Part of the Scenery

Well we have been on this campsite for 18 days now, so we have become part of the scenery, and to be honest in our time here we’ve done very little apart from chill out and savour the rest time, we still have our massive plot all to ourselves… it’s heaven.   Christmas came and went, we managed to make time for a few cheeky drinks and make a delicious Christmas roast lunch in our small 1 shelf oven and hob before we then settled down feeling fat and full to watch a few films…

We are just about getting a small WiFi signal up here from the campsites free wifi, it’s just sufficient enough for us to slowly download films and programmes from Netflix during the day, ready for the evening to keep us entertained along the way, we were wondering why the signal had suddenly turned so bad to our own mifi unit and for it to be running so very badly just in the last week or so, we had just assumed the signal was poor up here but looking into it it didnt seem to be the case, it seemed to me the signal should have been sufficient, so I thought it time I looked into it, I managed to take a look into the router settings which due to a poor login design flaw for the mifi unit you can only get to before you first login and it looks like “three” had taken it upon themselves to turn off the roaming in the router settings of the account conveniently just after our little chat with them last week, so after re-adjusting and resetting all the settings to our mifi unit, it seems much better!!! Sneaky are these providers and be warned when they sell you “feel at home, abroad”, “binge, for free on Netflix” or “free to roam” etc… most of this is just sales splatter… double check the small print all is not what it appears to be from these seemingly false advertising descriptions!!! I dare say advertising standards will pick up on it sooner or later and it’ll be a scandal in the media for an hr or so, then cost the providers & companies a few pennies in reimbursements a few will possibly claim at some point but don’t hold your breath, as to be fair it’s how most companies roll and make money…

The last few days here have been stormy with powdery grey coloured storm clouds giving heavy showery downpours in between periods of bright sunshine, sometimes the winds have been so blustery it threatens to blow away anything not secured down around the site, but it was lovely laying in bed last night all snug, dry and warm just listening to the wind howling around us outside and the raindrops tip tapping on the roof….

There’s been some local wildlife visiting the plot and I managed to take a couple of pictures without scaring them away, there’s a pair of Hoopoes who visit daily to feed on the plot, they are a subspecies type similar to the kingfisher or woodpecker family, then there’s the grey wagtails with their lovely colourful lemon yellow plumed chests, also blackbirds and a huge flock of grey coloured magpies, there were approximately 20+ birds just in this one flock that is 20 before I lost count I have never seen a flock of magpies quite so large before…

Toffi has an admirer who goes by the name of Gumbo, he’s a lovely, lively little 9 month old playful little pup, and is very taken by Toffi’s good looks… although unfortunately for him this is not reciprocated by Toffi and he has still yet to win over her affections, he comes by on his walk and barks outside the camp pitch to get Toffi’s attention, I found him very amusing he’s a proper cheeky little fellow whose only vice is that he likes to steal, and he will steal anything he can get his little teeth around, he stole a bag of stale bread much to the horror of his very patient owner until I reassured him it was fine and was only wasted stale bread I was going to feed to the birds, but you have to keep an eye on him as he also tries to steal Toffi’s toys, including her all time and very favoured tennis ball also her rawhide chews… and boy… she would be mad if she caught him!!  Toffi’s eye is much better although still a little red, we could only manage 4 days of the prescribed drops before she refused to allow us anywhere near her with them anymore… Better something than nothing I guess, and it is looking much better so fingers crossed it will be fine.

Pete ordered a mattress topper just before Christmas and it was delivered yesterday, he figured it may help with the transfer of temperatures to the base of the bed, so he is currently busy fitting it and cutting it into the shape of the bed area, so the motorhome is in complete chaos at present, did I mention this topper also weighs a whopping 13kgs… I’m not sure he thought this one out correctly!!! Perhaps he should have ordered a lightweight one… Toffi and I may have to leave him at the roadside if we get stopped and weighed and are found to be overweight by customs and local police!!!

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Donna x

Toffi takes on Salema Beach!!

