clear teaching, and we enjoy seeing them teach the three different levels – beginners, intermediates and advanced. The best way to find out about how someone teaches is to go to their beginners’ classes.

Frank and I’ve been practicing quite a bit in the last month, wherever we could find a suitable space to dance, and it is starting to show. We are both more grounded and fluid with each other in our dance. We found a lovely bandstand by the river in Coimbra:

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It’s lovely to have the time to study, and nice to meet new teachers. We are on the look-out for a new teaching couple to join the Tango Mango next summer.

The bandoneon is also getting a good number of outings per week, and some of the pieces are almost ready to be performed. Very satisfying!

We’ve joined a group of campervans by the nautical club in Coimbra, right next to a swimming pool. People in campervans seem to be a really quiet lot on the whole; they keep themselves to themselves. Often you don’t even know if anyone is in, and contacts rarely go beyond saying hello and exchanging a few bits of useful info about the locality. So I am surprised to see a beautiful parrot in a cage hanging off a tree just outside one of the campervans. The bird and I have a nice 5-minute conversation of fluting sounds, and then he closes his eyes. Maybe I whistled him to sleep.

The city is just a stone’s throw away, across a colourful pedestrian bridge. P1060183


The last few days the weather has been extraordinary. Cold, starry nights with a beautiful full moon are followed by bright sunny days where it’s hot in the sun and really cold in the shade. We’ve been busy loading up all available storage with wood and kindling, just in case we don’t find so many trees where we are going next. We have a good week’s worth stashed away now.

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