St Albans couple launch eco-friendly holidays
TRUDGING through the mud and torrential rain at the Glastonbury festival in 2007 prompted Calvin and Nadine Newport to question their future in Britain. The couple, who met online five years ago while Calvin still lived in St Albans, were fed up with the
TRUDGING through the mud and torrential rain at the Glastonbury festival in 2007 prompted Calvin and Nadine Newport to question their future in Britain.
The couple, who met online five years ago while Calvin still lived in St Albans, were fed up with the gloomy weather and decided there and then to up sticks and make a fresh start in sunnier climes.
Within months they were living their dream in the Algarve and have since set up an innovative eco-retreat business on their land in the countryside near Portim�o, which has been met with rave reviews.
Calvin, who grew up in Marshalswick where his parents still live, said: "After we met we decided to travel the world. We bought a round-the-world ticket with a view to finding the ideal place to live. But after six months we were fed up with living out of rucksacks and in youth hostels, so we came home.
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"The next time we were really considering moving again was when we were sitting in the rain at the Glastonbury festival and we just thought, "What are we doing here?"
The couple decided that the Algarve would be the place for them as Nadine lived in Portugal as a teenager and soon started house hunting.
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Calvin explained that they were discussing whether to put in an offer on a property they liked when they received a call from the estate agents back home to say that somebody had offered the asking price for their three bedroom house in Wiltshire - but they needed to move in within a month.
Luckily, the couple selling the Algarve property, which had five acres of land and a swimming pool, wanted a quick move too and Calvin and Nadine were unpacking within six weeks.
But the couple still hadn't decided on what they were going to do for a living.
Calvin continued: "When we left we hadn't decided what we were going to do, we had just decided that we wanted to change our lifestyle."
Calvin had always worked in food at festivals and Nadine, who has two teenage sons living in England whom she regularly visits, so their initial thoughts were to create a camp site.
But not wanting to do anything run-of-the-mill, they decided to do it with a twist and they created a tipi and yurt site, having been inspired by a similar place in Padstow which they visited on their first holiday together.
Tipi Algarve opened in April 2008 after the help of volunteer backpackers travelling the region in putting the camp together.
The couple, who have a labrador called Sunny and a husky called Chief who are very popular with guests, describe it as chilled-out and ethical "glamping" (glamorous camping) where holidaymakers can be "at one with nature."
But Calvin said that the onsite bar was full of fun in the evenings as guests relaxed and got to know each other.
The concept is going down a storm with holidaymakers and the couple are already getting repeat bookings.
They currently have five tipis and one yurt, which have the luxury of beds and cooking facilities. Although there is potential for expansion, the couple want to keep the site low-key so as not to spoil its serenity.
For more information about visiting Calvin and Nadine, visit www.tipialgarve.com