As I was beginning to start to feel a little bit better and the cough was starting to ease we thought a little walk would help to alleviate my cabin fever and what I call my tetch-y-ness (I’m also overdue by a month now for a hormone jab i usually have every 3 months and it’s taking its toll, my advise is you don’t mess with a women while their hormones are askew!!) so we took a miles stroll down the roadway to Salema beach the day was sunny and warm with not a cloud in the sky,  it was Monday which meant most of it would be closed as most Portuguese take mondays off as part of their weekends and with some places now closed completely until after the Christmas holiday season the place was quiet… Salema is a lovely little village beside an amazing looking golden sandy beach which was also pretty deserted which was ideal for us as Toffi then got to enjoy some beach time and again enjoyed running in and out of the sea for a bit, and I got to take some lovely photos of the place even though I didn’t notice until later my colour settings on the camera were a bit off so some look a little odd, but if this place was in the UK it would be teeming with people on such a lovely day, it was sunny and warm, just so relaxing sitting on the beach for an hour was bliss, the temperature felt at least in its 20’s the place had the feel of a small fishing village to it, although like most similar coastal villages in the UK there are a lot of holiday apartments there now looking out to a sea view, an ideal spot for perhaps a long weekend or week away with the  beach, cafe, bar and a couple of restaurants just a stone’s throw away…

We have had people wandering up to explore the other plots up here on the campsite where we are currently pitched, but once they realise there is only one electric point and that we are already plugged into it they seem to wander off to find somewhere else with electric available, so we get to enjoy the whole pitch greedily to ourselves still… the internet signal is pretty poor here and currently I have been waiting for photos to upload for about 20 minutes before they all just poof magically disappeared again blimey this could take a while…

In the last few days we’ve lounged and relaxed we are still enjoying our spot all to ourselves and have lots of sunshine up here, a couple of days ago on site we noticed a burst mains water pipe at the top of the site whilst walking the dog so informed the site who then worked tirelessly to get it fixed we felt a bit bad for them having a mains water pipe to the camp burst this could have ended in disaster if it couldn’t be fixed and perhaps even prompted the shutting down of the site but luckily they sorted it all out  before we all started running out of water supply so all was well in the world again…

A day after her lovely run on the beach I noticed one of Toffi’s eyes becoming runny and weeping slightly this gradually worsened over the next 24 hrs and I realised our tuff doggy was getting conjunctivitis so it was time to seek out a vet and have her checked over and get some eye drops before it worsened over the holiday season, luckily we had spotted a vets nearby and reception kindly acquired their details for us and ensured they spoke at least a little English, turned out the vet was a lovely man spoke great English… he fully checked out her eye made sure her cornea was healthy, unscratched and that no foreign body or eyelashes etc were in the eye irritating it… thankfully it was all good other than this infection starting, in discussion to find the possible cause the vet asked if she’d been to the beach?!! Turned out she had the day before the symptoms appeared so looked like she had picked up the bacteria from the sand… the vets visit cost us €30 but the drama of putting these drops into Toffi’s eye… well you would think we were trying to kill her!!! Toffi looks like she’s done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson with her eye half shut and refusing to open it, Pete now has a nasty big and bloody scratch all the way down his arm from the dogs dew claw while she was trying to escape his vice like grip and I now have the nickname of Cruella D’Moore the evil dog mother and all because of these eye drops!!! He hadn’t really noticed before but Pete now declares we have a pretty strong dog!!!

Christmas is soon upon us we’ve decided that we just couldn’t be bothered with the big Christmas thing this year but we will be making (or attempting at least…) a nice Christmas dinner and I even managed to get my hands on some Brussel sprouts bonus points again.  We’ve done our Christmas food shopping now, although the fridge freezer seems to be struggling fingers crossed it holds out, how we will cook a Christmas dinner in here is a different matter we have a tiny 1 shelf gas cooker and three rings on the gas hob so this should be good fun (our friend Allyson suggested bbqing the meat we are seriously considering this!!) P.s while shopping we also bought a lovely big cake as a Christmas treat for the staff on the campsite to enjoy and as a thank you after all their hard work with the water issues plus their help with the vet in the last few days… The staff here all adore Toffi and make a big fuss of her when they see her… I think she has many admirers and is relishing in the attention!!!

