Where's Frankie?

All Quiet on the Southern Front

Monday 4th January

Happy New Year to everyone, I know it’s been a while since the last blog but we’ve been soo busy!!

Christmas Day was spent sunbathing on the beach with a roast in the afternoon. I cracked open a few Old Speckled Hens to celebrate the occasion, even gave a can to the French guy next to us. By Saturday our batteries were hitting an all time low, I had to start the engine to put some power in so we could lower the electric bed so we moved on to a new aire called Mikki’s Place to Stay.

€5 per night, stay a week and get a free night plus €2.50 per night for electric. We booked in for one night because we had to take Mother to Faro airport Sunday morning but it was sunny, the site is quirky and we ended up booking until the 4th January (today, as I am writing).

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Mikki’s Place to Stay is still being built, we’ve had some rain over the last week and pitches are getting soft, water is running through some pitches and there are some muddy bits.

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But it’s got a bar and snack area.

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And free wifi (most of the time). Nikki’s pottery is to the far left and all around the site are pots, and statuettes, you can buy stuff and it looks like you sign up for training courses.

We met up again with Mike and Di and went to a local restaurant in a group of nine (€78 for two courses and lots of wine). We were invited to join a group party going on two doors away from us, the occasion being that it was Tuesday afternoon and it was sunny! What more excuse do you need?

Mike and Di managed to get us booked into the New Years Eve party, lots of food and the best bit of music I have ever heard at a New Years Party. Normally I really dislike party music, in fact most music written in the last century does my head in, most of it has been played to death, I’d rather listen to something new. The best description of the music played New Years Eve would be Portuguese lift music, it was so bland, and to my ears inoffensive, I hardly noticed it, others were less kind.

Really enjoyed myself, walking up to the bar asking for two pints in a different language each time, saying hello to the Germans and French, thanking a Dutchman for building Canvey Island and asking him to come back and help the rest of England.

I left the bar at 1.30am and managed to find an after party party. Mark, Sam, Dave and Sue were sitting around a brazier and it would have been rude to walk on past. Shared some more Speckled Hen until 4am when Dave nearly fell off his chair when he dozed off.

Obviously New Years Day was spent horizontal with the blinds drawn and Saturday was wet and windy so I spent the morning sorting out my accounts and paying VAT.

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And Sunday was spent looking lovingly at my last Old Speckled Hen. I’m pretty pleased with myself, I bought 48 cans on the ferry back in October and managed to save some, normally 48 cans would be polished off within a fortnight.

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Frankies fleet is progressing, above is a part section through HMS Victory, any bits that look a bit squiffy are due to the camera angle of course.

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And here is my longboat. This boat is less than 6” long at the moment but has taken hours to get to this stage. I reckon I have spent 30 hours on it so far, at least that much time left to go with the masts and rigging.

Today we were meant to be leaving but I put the laundry in for a service wash this morning and booked another 8 nights. The forecast is rotten for the next four days, we’ve been invited out for lunch again tomorrow so we might as well stay for a while. 

Peter Borthwick has given me a link to some more stopping places, http://www.furgovw.org/mapa_furgoperfecto/ it’s mainly for the smaller motorhomes but looks like a good source of additional information, the more info we have the easier it is. Does anyone know a link to all the launderettes in Europe?

12 thoughts on “All Quiet on the Southern Front

  1. Thomas burrell

    Mikkies looks a fantastic place I am delighted you both had a great Christmas . I do not know I have been using campercontact website but only realised by putting it on an app I can get all the information on my tablet without wifi while I am travelling for campsites Aires and wild camping all over Europe and it’s all updated regularly I hope this will be of some help Tom

    1. Mark Post author

      Mikki’s Place is quirky – that is all I will say!! Campercontact on the tablet is the way to go, 4.60 for a years worth of offline sites is well worth it.
      See you soon

  2. Val & Andrew

    A Happy New Year to both of you glad to hear you are still having fun and doing your bit for E U relations . ,As you probably know we had a cantastic time at New year but missed out on the lift muszak. Without the Dutch we would have webbed feet here in the Thames , I have informed the Red Cross of the simply shocking old speckled hen situation , phone lines have been opened up across Essex we have named the charity the east Essex drink aid don’t expect to get too much to you ,you know what that lot are like . ( But only 2 cases bought on the ferry Mark whatever were you thinking you don’t really help your self do you) . Lucy Val cant play the fire eater and baileys game on her own ,she is getting no help this end she needs a refresher course , Very impressed with your fleet they are really coming on ,I would just chuck an out board on the back of the long boat . have you tried a madronya yet clear spirit from mounchect you wont have to clean your teeth for a few days Is the black merc in the photo a La Strada ? , Safe Travals

    1. Mark Post author

      Andrew & Val
      Your comments always make me laugh. I heard that New Year went well and the quizzes were excellent!
      We’re off to Iceland this morning, Lucy might let me take a photo of the beer aisle.
      Lucy has been learning some new drinks combos, she is currently studying Beirao very carefully, it is similar to Licor 43 but half the price.
      Someone was talking about Madronya last night, improved his fuel consumption by 20% Think it might be too dangerous to try.
      The black merc has moved on, I can show you a photo of the muddy hole he left behind.
      See you soon
      Mark & Lucy

  3. Peter

    Hi Mark and Luck
    Can you share a Lat. Long. for Mikki’s place to Stay? It looks busy, but then so does everywhere I’ve seen posted in the Algarve. Perhaps that’s why I’m hearing reports of wildcamping fines – any more news on that from where you are are?
    Shame about the weather deteriorating. We’ve just travelled right across Spain in the last couple of days and all I can say is it’s a whole lot better down here than up north.. and central Spain was lashing rain and wind all the way. Blue skies and sunshine now near Huelva B-).. We’ll post some your way
    Cheers, Peter and Elaine

    1. Mark Post author

      Peter & Elaine
      The Lat Long for Mikki’s Place is 37.12782, -8.32305, If you do a google for Mikki’s Place, Algarve it should bring up a campercontact reference page.
      From our van I can see 8 empty pitches, there are more so you won’t have a problem getting in. One of our neighbours went to the three sites in Silves, they were all full. Another person said that last year there were 50,000 more motorhomes in Portugal than the year before, whether that is true is debatable but even at one tenth of that number that is 100 more vans per week in the area.
      Blue skies here today but we think a bit more rain is coming.
      We have booked in here until next Tuesday, it worked out to £5 per night with electric!!
      See you soon
      Mark & Lucy

  4. Sam Willis

    Hi mark and Lucy. Just read the latest blog re the afternoon party and the New Year’s Eve after party. Hope you are both well assume you are still at Mikki’s we are in sidi kaouki in morocco and it is hot. Good luck with the rest of your trip. Sam and marc

    1. Mark Post author

      Have a great time, we can nearly hear Max from here, have you let him near the camels again? When you tried to subscribe we got an error message back, I’ll see if I can edit the email adress you put in.
      See you again.

  5. Marc Chaves

    Hi Guys
    Max has been behaving, well sort of 🙂 I got that replacement side light you loaned me Mark and will sort it next time we meet, have a great time on the rest of your trip, was a pleasure meeting you both and will keep an eye on your blog, with a view to catching up with you both.
    We will be in the UK from late June till the end of September, maybe we could meet?
    Keep in touch
    Be Lucky
    Marc Sam n Maxwell

    1. Mark Post author

      Max behaving?
      Would be great to meet up again. We are heading home now, Lucy’s mum is ill so we thought it best to cut short this visit. We are stewarding at Sea Palling from 9th – 30th July and heading off again on 29th August, Germany hopefully.
      See you soon
      Mark & Lucy

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