Tuesday 2nd February
Itchy feet, it was time to move on. The spot was idyllic and the people here were great. We could of stayed for a week, the problem was we hadn’t stocked up before coming. Also we needed to empty all the tanks and fill the water. Although we could of stocked up and come back, we didn’t. We really needed to be getting on to Faro, to pick up new Insurance documents and start getting closer to Morocco. We said our goodbyes, exchanged some books, emails and telephone numbers, as we really wanted to meet up with both couple’s again. We then sadly drove away from the beach, away from the beautiful calm bay and headed again very slowly up the track until we looked around and the bay could no longer be seen. In a way I didn’t want to leave, but we have a lot to see! I will defiantly come back here again though. Also on our way to Faro we were on the lookout for a motorhome shop, as our inverter had started playing up! It now wouldn’t power and charge a lot, like the laptop or Lorna’s hair straighteners. I thought maybe it needed a second battery to be fitted to it to help with power. As we drove past Lagos and more into the Algarve, with it’s new homes and apartments, the beach we were at seemed even more idyllic. The fact that there were no houses looking onto it, just hills, was perfect.
Back to reality and after doing some tank emptying, refilling and a supermarket stop, we ended up parking up in Quarteira. It was at the end of the town along the beach. A few packs of motorhomes were parked up, in any scrubland that hadn’t yet been built on. We were now gathered in an upmarket encampment, with brand new motorhomes and satellite dishes, a different environment that we had just come from and one I would have to admit was less appealing. At one point trying to find a spot a bit away from the crowd we met a French woman alone in her van apart from her cat. A conversation was had but she couldn’t speak English and we couldn’t speak French, but yet again we sort of understood one another. In the end we had to go join the crowd on the beach. As getting the motorhome down to the other patch would not have been the best idea.
Wednesday 3rd February
Today headed into Faro and after a wonder around trying to find the correct post office, collected our documents. Waiting for post in the sun by the sea, turned out a much better idea. After a walk round Faro we left feeling a little let down by the town, can’t put my finger on why mind. We then headed into the village of Fuzeta and found a spot to park up, watching people kite surfing. Along this part of the coast they have a long stretch of sand banks just off the coast where pink flamingos are often spotted, we didn’t see any. After speaking to a Dutch couple who lived here, we found out that this area was to be a market in the morning and we would probably get told to leave or wake up surrounded by a market! not able to leave till after it finished. We decided to head to some parking just further on down the coast. We carried on towards Tavira and turned off the main road to find a small road running along the front of the coast. It was a little natural harbour with the sand banks opposite.
All along the road were parking spots and there were a lot of shiny campers all parked along. Around the Algarve we were starting to experience the retired motorhome generation who flock down here in the winter. All coming south to keep warm, which is what were doing really. It was just strange getting used to lots and lots of motorhomes rather than a few.
Thursday 4th February
Headed around Tavira, which was a much more quaint little town than Faro. We spent a while in the Library using the free wifi and electric socket to charge the laptop, while we left our clothes at the Laundrette. We had managed to find a lesser-spotted self-service laundrette, as all we’d seen had been dry cleaners. We parked up on the car park of the local indoor market, it was full of shiny motorhomes. In fact every car park or patch of land around the town was full of motorhomes, it was very strange and rather too much. Later we tried to find a place for the night by the harbour but the car parks were again full of motorhomes, even though the car parking seemed to be in front of restaurants, the restaurants were empty! So we headed back to the original spot, were there were spaces.
Friday 5th January
Headed around the indoor market in the morning, to take a look and to pick up some veg.
After we headed further east to Villa Real De Santo Antonio, the Portuguese town right on the sea and the border with Spain. We managed to find a station that filled up our French bottle and also just north of the town another town that had motorhome services. So tanks were emptied and refilled, very much a part of our new routine!
We headed back to Villa Real and found a spot to park up, on the side of a track that lead up the one side of the Estuary and had a huge long beach the other side. As the sun was out we had a walk along the beach collecting shells, with the idea of making jewellery. The beach was littered with shells of all sizes and shapes. Probably partly due to people dragging their baskets through the water, then tipping the contents of it onto the beach to sort through, for what they were intending to sell or cook. Back at the motorhome on the other side of the Estuary was Spain, our destination for tomorrow.