We are starting to really appreciate bringing the electric bikes and the doggyhut along with us (even if it is hated and barely used by Toffi herself!!!) if we are already set up in a camp we tend to leave Toffi safely in the motorhome to go and do the food shop, we take our electric bikes with the empty doggyhut in tow to the local supermarket (that is if there’s one not too far from the campsites we are on as it saves us having to pack everything away and move the motorhome), so with the completed shopping stowed safely within the doggyhut we then tow it all home on the back of one of the electric bikes… it’s also come in handy lately for refilling the water tank on the motorhome using the 2 x 10 litre bottles we carry, we fill these containers at the campsite tap and carry them up to the motorhome in the doggyhut using the bikes again it takes a few trips but when the the water tank is filled it will then last up to 5-7 days as we are using separate drinking water…

Today I had the first really enjoyable red hot shower at this campsite in all the time we’ve been on the site so far (and it’s been a couple of weeks)… surprisingly it was that hot I even had to turn on the cold tap to mix the water to cool it a little, Pete always seems to come up from the men’s showers bragging about how he’s had such a lovely hot shower but whenever I go down there the water is freezing and ice cold,  I’d even resorted to taking my showers in the motorhome to ensure some warmth especially while I had a bad chesty cough the last thing I wanted was an ice cold shower!!… but today I thought I would give them another chance and it was fabulous, now I’m not sure if the staff took a bit of a hint and maybe checked the temperature of the women’s showers… as the last time I was taking a cold shower there I could hear the staff walking past outside and I think they could have possibly over heard the expletives coming from the abyss of the icy cold shower cubicle that I was inside of at the time… I’m pretty sure they heard me… in fact I’m pretty sure the whole campsite may have heard me!!!… there is no joy in cold icy showers!!!

Until next time… may your showers be always hot and may you have yourselves a very Merry Christmas from the both of us!!!

Donna x

 

 

 

Back to nature, muddy dogs included…

We spent 5 nights at Camping Turismo which is a 4* campsite and has some fabulous looking facilities on site, we met up with friends for the first two nights and had a fab time… while we were at this site we visited the local town of Praia da Luz as mentioned in the last blog update and then we also took a bike ride/walk into Lagos and down to the beach (Pete tells me we have visited here before about 13 years ago but to be honest I couldn’t remember the place at all!!)

 

I must admit I started to get restless at Turismo after our friends had left it wasn’t the same, sometimes I find these types of campsites exhausting after a few days as I feel them to be just too busy for my own liking, and I felt like I was crammed in like a sardine in a tin can… and with such a dog as Toffi with us I am on constant high alert and look out on sites like these and although the site has a swimming pool, juccuzi, bar and other top notch facilities we didn’t even use them and really only used the bathroom facilities so the other facilities were wasted on us… there are so many vans/people/dogs everywhere on this site and although the pitch sizes were adequate it feels like literally the next motorhome is just a few foot away plus we had only a couple of hrs sunlight on our pitch per day which was also unhelpful and started to get me down, dogs barked all night here too which then kept Pete awake…

We had a couple from Cornwall right next door to us who I swear must have written the script for Victor Meldrews “one foot in the grave” sitcom… what a miserable pair they were, I know this because I ear wigged into their conversations when i was sat outside… unintentionally of course… I won’t bother repeating their words but let’s just say they had not a good word to say between them, they only even bothered to speak to us on the morning we were leaving even though we had smiled and said good mornings etc so anyway I felt like we were paying a fair bit of money to be unhappy at €17 per night so it was time to move on and find some where a bit quieter for us that more suited our needs…

We had sussed a campsite called Solema in the ACSI book for just €11 a night and thought we would check it out if we didn’t like it then fine we would leave no problems, well we got here on the 9th Dec at midday it’s literally 15 minutes drive from where we were but seems world’s apart, bit of a tight twisting and very steeply inclined road entrance into the site so to be honest it was a little nerve racking pulling down into it but the receptionist was lovely and spoke great English and was really helpful told us it was fine to park up and go take a look around showed us on the map the best places to look and she did pre warn us it was a good old trek up and boy was she right, it took us a good 20 mins to walk up to the top of the steep site and then a further 15 minutes back down, I was a little disheartened when it seemed we couldn’t find somewhere suitable until we finally spotted a place that might suit us and so we made our way back to reception where we found out we’d been stopping a caravan from entering the site (oups) Pete moved the motorhome and let them through nothing like getting in the good books of other campers on site straight away!!! Well we finally booked in and made our way to our spot which was thankfully still available… the plot we chose was huge and we have no one surrounding us, I finally thought I had my peaceful, wind down and relax time, we had decided to stop here over the festive period as other campsites were going to be busy and crikey why not at this price we may even be saving on our budget… the receptionist has also said if they can do our bill cheaper at the end of our stay than the ACSI price then they will, it’s a much more relaxed atmosphere it may not be everyone’s taste, there is a bar and a restaurant but these are closed as out of season, there’s no pool, the toilet and shower blocks are cold, and shower temperature seems a bit hit and miss etc but I’d much rather not be in constant eye view of the last miserable neighbours and here I have some space to allow Toffi to relax also, and so far it is just so quiet…

