SIM Shopping

  Monday, November 7, 2016 / Stephanie / Uncategorized  

The day's mission was to obtain two new SIM cards for our iPads so that we would have data coverage in Portugal; we're establishing quite the collection of SIM cards, I'm sure the teeny things will soon amount to enough to cover an entire wall!  I did a quick search using the marina's wifi to determine preferred data providers in Portugal, then sought the store locations on a Google map for both MEO and Vodafone (doesn't hurt to have one of each to ensure the best coverage).  And we were off to Porto, but first a browse through the local market near the metro station. Portuguese fishermen fish at night; during overnight passages along the coastline, this tactic was proven often when the AIS would display entire fishing fleets exiting their harbors at the same time.  In the morning, the night's catch is fresh at the market.  The market near the metro station felt very local; fish, produce, and chickens, looked healthy and fresh, few people shopped, and there was not another tourist or camera to be seen.By happenstance, we stumbled upon another market along our route in Porto.  This market, although seemingly older and local, was totally touristic.  The aisles were crowded with photo-snapping, gawking tourists (ourselves included although we were legit price checking too).  Here we paused for a very affordable, 10-euro lunch which included a mini-bottle of green wine (remember, not the color simply young grapes - the wine was white), a plate of calamari/rice/fries/salad, and a plate of shrimp/rice/fries/salad.   Just 'round the corner, we hit the big time!  Porto's shopping district. At the mall, MEO and Vodafone were right beside one another.  Brian and I each hopped into line at a different store.  MEO provided me with 2GB of data, including the SIM card, for 10-euros (our typical monthly usage is 2-3GB).  Vodafone provided Brian with 30GB of data, including the SIM card, for 30-euros (whoo! we can watch VIDEOS!).  Mission accomplished!  


  1. From Stephanie Grandjean on Nov 16, 2016
    Thanks for the tip, Mareda! We used Vodafone and MEO for our data and had no issues (thank goodness) with using data too fast. In fact, fortunately when we landed at Isla Graciosa in the Canaries our Vodafone from Portugal still enabled us to send a note home that we were A-OK!

  2. From Stephanie Grandjean on Nov 16, 2016
    Hey Scott & Kitty! We are headed across the Atlantic for the winter...December departure!

  3. From Scott & Kitty Kihner on Nov 07, 2016
    Where are you going to spend the winter? Kitty and I stayed at the marina in Lagos and we loved it. Also, remember that if you stay in Portugal you can buy a car and use your marina address to register in. But if you stay in Spain you will not be able to buy a car. We did a lot of land touring during our winter in Lagos.

  4. From Sailing Mareda on Nov 07, 2016
    Hi Detour, We're just catching up on your adventures after finishing our sailing season, where we sailed around the Iberian peninsula. Seeing your posts from Portugal reminds us of our summer and we have many of the same photos ! Good luck with your SIM cards. We found that the internet with our Spanish and Portuguese SIM cards evaporated very rapidly...something about roaming charges and your device looking for the strongest signal each time. It was extremely frustrating. (and if the Portuguese ports try to convince you to use their favorite weather prediction site windyty, don't ! It has some stupid animations that devour the megabytes !)