585 – Monday 2nd January 2017: Rain Soaked in Luz
Monday in 2017 – where did 2016 go? Answer – beautifully…. K did a quick supermercados shop and we returned the lovely ‘Oscar-ka-ka’ – Ford Ka – we would drive the model again. Really nippy.
Walk to Luz (pronounced ‘Loos’) where no loose women live… It wasn’t really going to rain – was it? Then what are those bits of moisture from the sky – is my nose running? Alas, it was ‘baisteach’ – rain in Irish Gaeilge. We reached Luz to find all the coffee shops closed (or at least with no awnings out for those with dogs … something to do with the wind and rain?) and retreated by road instead of the knee-deep clover path we had arrived by. Maps.me app is generally brilliant, but somehow we’d missed a turn and ended up circumnavigating, a la Henri the Navigator, clumps of bamboo, around ditches and finally over a wall.
We haven’t had rain for a month … really can’t complain!
Another stick and ankle deep in clover.
586 – Tuesday 3rd January: Golf and Danish Bastard
Margaret, Shirley and I decided the play the Algarve equivalent of the Ryder/Solheim Cup of Scotland v Ireland… Nice to see that Margaret calls Shirley ‘the bum-biter’ – she bit our bums big time! Margaret and I went sand castle building in bunkers while Shirley’s short game dominated. A new word to us … “babu” = bloody awful but useful. Another was a “mother in law” = M or S mother-in-law used to shoot sideways out of a bunker to extract herself. We were sort of ‘bunkting’.
K had done laundry and run a doggydaycarecentre for the few hours, kindly. A BBQ of an unknown fish, translated as croaker… hope no one croaked from it! Cards – rummy and a new game to us called – Danish Bastard: you just think you are going out when some Bar Steward makes you pick up a fistful of cards … and of course, post Championship celebratory drinkies.
587 – Wednesday 4th January: Cleaning and Super Supper
Morning run with Oscar – we will need to run separately and without him – he just pull us all over the place, if we can’t let him off the lead. We cleaned Jez inside and had a major sort out – always satisfying. We are still just about in the season of “Deck yer balls with bows of jolly”… although our decorations came down on 2nd Jan … can’t bear all that clutter and our Christmas balls constantly dropping from whence we had loosely masking taped them.
One amusing interlude – fellow motorhomers chatting at our pitch – the gentleman seeing K said – “is that your daughter?” !!! Huge compliment for K – but moi? She needs to stop calling me Daddy now…
Shigs and Migs (sorry girls – I am having a Martini Cocktail as I write) – Shirls and Curls came over for an aperitif and continued to tutor us in the card game “Danish Bastard”! Lots of calls of “you bar steward” and “bugger” ensued. They then kindly took us out to the campsite restaurant for a super duper supper – buffet with loads of good food and vino. It was to be our last evening together and there was a sense of sadness too. We first met S&M near Inverness in June last year (already we have to say 2016 is last year!). It was only a weekend, but we hit it off. We both write up our travels in our blog, so we have got to know each really well through our reflections. They have totally made Christmas and New Year for us and we know we will see them early summer in Scotland.
I’m enjoying relearning guitar chords on my super Christmas gift from my gorgeous K… Status Quo – be warned!
The Last Supper. For a while.
688 – Thursday 5th January: To the end of the world and beyond
After a fabulous time at Lagos Camping, we sadly said adieu to S and M and headed west for some 10 days of ‘wilding’. Happy holidays to Boo, Poppy, Maigret and Sherlock! We’ve never stayed on a site for so long …. it helped having the car to zip about in, but if we ever get to the stage where travelling palls or is too much, we reckon we could stop here for a couple of months. It feels strange setting off in Jez, sort of familiar routines of packing up and doing checks, but unfamiliar through lack of recent use. But it is good to be on the move again. Still water stagnates.
Sagres – a massive fort, originally built by of Henry the Navigator and sacked by Sir Francis Drake in 1587 – he wrecked most of the coastal towns and fortifications around here – he must have been a very busy man. The guide book describes him as a ‘privateer’ – more like a pirate really. Amazing that Portugal is friendly to us, and certainly in the South students are offered French and English from grade 7, but 99% choose English. The fort gave impressive views out along this cliff coast.
A replica of the Portuguese-stake-my-land-cross that used to be placed on all new territories during the years of exploration and acquisition.
Hitting the W coast and the Atlantic … Surfer territory.
Nightfall finds us peacefully at Cape St Vincent – the most southwestern point in Europe – Atlantic waves crashing in the darkness – just a few motorhomes for company – Oscar, ourselves and beautiful memories of our times with Shirley and Margaret – and of course, Boo and Poppydog!
SW point of Portugal. Pic taken by a couple of English lady walkers who were fascinated by the freedom of our lifestyle.
Now, I am unashamedly plagiarising Margaret and Shirley’s blog where Boo-the-dog gives his commentary and Poppy-the-tart usually gives a riposte of ’Tee Hee”. The following is an interview between Richard Dimbleby (or did he hit the dust in 2016 too?) and our Oscar…
RD – Now Oscar – are you happy with your new owners?
O – They’re ok but they need to smarten up their act in the feeding me more often department.
RD – OK, noted, but what about the travelling?
O – It’s a bit boring lying on the floor of a nice 26’ foot tin can for a few hours – but when we stop, I let them both out for a pee. And a number 2 modestly – I don’t want them being messy – so I clear up after them, of course – they’re still being house trained by me. James is the one I worry about – he wants to wave it all about and it spoils his aim but he’s OK.
RD – So you’re actually happy with life generally?
O – Definitely – but that Shirley is a real ‘bum biter’ – Boo and Poppy need to watch her – and Margaret the ‘Danish Starbewart’ – sorry Dicky – they keep adding gin to my rummy dinner…
And it’s goodnight from us at Vap Can Viventos…..
589 – Friday 6th: Cliffs, Castles and Beaches
Morning – running and Pilates – Oscar was pulling a lot less than the other day… (he did not have J in his sights … the game “where’s James” and run to him is not the best when trying to run oneself!). The most amazing coastal views for the run and stretches … it really cannot get any better than this.
We drove to a magical surfing beach at “Androphone” or it sounded like that? Actually Amado beach at Carrapateira – about 50 motorhomes parked up. Plenty of surfers and loads of room for Oscar to run – even though he may have been tired after his interview last evening. He’s been booked by Sky for next week…
Amanda beach: great rocks and big wide sandy beach.
Oscar found a friend to chase him- unusually larger than him.
Surfer … we’ve not been tempted to get our wet suits on and I don’t think our small polystyrene boogy board would have fitted in here … they were all too good.
Colours were just beautiful.
Then to Al Jazur (which in Arabic means ‘island’ – 10th Century castle and lovely views. Actually James, it was Aljezur. Lunch and a walk up to the Moorish castle for the views.
Whilst we had lunch, I heard a few cow bells in the car park. What?
View of the hills that we’re headed to tomorrow and in the foreground excavated Moorish house footings.
This view is out to the estuary leading to the sea.
Next adventure was at our overnight stay – Villa Nova do Milfontes – the first time we’ve wilded alone since Dungeness in October! Stunning cliff faces and we can hear the waves as K prepares prandials – gin and tonic for K and gin cocktail for moi…
And Oscar is not having din with his gin dins tonight (would we?) – never…