We always keep a close eye on the weather systems and it would seem on the Sunday night the whole of Europe were in for a storm we were all on weather warnings and it didn’t miss us in the Algarve either it rained heavily and the wind was blowing and rocking us to sleep we were only caught in the bottom end of the storm but it seemed quite a storm here so I can only imagine what it was like further up into Europe, the  campsite we are on is not gravelled as we are in a woodland setting and although messy at rainy times we will tolerate this as it gives Toffi’s feet a rest, as it hurts her walking on constant gravel and she starts limping but as mentioned the downside to this is the mud when it rains there’s tonnes of it… Guess everything will need a clean when the good weather is back…

Well our perfect pitch turned into a clay-mud quagmire after torrential rain and we were starting to sink into it, and when Toffi needed walking she often came back with paws full of sticky soaking wet red clay which covered everywhere, so we decided to move the motorhome… Oh dear, what a mess we got into, the clay pitch churned up, the tyres were covered in clay we parked for the night on the entrance to the pitch to allow for dry out and repaired the pitch as best we could after our destruction of it… The next day Pete went to walk the dog and scoured the site in search of a dryer sturdier pitch which he found… right at the top of the campsite!!! The pitch consists of i think 3 pitches but there’s only one electric point so we’ve basically bagged the whole area… Before we could move though we then had to pack away and literally use the rubber mallet to knock the now solid clay from the tyres to allow us the traction to get up to the top of the steep site… The sky at night up here is amazing the stars shine brightly you can even see the milkyway we were lucky enough to have a clear sky for the gemini’d meteors and got to see some great shooting stars that night…

We foolishly thought that mosquito season had gone as we hadn’t seen any for weeks so threw the windows and doors wide open when we got here it wasn’t till the evening we’d realised what a mistake we had made… We killed 2 inside the motorhome on the first night and 4 on the 2nd night but it was too late Pete had been bitten a few times and I also suffered a few bites while Pete’s bites were uncomfortable as mozzies bites are, I again started reacting and swelling up who knew I would be allergic to the pesky things then to add insult to injury I’ve come down with a bad chest so it’s cough, cough, cough from me!!! We now have a plug-in mosquito killer!!

We haven’t done much since we got here apart from move pitches and walk to get groceries from the supermarket a mile up the road due mainly to me feeling poorly and under the weather, but we also got rained in for another couple of days on those days I thrashed Pete at Scrabble and he thrashed me at monopoly… we are here for a couple more weeks so have plenty of time to explore when I’m feeling a little better…

The doggyhut that Toffi so despises has become a useful part of helping with our every day chores we use it along with the bikes to get our groceries back to the van and we used it today to carry our 2 x 10 litre water containers on multiple trips to a water tap to fill the motorhome water tank up saved us having to move the motorhome once again plus the showers here in the showerblocks are a little hit and miss with the water temperatures so showers can be pretty cold at times so at least if the motorhome tanks full we can shower in here instead and have hot water showers at that!!

