Things I’ve learnt in Portugal (so far)

Whose the best on the block then?
  • Be sure you understand how to use the Tumble driers at the local InterMarche or your slippers may come out smaller than when they went in. Accidentally programmed it for 80 mins – I think everything was a size smaller when it came out – apart from the queue of people waiting to use it – oops
  • Make sure when you air your bed that you have removed all items underneath it before going to bed. Sleeping on a head torch is not the way forward for happy knees.
  • Beware of sequins, they look so sparkly and pretty, but in secret they are skin slashers. I upcycled an old bag and shortened the strap which had sequins on it. Wore it for one day until Shar screeched – WTF look at your neck. Looked like I’d had an argument with myself. I was not allowed out in public without a scarf on until it healed!
  • Shower gel is not moisturiser, but it can be effective as a facial chemical peel. Bought what I thought was moisturiser and was liberally applying it until my face got drier and redder. Shar told me the error of my ways and after 3 days of face peeling and remoisturising with good old faithful Nivea, I now have a new face – 10 years younger!
  • I think the moral is – I need to slow down even more!!
Minding our own business and this lot showed up in our garden!

Back and forth

Dinotasric

After the Christmas house-sit, it was time to return to the UK for catch up with family and friends and to get the latest on the ever expanding dinosaur situation. A whirlwind tour was undertaken whilst Gurty was left in capable hands at Faro Campervan Park. It was fab to catch up with everyone and have a boogie for Rocky’s 50th. What a great gang we are!

As Storm Ciara rolled in it was time to escape back to the wheels of Gurty and leave everyone to it – you’re welcome -:)

Portugal was shining when I got back and spent a couple of days at the Camper Park. I went for an explore on my bike, and was astounded by the wilderness and beauty just at the end of the road, despite being in the middle of Faro.

With trusty map in hand, I followed the directions – straight across at the roundabout. So I gamely attacked the single track in front of me and headed off. An hour later I have gone round and round and up and down many bumpy dusty tracks, always coming out at the same spot and no beach in sight. I decide to go back to the top of the hill and follow the road, only to realise this is where I should have been in the first place. Never did have a sense of direction!

I passed Salt mountains and marshes, smelt the stinking rich at the luxury Golf course (which was trying to disguise itself as a bird sanctuary – I think I only muttered ‘Wankers!’ once! I could now see the beach, but it was taped off for a local event. Finally after talking my way through the tape via a very lovely steward, I cycled across the boardwalk as lithe athletes ran out of the sea discarding their swimsuits and jumping on bikes – a triathlon how marvellous.

On a loop in Lagos

Stopping off a Lagos at our favourite stop – Bar Quim we pulled up for tea and cake. As we sat there there was a smell of petrol and testosterone as 12 Porches roared into the car park. The men (obviously) all got out, posed for pictures and kicked tyres (or willy waved at each other as I like to call it!) Pit stop over they wheel span out and off into the distance – thank goodness.

I spent a day cycling around Lagos looking for a replacement Gas washer for the hob in Gurty, it gave me a chance to familiarise myself with the area and also improve my linguistic and miming skills as I went into a Hardware store, Gas shop, Chandler and garage to source the broken part. No joy, but 5 minutes later on the Hymer nerd site and its in the post to our next destination – result. Nothing like a nerd to help you out.

It was time to leave Lagos and move onto to the next exciting adventure. Using Workaway we contacted a lovely lady looking for a house / dog sit. We had already met up a few times before to get to know each other and agree arrangements. So it looks like we have a house for Christmas. Not only that we have a functioning toilet, shower and running water. Pure luxury topped off with a lovely Wood burner for those ooh so chilly evenings – well 11 degrees.

2020 new year or new vision

She seems armless enough

2020 what a wonderful year and number I thought, until my glasses gave up and the arm fell off – oops. No amount of gaffa tape would keep the broken arm on, so freestyling it is until I can sort a replacement. More 10:10 vision now than 20:20

New Year and new things to do, Jutta and myself went to the local dog sanctuary for some puppy love. It is run by two English women who look after over 50 dogs and work hard to get them new homes. Portuguese people tend to either tie their dogs up, or just let them roam free in the countryside. I went in determined not to return with any dogs, the secret is to not look in their eyes. This was especially difficult when there were 3 gorgeous puppies and 1 of them did not have a new home. I managed to walk away – for now!

Between us we walked four different dogs around the local tracks. I was glad we didn’t get to chose which dogs to walk because they all wanted a walk, but we will return for more love.

House-sitting in Burgau

Little villa at the bottom from the top of the hill

Belated Happy New Year everyone!

Well we have been busy – not. Winter descended upon us for one week before Christmas, with torrential rain and storms. Good job we were now established in our housesit. Using Workaway again we found a lovely lady named Jutta who was in need of someone to look after her house and dogs over the Xmas period. Step forward ladies!

The fire was stoked in the evenings and after the initial week the sun shone upon the righteous. We are now here until the end of the month as Jutta has kindly agreed for us to stay parked on her land. The days now consist of dog-walking along the coast and sunbathing on the loungers whilst attempting some amateur twitching or reading.

It has been lovely staying in one place for the last 4 weeks, and it has given me a chance to carry out some Gurty love. The cushion covers are now complete, a combination of hand sewing and using Shar’s hand Singer sewing machine. We are now on the hunt for some material for the bottom cushions to complete the look. There is lots of elephant material left and the creative juices are flowing, so watch this space.

Elephantastic – love it!

Turn up the Gas

We drove into Portugal, checking the weather report and decided to start below Lisbon and bimble our way down. Being as we are now bimble experts, we picked up the map and picked Sines as our starting point.

Imagine our horror when we turned a corner and saw the sight below – a full on oil refinery with massive ships going in and out all day and all of the night. It gave some perspective to the destruction we have caused to our beautiful planet, in the name of so called progress.

Image result for sines portugal petrochemical
One way..

We drove past the refinery, leaving it behind us and continued heading South, until we found a parking spot for the night. Time for an explore and this is what we found.

Or another!

Waking up in the morning we both felt as if we had been gassed, the refinery was only 7km away and when the wind changed – boy was it smelly. Time to keep on moving, down the West coast of Portugal through the region of Alentejo.

Whoop Whoop, this is the sound of the Police

He’s got his Woo Woo’s on!

After my self-induced chemical peel, I needed to visit the 10 euro Spa to sloth the last bit of my skin. I felt like a reptile shedding a complete skin. We decided to try a new park up on the edge of Portimao by Praia da Rocha and parked up the night before to be in the Spa as early as possible.

Coming out of the track in the morning, we discovered it was barricaded off and the Portimao fun run was in full flow. After a while a Police motorcyclist came down to us and instructed us to follow him onto the the race course to the next junction. We duly obliged and had a police escort with full woo woos – great fun.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement, the next day we went for a walk along the coastpath and found an Adonis of a soldier in distress. The poor lad was wheeling his bike along a treacherous path, with a puncture about a kilometre away from the road. As good citizens, we offered him use of my airpump and he followed us back to the van. Nu Nu was his name and he definitely brightened our day. He thought we were supercool and took loads of photos of Gurty, whilst ringing his girlfriend to tell her he had met us. Not sure she was impressed as he was! In the end, we offered him a lift back to his apartment and in return he gave us a photo to remind us of him, needless to say it takes pride of place on Gurty’s dash.