I can now understand how when people retire and therefore no longer have the structure of the working week they often have to think what day it is (Mum I am now empathising with you). I hate to say it (well ok I don’t really!!!) but every day for us at the moment is like the weekend, so it really doesn’t matter whether it’s a weekend day or not!! I hope people aren’t reading this on a Monday morning before going to work otherwise I’m going to be in really big trouble!
So after our mammoth walkathon up and down the hills of Sintra our next stop was due to be Lisbon – however as any of you that have ever travelled like we’re doing at present will know that all though plans often get made they also just as regularly get changed and this one did just that. Two reasons really
1) Paul had a knee op about 18 months ago and if he pushes it too hard the “old war wound” still plays up, we didn’t want it to stop play altogether (as if I was left in the van for more than a day (or so) unable to go anywhere I would definitely get caged lion syndrome).
2) We had also been informed via a facebook group that the Algarve is mobbed with motorhomes this year and so its therefore quite difficult to get spaces to park overnight – with this in mind we made the decision to hot foot it down there a little sooner than planned so that we can ensure we are on the spot in Praia Da Rocha for when our visiting family arrive towards the end of next week. Although this would have still left us time to do Lisbon we didn’t want to rush it and so as there are other places around the vicinity we also want to visit we will put it on a future “must do” list.
Our journey south took us via the outskirts of Lisbon and you could certainly tell from the amount of traffic that we were near the capital city, as Boris is a wider than average motorhome I’m sure I was actually breathing in at times!
Porto Covo GPS N37 85225 W8 78874
Weather fine and bright skys with scattered cloud & windy 16 degrees
A very small coastal town with one main road leading down to the sea on the Alentejo coast. With rugged clifftop walks and numerous coves and crashing waves from the Atlantic sea, Porto Covo is a peaceful resort (in February at least) with a handful of restaurants and a daily market for fresh local produce. For once the weather was on our side so we joined the other hoards (well 30 or so) motorhomes parked up on the Aire and actually stayed put for 3 nights! With very little to do we enjoyed long walks on the cliff tops and beaches and took in a stunning sunset over the sea.
Enjoying Porto Covo’s Beautiful Coast
Despite every intention on my part we had yet to be in the right place at the right time for local produce markets so it was a must for us to visit this one. Coming away with fresh prawns and sea bream (we even managed to get the fish both cleaned and filleted – not because our Portuguese has improved immensely, but because the girl on the stall could understand and speak very good English – shame on us again!). The prawns we cooked in fresh garlic and chilli and pan fried with chorizo. Mmmm it’s making me hungry again just talking about it.
We arrived back at Boris to find a vehicle we recognised parked next to us – some Canadians that had been alongside us in Sintra a few days ago – as we chatted away we found out that this weekend is carnival in Portugal and a lot of towns have celebrations – there was even a small one in Porto Covo’s one street!
Change of plan again now then in search of joining in the festivities, originally we were heading to a place called Odeceixe which I had managed to find had a carnival taking place on Sunday, unfortunately when we arrived we realised that the parking for Boris was too far away from the town, so after a quick coffee we re-programmed the sat nav to Sagres on the Algarve – we were soon to find out that we were in a rather rural part of the coast by the track that she instructed us to go down and the locals still carrying their wood back home in the traditional way. Fortunately on this occasion we didn’t meet anything coming in the opposite direction so managed to get along this one un-scathed.
The journey though was more than a little eventful as we took the coast road which today had doubled up as a cycle time trial track. Not only was it busy with every day traffic utilising the major trunk road rather than the toll, it also had dozens upon dozens of cyclists along route together with their supporting vehicles. That in itself wouldn’t have presented too much of a problem however as the traffic bunched up cars, trucks, vans etc insisted on overtaking on the single track road and forcing their way back into the long line of traffic in non-existent spaces causing everyone to break hard. I was a nervous wreck and I was only the passenger and of course the “looker-outerer” for when we got the opportunity to zip past the cyclists ourselves (difficult to do from the driver’s seat of a right hand drive vehicle of course). To add to our pain and my now sweaty arm pits was a car pulling up to a junction at speed and carrying on without stopping right in front of us. The grey hair count has definitely been added to today!!!! Finally we made it to Sagres in one piece – let’s hope we haven’t missed the carnival !!!
Have a fabulous weekend all
Lots of Love Andi & Paul x