We got a little bit of a shock from my mifi (mobile internet) suppliers “Three” who I got in contact with a couple of weeks ago for general inquiries about my allowed allowance for roaming and data usage, their advisor told me to use all my data allowance of 20gb from my contract SIM before using PAYG data SIMS in future as according to them up until now I seem to be a light data user… I explained that it only seemed that way to them because I was also using PAYG data cards and other providers such as campsite internet throughout the last few months to ensure I didn’t go over my limit etc but no the providers advisor advised me that I would be fine to use all my contract data first and that to ensure I didn’t go over she will even put a usage cap on my account, so we did as advised and got a shock the next week when we logged into the account and it said we owed £43 for data usage used over the allowed 12gb fair use policy for roaming!!! So I had another couple of lovely chats with them, they have zero’d the bill as I was wrongly advised which had caused the bill in the first place!!! When roaming outside the UK even though my mifi contract is for 20gb I am only allowed to use 12gb and they cannot put a cap on it from their end for usage outside UK, similar applies to the PAYG Sims which have 12gb for approx £25-40 per card but you are only allowed to use 9gb when roaming outside of UK, if you ask me it’s all a bit of a con seems they can fall back on their sentences such as “fair usage” bit different to the sentence “roam and feel at home” at home I have unlimited data and they of course don’t want to roll over any of your previously unused contract data, I’ve had the mifi unit contract for 6 months which was unused for most of those months before we set off so 60 GB unused from then, they also allow you to purchase amounts of data knowing you are not allowed to use it on a feel at home roaming account I wonder where that’s fair!!!! It probably doesn’t help that Pete failed to place all his music on iPods etc before we came away,  which meant he would have been able access his music for free, without using data but now plays music streaming videos from YouTube of all places!!! so far tonight I’ve had to listen to 3 songs by Clash, 1 from Manic Street Preachers, a couple from John Lennon and a few others I cannot even name (and although Pete’s sister Karen so kindly purchased headphones for Pete to use while away knowing I’m not such a great music lover… somehow I am still sat here listening along too… when questioned he mumbled something to do with his batteries have run out… I shall purchase batteries soon!) I’m sure Pete thinks he’s still got normal land internet line with unlimited internet usage from Virgin Media!… I just hope three doesn’t cut me off in the next couple of months because of Pete’s music addiction… I am slightly worried they will, we only have a few data cards left the current one has lasted just 7 days… and to be fair I haven’t seen any for sale over here so far and to make matters worse this site only has limited internet access at the reception area otherwise we would be using campsite internet when we can, we need internet when on the move to find our next campsites etc as I often judge sites by reviews online, facilities and other stuff of which the books don’t show, so times could get interesting soon!! If I get cut off… Pete will be buying all the internet cards!!!!

By the time the wet weather retreated we had at least 3 loads of washing to be done as we hadn’t done any in the last campsite due to lack of sunshine on the pitch hence a lack of drying ability, so we stripped the bedding and took 2 loads down to the campsite washing machine which costs a whopping €5 per load just to wash! as we stripped the bedding though I noticed my pillows had some mold on them, I had said to Pete previously my bedding seemed/felt cold and damp to me sometimes, I guess the mold on the pillows is from where they hadn’t been moved away from the cold damp air seeping in from the garage doors and plus with the damp weather I really should have been on top of the moving of soft furniture away from the colder spots in the motorhome, it is always advisable however I failed (it’s no wonder I now have a bad chest!) Anyway we are trying something else out at present and we have moved the bed height up to above the garage door height to see if this makes a difference in temperature and this will hopefully also help with my bad chest fingers crossed but it now feels like we are really high up so its a bit like climbing a mountain to get into bed and climbing back down trying to find a foothold is pretty entertaining too… but it was pretty cosy last night  although have to watch out else you hit your head on the cupboards when you sit up on my side of the bed I nearly knocked myself out last night…  we still get a little condensation under the mattress due to the temperature difference from the garage, but the dry mat stuff we purchased does keep the mattress side dry but we still lift the mattress daily to air out any moisture that maybe trapped there.

Toffi was most upset today when she lost her tennis ball down the side of an embankment, she howled while I was trying to retrieve it without her and again when I failed to find the ball in the surrounding shrubbery, she was most upset and cried and whimpered for this favoured ball so much so that we had to put her on a long line and let her go search down the hillside, she was so chuffed with herself for finding and retrieving this ball the look of sheer joy on her little face, she would probably make a great search and rescue dog for lost tennis balls given the chance!!

Enough of my feeling sorry for myself whinging on, until next time take care and I almost forgot it’s nearly Christmas!!!

Donna x

 

 

 

Farewells & Festive lights

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On our last day in Zambujeira Pete and I thought it would be a good idea to have a lunchtime drink which we accidently carried on into the evening, with Pete then trying to teach me how to play the guitar slightly drunk… this was not successful and anyone who knows me well will know I’m not a musically talented person, plus that in my mothers own words I am “cack handed” I am neither a true Left handed or true Right handed person but a bit of both and tend to do different things favouring different hands, for example I write very neatly right handed but can also write a little scruffily left handed as most people can, but I knit, crochet, craft left handed and also eat left handedly, after trying the guitar I declared it too big to hold with it being uncomfortable to my right shoulder with my arm straddling over the guitar and really wanted to favour the other hand and turn the guitar around, but Pete assured me this was a right handed guitar and it wouldnt work as a left handed one I guess the strings would be opposite etc… but with me having both my shoulders repaired it means it’s uncomfortable and painful for me to hold my arms in certain positions such as needed, and it seemed too big for me to also hold in the position I needed, Pete told me it was already a small guitar… so I think maybe a ukulele would suit me better!!! I have succumbed to still being rather musically untalented as I mastered only one note that day so I have now given it up as a bad idea… and I apologise to who ever had to put up with our noise that evening in that campsite but it would have been rather entertaining anyway!!

