1st Impressions…

We stayed at the aire (we had found in desperation) for 2 days, this was  after the campsites we had planned to stay at were found to be full, the aire really wasn’t much to go on, it was just a concrete carpark with some pretty dire services (even water wasn’t available from the 2nd evening onwards even though we had paid for it!) it actually worked out at about €10 a night with the extra costs of electric, emptying black and grey waste, dire looking shower facilities and non existent water refilling etc so I won’t bother with the coords for it as it really wasn’t worth the money and I wouldn’t encourage anyone to visit, it’s just we needed to make repairs (new water pump and a flat tire on one of  the bikes) and by the time we found the aire it was actually starting to get very late in the day with the sun going down and we were running pretty low on options…

We left on the morning of the 24th and we were finally headed back for Spain, we needed to avoid the A22 toll road as Portugal is pretty awkward when it comes to transportation and foreign motorists on toll roads, you need to get a tag or register at the nearest PO or another shop registered as point of sale for automatic payment, otherwise you get fined and although getting this tag is doable, it was awkward for us and would have worked out costly for the amount of use we would have gained, so we’d already decided to avoid the tolls before we’d even got to Portugal, however this can be pretty tricky at times but we made it… I set the sat nav to motorways or roads with no tolls and she (the sat nav) came up with a 200 mile round trip (the thing totally ignored the N125 route and refused to acknowledge it as you have to join the A22 right at the end), although Pete knew that if we took the N125 we would eventually get to Spain…I however was totally lost, and the woman who resides inside our satnav had much bigger and apparently much better plans for us and was screaming throughout the whole journey for us to turn back around…

We made it to Spain many hrs later having navigated almost the entire length of the Algarve avoiding all toll roads (no thanks to the satnav), and our next stop was not too far from the border about 20 miles or so, the site was called camping Taray and to be honest my first impression once inside the campsite wasn’t one of joy, it was of a shanty town of long term stayers with lots of scrappy looking blue tarpaulins hitched over dirty looking caravans that just gave a scruffy impression and such, but to be fair the staff were really friendly, the site was secure and facilities clean, the site was only €11 a night, so, we set up and then decided to take a look around the area, to Toffi’s sheer delight we wandered through a small wooded area following a great looking slabbed pathway to find the most amazingly huge and empty beach!!!! Then the batteries in the camera died… Typical…

 

The next day it rained on and off for much of the day, Toffi was reluctant to leave the warmth and comfort of the van, so we took the time to chill and relax inside watching TV and arguing over where to go next, Pete was up for some more wild camping to save on some penny’s plus he had jotted down some coords of places he had read about on search for sites and he wanted us to try them out, but when we looked closer via Google earth it became pretty apparent that these places would only really be suitable for much smaller vehicles or simply that they were just not suitable for us, so I was adamant we would not be going there, much to Pete’s disappointment… I have no problem with wild camping but I do insist on checking out the places well to ensure suitability, safety and ensure us also not to be a problem to locals etc…

On our journey and not far from the next campsite that we were travelling too, we had 2 fire engines and their crews who were looking over at the motorhome while travelling on an adjacent road, they soon noticed that I had noticed them also, and they started a little waving competition between them and myself, hilariously this almost resulted in Pete taking a wrong turn… due to me his navigator, being ever so slightly distracted!!!

We decided on our next stop camping La Aldea but it’s quite an expensive site for us at €19 a night, I did suggest we only stay perhaps overnight before moving on but Pete’s booked us in for 3 nights, I must admit it is quite a nice site though so I didn’t mind, the pitches are a pretty good size and again the staff friendly and the facilities are good, there’s a very nice bar/restaurant just outside the site that we visited today for a drink…

We arrived here at midday and got ourselves settled nicely into our pitch, we’d not had much to eat all day so I decided we seriously needed a big meal, so I thoughtfully cooked us up some meat and roasted up what I could salvage of our sad looking bag of potatoes, boiled up some veg to go with it, then once I had dished it all up onto plates, I promptly dropped the roasting pan full of hot cooking oil all over the place, forgetting our windows were wide open I expelled a rather naughty word… quite loudly, I straight away noticed the neighbours (who at the time were all mid conversation amongst themselves) quieten in shock of what they had overheard… Oups… I guess I may have set the standard for the next few days… I could already imagine their horror when we arrived some scruffy looking grey haired woman covered in tattoos and with a feisty bull terrier in tow and now this… great, 1st impressions and all that… The neighbours must now feel real lucky having us near them!!! Wonder if they speak to us the rest of our stay? I’ll update you all later on that one…

Till next time folks remember never judge a book by its cover… Well… so to speak… at least let them open their mouths and fully embarrass themselves first!!!

Take care

Donna x

Playa Taray N37°12’21” W7°15’55” €11 pn

La Aldea N37°8’29” W6°29’26” €19 pn