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Dont’t Look Down

Monday 30th March

We left the aire at Lagos after filling and emptying the usuals and made our way to Sagres, right on the western and southern corner of Portugal. There are three aires round about here but the Camper Contact app suggested that we stay at the fort, we’ve got less chance of getting moved on!

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The fort is easily visible from the road and there was ample car parking. This was our view of the fort, basically a wide defensive wall built across the neck of a peninsula. Originally built in the 15 century by Henry the Navigator this is possibly where he located his school of navigation. Sir Francis Drake came here once in 1587, flattened the place and destroyed any evidence of Henry and his school.

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It was €3 each to get in, there was nothing really worth looking at once you’re inside. You can see the remains of a water tank, a sentry box, church and a couple of toilets but everything that is there was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake.

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Fantastic views of beaches, but no obvious route to get to them.

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Some canons in various states of preservation.

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And the Venta da Rosa, dating from Henry’s time but only rediscovered in 1905. No one is sure how the 39m diameter Venta da Rosa was used. 

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As mentioned the fort is on a long peninsula and a path has been built around the edge with sign boards indicating flowers, shrubs, birds, etc of interest.All around the edges are fishermen, I’ve never seen anything quite like it, like fishing off Southend Pier but five times higher (and in the sun). It was €3 for a long walk but certainly something I would do again.

Being on the corner of Portugal it was a bit windy and we are bracing ourselves for even more wind. When we arrived at Sagres there were just four of us, the following morning there were 23 units.

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Just along the coast is Cabo St Vicente, another potential motorhome stopping point but the car park is small and there are many day visitors to the lighthouse. 

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Allegedly the lighthouse keeper opens the lighthouse to visitors as he feels like it, not today though. This is one of Europes most powerful lighthouses with a light that can be seen over 60 miles away.

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Onto our next stop at Carrapateira, right in the middle of nowhere but a busy car park in the summer. The Camper Contact app had a couple of comments saying how some people had been moved off at midnight by the police but this was in August so we were ignoring that but when I updated the app a couple of days ago it said “No Overnight Camping”. We had a look and it is in a beautiful spot.

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A small stream runs across the front of the car park with a huge sandy beach.

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And waves to match the wind.

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Another view. In retrospect we should have stayed the night here instead of just having lunch. The wind was blowing hard, the car park was on a slope and we were a bit worried about being woken up in the middle of the night so we bottled it and continued northwards to Cavaleiro. 

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Unfortunately updating the Camper Contact app the other day also deleted the offline maps so we’re not sure that we are in the right place. We are parked next to another lighthouse, there was one motorhome here when we arrived but they disappeared when we went for a walk. The views are stunning though. The cliffs must be 100 metres high and you can see the layers of sandstone where they have been pushed together by tectonic pate movement.

Do you remember the Open University Geology course on the tv many years ago. I only ever managed to watch one episode of it, I saw it 20 times but they always played the same episode when I bunked off school “not feeling very well”. It was better than watching that girl with the easel who never blinked but it was still boring!

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All very dramatic, windy but nice and sunny 

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Just watching the waves has been lovely and of course now that we are facing west we get to have a sunset in the front window.

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We have been joined by a German motorhome, they are staying the night and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that no one comes along to move us in the middle of the night. The wind has died down, we’ve got the top heki open and have been listening to the crickets.

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We didn’t get moved on, it was so quiet and peaceful here we could of seriously overslept, as it was, only Lucy overslept!

Next morning we’ve moved on to Porto Covo, 20 miles up the coast but for some reason Stella has taken us the long way round, the very long way round, getting on for 35 miles but it was lovely scenery all the way, it’s very green here, almost like being at home. Our aire is right at the top of some cliffs, it should take 25 units but we’ve struggled to get 15 in. We managed to get a front rank pitch looking over the sea.

We thought that there would be services here but we could only see a sign directing us up the road where we found another aire with about 40 units in, all higgledy pickledy and trying to fit themselves into what may have been an old building site, no views whatsoever but close to the shops.

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Porto Covo has a very nice shopping / tourist area leading down to the sea.

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And a lovely beach at the end of the road. Hot sun, sheltered from the wind, school holidays and 10 people on the beach!

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And this is the view from the beach. You can see the breakers in the distance and then the waves hit the rocks and by the time it gets to the beach it is almost a calm sea. We actually found another beach which was slightly bigger and with only 4 of us on it, might have sat there for a very long time.

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Until the sun went down. Two days running we’ve had the sun setting in the front window. Tonights view was slightly better than last nights, a couple of clouds help to give the scene a bit of va va voom.

One thought on “Dont’t Look Down

  1. andrew

    We can ‘t get to Portugal this year and your photos although brilliant remind us what we are missing the sunsets are stunning , east bergholt for us ho hum ,safe travels .

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