We arrived at Camping Turismo on Monday just after 1pm the site was jam packed we were given a choice of about 6 pitches to chose from, so off we walked trying to decide which pitch was going to suit us best, 1st was a corner pitch which was way too small for us and the trailer to fit into so we crossed that off the list straight away, one was in complete shade so crossed that off the list also, 2 pitches were right next to each other but already had cars parked up in the pitches and although I could have asked around and found the owners to move the vehicles I just thought that wasn’t actually my job to do, so onto the next spot which was ok although looking at my compass was going to be shaded from about 2pm onwards so checked out the last available spot and didn’t like it as completely shaded all day (the shaded pitches would have been ideal in the mid summers heat but its December and its cold when your out of the sun) so back to the part shaded pitch numbered 613 to set up… after getting comfortable I messaged our friends Anne and David to say we’d got here and we were setting up, they messaged back to ask which pitch we were in and as it turned out would you believe on a site with approx 234 pitches they were just 2 pitches away from us!!!

At Camping Turismo the site itself is extremely busy and very popular the facilities are immaculate and very well kept, there’s a spa, jacuzzi & swimming pool that look fantastic, Bar and restaurant/pizza takeaway, music entertainment area, Play areas for the camping kids and even a good convenience shop on site so there’s plenty to keep everyone happy and occupied…

 

On Monday evening we met up with our friends and drank, chatted and laughed the evening away,  Anne had made a very good curry which they generously shared with us…  the next day David came over and asked if he could take Toffi out on a lovely walk so Toffi was over the moon, I think they have taken a shine to each other!… Pete went out on the bike with the doggie cart in search of shopping and came back €190 lighter (we’d again failed to catch a supermarket on the way to the site) and that evening we were again invited over for drinks as David and Anne were leaving the next day to go back to the UK to spend their Christmas with family, but if they decide to come back out after Christmas and we are still in the area we might get the chance to meet up again, if we do Pete and I will put on a Barbecue or something for food next time to make up for their hosting generosity… We waved David and Anne off and wished them a safe journey and a very good Christmas… that is once they had negotiated their rather large and lovely caravan out of their pitch and with great skill also managing to avoid the tree that was also on their pitch… Pete and I are going to miss our new friends and their great company as we will now be forced to talk to each other again as the evenings come in!!!

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We took a walk to the nearby village of Praia da Luz, we walked along the lovely promenade where there were cafe’s and coffee shops and along the rather lovely sandy beach with waves lapping upon the shore, it is a rather lovely area but the town became rather run down as it lost much of its attraction for family tourism due to sad happenings of the poor little girl Maddie who went missing there whilst on holiday, its not only a sad state for the child & her family of course, but also for this small local community as places like this are dependant on the tourist trade and you can still see how this town has suffered due to this loss even 10 yrs on…

 

This town is most definitely worth a visit, the place is very scenic the beach is lovely with the palm tree lined pathway leading to the small promenade it really is a perfect setting for lunch or a coffee sat looking out to sea.

 

We shall venture to the other areas nearby in the next couple of days, we have 3 more nights here before we move on again, poor ole Pete will be breaking out the scrabble or monopoly and trying to get me to play a game or two with him!!

Quite a few people on site are here for over the festive period and have their Christmas lights and decorations up so there’s lots of lovely flashing lights about in the evenings…

Till next time have fun…

Donna x

 

 

 

