Tuesday 15th December
I really am surprised by some of the comments from our last blog – do you mean to say that there are some of you that read this and are worried that we might stop? Sorry if I gave that impression, all I was trying to say was that I might slow down blogging temporarily, I can’t stop because mother will never forgive me.
Mother is coming to visit next Saturday, it was meant to be a present from my brother, I need to find a way to pay him back!! Mother will be picked up from Faro airport next Saturday evening but we have to take mother into account when deciding where to stay.
We looked at a site in Moncarapacho, not far from Faro, got a good rating in Camper Contact but first looks were a bit underwhelming.
We are in the middle of orange growing country and the site is billed as a “Far West Caravan Experience”. We manage to find a reasonably large pitch, we have electric, waste, water and all important wifi for the very reasonable sum of €8. I say reasonable knowing that we could wild park for free somewhere but here we don’t have the worry that the GNR will move us on because we’ve opened a side window.
Obviously you can see why this is a “Far West Experience”, by the toilet block there is a wagon wheel and a horseshoe on display. Hang around long enough and the site owner comes cruising past wearing a stetson and sitting in his Suzuki jeep that has a pair of horns on the front. This really is Walt Disney type theming, Portuguese style.
We stayed here three nights, it was quiet, we had electric and Chantelle kept walking around the site in her hot pants, I couldn’t see any good reason to move on.
But we did, I got caught staring once too often and the boss said, move em on out!
We’ve got five days left to find somewhere suitable for mother. We’re thinking that Portimao is the answer, close to a beach, cheap, supermarkets in easy reach, and close enough to restaurants that she can take us out for a good feed every night. On the way we have Mikki’s Place which is new and the Hollandaise haven’t heard about it yet and also a recommendation from over a year ago, €1.50 per night, next to the beach including water and waste. It would be silly to go and pay €2.50 per night if we could get it for €1.50 per night so we give Armacao de Pera a try for a couple of nights.
First impressions, not good. We go for a walk through the town dodging messages from the roaming dogs, take a photo of a local fishing boat, find a supermarket and return home.
More fishing boats.
And return back to Frankie wishing that I hadn’t paid for two days. Above is our aire, in front of us is a dead end road and then we have a beach in front of us with the remains of a fishing fleet – more in a minute.
We got back to Frankie and Lucy says, “There’s another Frankia over there”. Frankias’s are as rare as hens teeth and we probably know most of the owners so as we were putting our supermarket purchases into Frankie a couple come wandering over, “Allo, Allo, it is you”. We spent 5 weeks next to Bernhardt and Ursula while we were in Portimao so we swiftly presented them with cans of Old Speckled Hen (I still have some) and had a really good chat. We were so surprised that after spending five weeks parked next to us that they still wanted to talk to us but we were invited out for drinks and a light snack in the evening.
Bernhardt gave us so much information, apparently Portimao is full up with Hollandaise all with generators going and staring at the Pissenundschittenstinkingtank (refer back to last Februarys blogs). He has put us off Portimao completely but made us like this aire.
Tuesday morning, it has been very quiet all night but soon after I get up the sound of seagulls becomes prevalent. Immediately over the road from us is the fishing fleet and one of the boats has just come back so I go to investigate.
There are about a dozen fishermen gathered round taking fish and crabs out of the nets.
The seagulls are flocking overhead and we are in constant danger of getting a lucky message.
Small boat, four boxes of fish and another of huge crabs, not bad for a mornings work.
Fishermen’s huts, paint them blue and it would be just like Clacton.
Again, empty beaches and sunshine.
Se went for a walk along the beach and come across this raging torrent.
We think that during the night the big winds and tide had blocked up the exit for the local river and one of the local diggers had been along to dig out a trench.
We walked back into town and went looking for the Pingo Doce, a Portuguese supermarket almost as good as Lidls. We bought more stuff we didn’t need and urgent supplies of beer and red wine which we really did need and then spent the afternoon sunbathing on the beach.
Just after three o’clock things started getting lively with the fishermen, the seagulls started flocking, they knew something was going to happen and then a tractor starts up and drags a boat down to the beach. It unhitches, goes around to the back and gives the boat a big shove int the sea and reverses back before getting submerged. That was all the entertainment in the afternoon. There was one fisherman on his boat, the tractor driver returned to his siesta and the dozen fishermen who looked like they were about to battle nature returned to their little huts.
I have to mention tonights dinner, it is now on our weekly menu. I was reading a book set in Minnesota and one of the minor characters was about to sit down for her favourite dinner, tater tot hot dish. I looked it up on google and despite everything thought I would give it a go. Look up the recipe for yourself, there are a hundred and one variations but try and imagine a shepherds pie at the bottom, minced beef, onions, etc. Add a layer of green beans and then a layer of mushroom soup. Bear with me, it gets better. Put a layer of frozen potato croquettes over the top (yes, they have them in Portugal) and slap it in the oven for an hour.
Another top tip from Frankie. Lat year we really weren’t bothered by flies, occasionally one would get in and buzz around stupidly but this year we have seen more. Possibly not more, but if not they have been far more stupid. I’ll be driving along and one would land on the steering wheel, or my nose, or just making a circuit through my ears and around for another go. We’ve been using Raid fly killer but it might as well be renamed as ‘Raid, Make That Fly Fly Faster’ spray. I had a brainwave, maybe Portuguese flies can’t read the label of our British fly killer and don’t know that they are meant to spend 10 minutes breakdancing and then die.
We bought some Portuguese fly killer and it is the business. It has been loaded up with hundreds of lemons so it smells pretty good. If you can squirt a fly in mid flight it instantly seizes up and nose butts the carpet. We don’t get any of the breakdancing, which personally I enjoy, but no more stupid flies on me. We’re just wondering if we have to buy more fly killer for the dreaded Spanish Fly!