As I arrived at my first overnight stop in Portugal it was raining – hard. It had been raining for most of the drive from Seville and apparently in the Algarve it had been raining for a couple of days. The site was, apart from two small sections of access roads, a sea of red mud. The chap on reception just vaguely indicated that I should choose any empty pitch, this is quite common in the off season, but under these conditions quite unhelpful. R0X1 slithered, slipped and skidded on the unterraced slopes, and let me tell you 3.5 (or maybe more as I’ve never bothered with weighing) tons of truck on muddy slopes is the most unnerving driving experience I’ve so far had in R0X1. Unable to go up any more I managed to alter direction (not sure how) without too much slippage, and gingerly wended my way back to the safety (comparative) of tarmac. Another motorhome was parked up on the tarmac in front of a rank of empty car parking spaces and despite the fact that this appeared to be the lowest point of the site and close to a very large puddle, I decided to park up just in front of it. (Beginning to get the idea there might have been a teeny-tiny problem?)
Aforementioned car parking spaces, as is common for car parks in southerly climes, were covered over as in car ports. Digressing only slightly, and in my own defence, when one is driving a large truck (sorry R0X) there are blind spots at the top rear corners of the roof (I’ve found another use for a man – watching my roof while I reverse!). I should have just stopped, regained my equilibrium after the mud driving experience (and on top of that I was stressing about the wisdom of parking there at all in view of the amount of water just in front, but there was nowhere else to park) and stress relieved before I engaged reverse gear … Awning 0 – Canopy 1.
The damage did not look good. The end of the awning was broken off almost completely and the rear half of the awning was a bit flappy – Gaffer tape provided some security from the whole thing falling off and I made my way to Lagos the following morning. Enquiries ascertained that I had passed a motorhome repairer 70k back, so yesterday having phoned ahead to make an appointment R0X1 went to the doctors. I’d checked the price of a new awning and decided that I don’t use the awning enough to warrant €705 (without fitting) – it was a straight choice between repairing (extremely doubtful) or removing. R0X1 is now without awning … but that’s OK.
CamperServ is owned an run by an Englishman who says his name is Tommy (not sure whether that’s just his joke) and I’m certainly not surprised at how busy he is. He’s friendly, knowledgeable and extremely helpful. Whilst I was there he helped a Dutch couple whose hab. electric board had died so they had no water, lights, fridge etc., another chap had got a couple of problems which were diagnosed by him without even stopping removing my awning … His workshop is at Loulé but he has at least one mobile mechanic who will travel anywhere needed in the Algarve and I recommend him to any motorhomers unlucky enough to need him. www.camperserv.com
Praia da Luz – walk on the beach and lunch
BTW – the awning is only in temporary residence at Tommy’s workshop as he’s certain he can fix it and it won’t cost me anywhere near €705 + fitting.
🙂 🙂 🙂