Golden Beaches and Rugged Coastal walks

We departed from Lisbon on the Wednesday and on our way out of the city we got to go over the other bridge “The 25th of April Bridge” (named after the day of the 1974 revolution) a replica of the Golden Gate bridge, it was absolutely pouring down with rain on our last day and night in Lisbon so we made our way down further through Portugal where we arrived at Zambujeira for our next stop of 5 nights, the Zambujeira campsite is well maintained & clean, showers extremely hot, the pitches for the motorhomes are longer but more narrow than some other campsites we’ve been too but perfectly adequate partly shaded but sunny at the front of the pitches, it took us 3.5hrs driving to reach here from Lisbon and we were both niggly and tired by the time we were ready to pitch up so comedy central took hold with both of us bickering, getting ratty and arguing over which pitch we wanted, we moved pitch twice before we settled on the pitch we had both chosen in the first place! this will be our 4th night tonight and so far the weather has been lovely, the evenings roll in cold and it’s colder mornings but by 10am it’s lovely and warm so compared to the UK winter the weather is superb, we ate Paella outside at the campsite cafe which was actually very good & cooked freshly, we chatted with the guy serving us and he told us how it hadn’t rained in this part of Portugal for at least 9 months they are desperate for rain here in fact on the journey down here we saw some evidence of the forest fires that had taken hold in the last few months in Portugal, the Portuguese are from our experience so far lovely, friendly & very welcoming people although Pedro our Portuguese tour guide in Lisbon did say they loved and cherished the British because we helped them to defeat the Spanish in a messy war many yrs ago and they are still very grateful, it maybe explains why the Spanish aren’t as friendly… they just haven’t forgiven us yet… Just teasing because everywhere we’ve been so far the people have been mostly friendly to be fair and helpful, with the odd frosty receptionist just having a bad day at work!

We have been informed by travelling & motorhome groups that there are at least 10 main roads closed off in Spain at present, these are more in the North of Spain and around the mountain areas due to snow and bad driving conditions and some are also closed in France… so if you’re reading this and travelling that way do take care… we are grateful to have made it to better weather before getting entangled in snow with a lack of snow chains which would have rendered us helpless and stranded…

We again have been rather lazy and had a couple of days just chilling at the site doing everyday bits and lounging, but we have eventually ventured out and the small seaside town is impressive with typical red roofed & white painted style houses, Cafes and restaurants spotted around a main pedestrian area, the town is situated beside a coved golden coloured sandy beach and I can well imagine this becomes a very busy place in high season.

Toffi had a great time on the beach running in and out of the sea but there was a couple with 2 young children playing ball and a woman from our campsite with her dog on the beach so Toffi was only off lead for a few minutes before it was time to put her back on her lead (before she got tempted to misbehave!), we got chatting to a friendly local man who told us the best places to go to find lovely views and other deserted beaches but he also told us to stick to the made up pathways as the other rugged cliff paths have been a little unstable lately and easy to lose footing on, so advise heeded we decided to go take ourselves off for a coastal walk.

It wasn’t too far before we came across another beach which was accessed by a load of wooden steps, we could see the instability of where rocks had dislodged and fallen from the cliff side here, there was work ongoing to stabilise the beach cliff fronts at the village beach also, well we didn’t notice until leaving the second beach that dogs weren’t supposed to go on this beach but that nudists were allowed!!!.. but Toffi had an amazing time off her lead running around anyway and it was lovely to see her enjoying herself on the beach running in and out of the sea plus it was deserted with not a soul else on it so we could relax and let her enjoy it, p.s we kept our clothes on as there was far too much sea breeze around, a high tide and some pretty rough waves, and the water was a little too cold for that marlarky anyway…

While at this campsite we met another lovely couple Guy and Jane along with their 4 legged doggy friend, they are on their 1st venture to Europe in their motorhome they have 2 weeks left of their 3 month tour and are loving every minute, I must admit to getting rather nostalgic when we saw them roll up in their lovely converted Iveco Daily, it brought back so many happy memories of ours and then low and behold Pete found our old Iveco being sold it’s currently at the same price we sold it at and still has nearly a week to go on auction… I am so tempted to start bidding on it and getting our old girl back!!! Happy safe travels Guy and Jane enjoy the rest of your trip…

The coast around here is favoured by surfers and I can certainly see why it was high tide whilst we were out and about so only spotted one surfer enjoying the waves, but there were some good waves around even so, though the sea further out was calm the waves were still breaking well here so must be really good when the waves are higher.

 

as we exited the site on our walks we noticed a car park beside the campsite that had been left and looked abandoned, looked to be a good place to wild camp and just a little further down there was a field upon which two vehicles were wild camping so just in case that’s your thing can always book into the campsite for 1 or 2 nights to empty, refill, use facilities etc and wild camp the rest… the town is literally a short walk away,  I’ve yet to persuade Pete to wild camp he’s still new to all this free parking and feels safer in campsites, but I am determined I will win him around one day and hopefully save us a few quid…

Take care everyone… think I’ve yapped enough for one day!!

Donna x

GPS Coords N37°31’32” W8°46’31” camping villa park Zambujeira