Tell me a bit about yourself
I’ve travelled the world. I worked for an international oil company so I think I’ve been to every continent in the world, including Antarctica. I travelled like that for many, many years and then I lost my job about 7 years ago so I decided to make a living here (in the Algarve, Aljezur) through tourism. I’ve always worked in tourism, or at least been focused on it even when working in different sectors. Very many years ago when I was about 21, I worked in France and Greece and Holland and I was a holiday rep for a couple of camping companies. I backpacked around the world for 2.5 years, in fact actually that’s a lie, it wasn’t even a backpack. I went with nothing. I’ve always been travelling and have lived in a number of different countries but not as long as I have lived here in Portugal. I’m an adventurer, I have a land-rover and motorbikes. I also do part time acting, I do anything to survive nowadays. Tourism isn’t very big here, so we have to multitask (my wife and I) to get the tourists in. We have three holiday houses; my wife does the walking tours and I do the motorbike and jeep tours. This is my hobby and passion. We mix and match, every day we’re busy but every day brings something different.
For all of our tours, if people get in touch with us with plenty of advanced warning then, because we are tailormade, then we can throw in a bottle of champagne or fizzy wine for the sunset and things like that. If people pre-book in advance, then we can discuss a personalised itinerary for people. We prepare all the food so if someone turns up who is Vegan or Vegetarian who hasn’t given us advanced warning, we won’t be able to prepare the food but plenty of notice will give us time to specialise the picnic and experience to you. You get an expert guide that knows the area and speaks Portuguese so can give you a personal and local experience of the area. We go the extra mile to give people those specialities. Everything is low key here. We do the local farmers market on Saturday. If it was in Britain people would be paying a fortune for this produce because it is all organic. But the Portuguese don’t label it as ‘organic’ they just know it that this is the way that they grow things.
We try to show this area to people. Because I am sort of an adventurer, rather than physically sitting them down or taking them for a walk we try to boot them out of the jeep and do things with them. It could be a walk along the cliff tops, it could be a swim in a secret lake or a little bit of sandboarding a swim in the ocean or boogie boarding. We try to make it an active experience, nothing crazy, if we have a 70-year-old lady we won’t force her to go sandboarding. We try to get people out into the nature. I strongly believe that if you can walk through the nature then you are connected. Try and get out and about, get a little bit of a sweat on and encourage people to get involved with the nature.
What do you love most about your location?
I love Portugal for a couple of reasons. One the Portuguese are very friendly and very easy going. There’s no real drama they are just quite happy to get on and do things as long as they’re not really causing trouble. They are also very family orientated, and since I have become a dad I appreciate that this is a very good place to have a family. It is a very secure environment and its very nice. On top of that, we’re on the west coast and I don’t surf much anymore but I like getting in for a surf every now and again. And it’s just stunning around here. It’s like a little box that people have put under the Christmas tree and forgot about that has only just been opened up 25 years later. The area takes things quite slow and that’s the beauty of it, it’s not fast and not overrun with people. There is definitely a community spirit in this area. It’s physically beautiful, the weather is good, the people are nice, the food is fantastic, it’s really a good place to be. If you are going to be trapped anywhere, this is the place to get trapped.