Monday, 11 February 2013


After a long round about trip we have made it to Portugal

No health and safety here..
The ramparts are 8m high with no rails, no blame culture here then..

Just over the border with Spain lies Castro Marim with its hilltop fort and whitewashed houses
The lagoons below are salt lakes

Cacela Velha, a small village with direct access to the beach and a superb restaurant called Casa Azul ran by a Filomena and her very friendly staff
The fish menu is superb and we are currently spending a great deal of time here and the local vicinity

How nice it is to walk in the clear sea on a february day  

Marina at Villa Real de Santo Antonio

Boardwalk at Cabanas, a welcome break in a bar after a morning's bike ride

Right on the beach was a great bar where we sunbathed for longer than we should have. Note the wine prices, for large ones to boot

How it really is....
Campsites or very well equipped Private Aires are a welcomed necessity when its time to wash or in this case party on with the 'big iron'
To be honest we don't like using them as they are quite often not up to scratch or overpriced for what we actually need

So often along the coast we have been finding little gems of places such as this at Praia do Barril

Easy life...
Bartering a good price at the local restaurants for his day's work may not be so easy

Alte, a rural retreat set in the hills
The local coffee shop owner counted the Queen of Sweden, Sir Cliff and Jamie Oliver among his many visitors

Hasselhof move over....

This storm came from nowhere and yes we got a soaking..

One hour later

Friday, 1 February 2013


For those of you who know us well you will not be surprised to see that we changed our minds again and have decided to take in Spain and probably Portugal too
Reason being the weather is just so good!
We had almost forgotten what it was like to open the door in a morning and leave it open, the last few days here on the Spanish north east coast has been great reaching 22 Deg daytime and full sun
Anyway the trip down began with drama as usual...

Flamingos in the Camargue region

Three wheels on my wagon.....and not rolling along!
After spending a good night on an Aire near Port Vendres south of Perpignan we left bound for Spain
After 100m we discovered a rather large bolt in a rear tyre. Thank God it was still inflated
After sawing off the bolt head and visiting 3 garages in Perpignan, a small adventure in itself, we found Euromaster, big enough to take the job on

Of course after a good result we drove off only to hear loud clunking noises from the back of the van where in my mind the brake callipers where being treated to abuse
The 'team' above were not smiling like this when I returned all of 2 minutes later but after a quick inspection and lots of hand signals new balancing weights were fitted to the wheel and the thicker mutilated ones just fitted removed...learning curve for all of us, hence the relieved faces
Lookalikie fans would say the middle two were Martin Bills and Craig Wagstaff whom I realise most of you don't know but I do, so there!

Monserrat mountain range en route through northern Spain
BTW, The road network is the best I've ever driven on, apparently the whole country has just completed a 3 year road redevelopment programme

Almond trees in blossom

There are miles and miles of these. can you believe we are drinking fruit juice from the supermarket 
They taste better eaten straight from the tree, these are young orange trees in cultivation

The girl from Del England she say...yes!

Some oranges........yesterday

A private Aire in the middle of a nowhere with an excellent restaurant, we spent the next week hoping we'd fine more like this, alas no..

Can't bemoan a place till you've seen it so we drove through Benidorm, because it was there and en route. Concrete heaven for some....not us!

For a week we followed the coastal route then inland after deciding this region was not for us
Portugal was our next objective as we knew the weather was just as good

The Sierra Nevada from the north side 
The countryside round this region is beautiful enough but a lack of facilities for motorhomes and uninteresting villages pushed us eastwards

Miles and miles of olive groves

The village of Archidona, north of Malaga, was more like it though with tapas bars and a old village feel steeped in history

We are aware that there are numerous such Andalucian villages worth a visit and would make great days out for tourists on the southern coast

The message is clear here...smoking cigarettes will help you become as fit as a rock climber!

The town's main bar served excellent tapas