A social life

We’ve moved. We were in the way on pitch 302 at Camping Tourismo, Espiche – someone had booked it from Jan 21st so we had to go. We moved somewhat reluctantly, Espiche being one of the best sites we’ve ever been on – location 10/10, cleanliness 10/10, efficiency of staff 10/10, friendliness of staff 10/10, amenities 10/10, bar and restaurant 10/10, wi-fi  (   s    l    o    w    ) alone let it down … The dreaded morning of 21/07/2016 arrived, I asked reception to arrange our unhook-up, locked cupboards, put away all moveables and, tears in our eyes, we left.

After a 60 second drive we arrived at pitch 615. Hmm – less trees, great for claustrophobics and sun worshippers, and as for the neighbours … within 30 minutes we had been invited out for a beer at 5.30 pm. What could I do? It would’ve been churlish to refuse. Since then it’s been non-stop socialising – fish and chip night + booze , dog-walking on the beach + beer in the bar, raclette meal at T&D’s + booze, and an invitation to a wedding (hopefully + booze). We have a three course meal planned for later in the week – first course at Ann and Bob’s, main course at mine and desert at Tina and Dave’s (+ booze of course!) and Ann, Tina and I have a Girlie Day Shopping planned. Sorry Bezzies I might not quite make it to Tarifa … well all right I will, but I’ll probably be back here next January – just to see if these over wintering folk are as nice as I think they are (+ booze of course).

Without the hire car Daize and I are doing much walking – along the coast path (8k) to Bergau (very reminiscent of the South West Coast Path in Cornwall and Devon) and into Espiche village, both typical Portuguese villages, and out into the countryside locally. Daize is doing very well off lead and (mostly) recalling well, she does excel when I call her back because of the (occasional) traffic. She has really bonded with Linda and Trevor’s English springer Ruby, they’re wonderful together.

Views from our walks

Linda and Trevor are getting married in September and I’m honoured to have been invited – oh dear, how sad, I’ll have to get a new outfit …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Tra la

The flowers that bloom in the spring,
Tra la,
Breathe promise of merry sunshine —
As we merrily dance and we sing,
Tra la,
We welcome the hope that they bring,
Tra la,
Of a summer of roses and wine,
Of a summer of roses and wine.
And that’s what we mean when we say that a thing
Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.
Tra la la la la-a,
Tra la la la la-a,
The flowers that bloom in the spring.

W S Gilbert (The Mikado)

Portugal is springing to life!

🙂 🙂 🙂

A new tattoo?

There seems to be something about travellers – not holidayers – travellers, explorers, adventurers that makes them/us, in the main, very open and friendly. Unlike when we are living in our own countries we appear to be able to recognise and quickly engage with one another, part of an international tribe, keen to swop experiences; even our horror stories! I meet many fellow adventurers, scarcely a day goes by without at least one such meeting. In the last three days I’ve chatted to an American couple in Lagos (Portugal not Nigeria and pronounced Lah-goos) and a Canadian on Luz beach, all doing some long term travelling. It’s not so strange I suppose that the same curiosity which sets us all on our journeying extends to curiosity about each other but I can’t work out how we recognise one another, after all none that I’ve met so far have had “nomad” tattooed on their forehead. For all of us tho’ the journey is the thing. Not all of those on campsites are journeying and some serious travellers I’ve talked to are staying in hotels, using cars or trains to get around. Someone I was chatting with today told me about an 84yr old lady still journeying in her motorhome … once an adventurer, always an adventurer? For my own sake, I do hope so.

Spring has arrived in the Algarve

🙂 🙂 🙂

The roof of the Algarve.

At 905m (2969ft) Foia is the highest peak in the Serra de Monchique and indeed the Algarve. The views from the top are spectacular and Daize and I got to the top!!! On a bright January day it was a bit nippy up there but the end result was worth the effort and the number of calories expended –  unfortunately it was too hazy in the distance to get decent photos of the view all the way to the sea in 3 directions – and anyway I hadn’t got the summit flag with me.

The trip started via the historic town of Silves. From it’s days as a Roman fortress to those as the Moorish capital and cultural heart of the area it oozes history. In fact the region’s name, the Algarve, comes from it’s Arabic name, Al-Gharb. In it’s heyday when its Governor was King Al-Mu’tamid of Seville, Silves was renowned for it’s beauty (and figs).

Come, Abu Bakr, greet my haunts in Silves and ask them

If, as I think, they still remember me.

Greet the Palace of the Verandas on behalf of a young prince

Who feels a perpetual longing for that palace.

Al-Mu’tamid  (1040-1095) – Evocation of Silves (excerpt)

(The rest of it is more an evocation of his women than the town tho’ he does mention that the curves of the river there remind him of the shape of his women.)

 

When the Moors were ousted from the Algarve (1249) by the Christians they high tailed it back to Seville.

Leaving Silves Daisy and I headed once more through Monchique, this time in bright sunshine, and up the long and winding road (calories were used – gear changing and steering round all those bends!) to the radar station at the top of Foia. In the 15th century, the great days of Portuguese maritime explorations, Foia’s distinctive shape and green “skirt” was used by sailors as a navigation guide to the sheltered harbours of the Algarve. Along with all the communications and radar gear at the summit I found a cafe, a souvenir tat shop and an artisan craft shop where Bruno made me a pair of tiger’s eye earrings to match the pendant of his I spotted – £17 the lot.

Another successful day …

🙂 🙂 🙂