I don’t want anyone living in the frozen wastes of Northern Europe to think that those of us in the southernmost areas are getting off scot free. For the past 72hrs and for the next 10 days we have and will continue to get howling gales and torrential downpours. We have had interrupted electrical supply as water has got into fuse boxes but luckily the site isn’t subject to flooding. On seeing the forecast several days ago I had a COP and decided to remain on site rather than move off into the hills and go off grid – except we periodically go off grid here, that’s irony for you!
This area is also the subject of a severe coastal event red weather warning. Now I have absolutely not a scoobies what a severe coastal event is, even so I’m glad to be about a mile inland and the other side of the hill. If and when aforementioned SCE occurs, I will acknowledge it in this blog. In the meantime, answer on a postcard please if you, dear regular reader, have any idea, what an SCE might be.
LWD, not keen on wetness of any kind, as my regular reader knows, and even less keen on ROR (too noisy) has not been impressed by storm Emma’s wind, rain or thunder and lightning so far. Neither have many of this site’s temporary residents who appear to be leaving in droves today. They have obviously not looked at the forecasts for further away – MOS.
You only have to look at Portugal’s reservoirs to appreciate how much this rain is needed – it would take months of rain to bring them up to even half full …
On the bright side I have FFP due to arrive …
COP – Change Of Plan
SCE – Severe Coastal Event
LWD – Little White Dog
ROR – Rain on Roof
MOS – More of Same
FFP – Friends From Pinar
TLA – Three Letter Acronym
🙂 🙂 🙂
LWD has had a forced march along the Praia de Mei in Lagos, 3 miles of crescent shaped beach with decent pale sand and very few people. It’s hard to imagine it as crowded as it must be in high season but the number of bars and restaurants, most closed for the winter, indicate it’s a popular spot. LWD ran, rolled and rollicked.
I collected some shells and tried my hand at still life photography – I’ve got a long way to go. The idea was to arrange the individual shells in a shell shape in the sand but it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. I need lessons in arrangement.
Today found me at the dentist explaining that the 32 year old gold crown on one of my molars had cracked some time ago and I was advised that the tooth would not last long enough to be worth re-crowning. The tooth has become very painful and sensitive over the past few weeks and having made the appointment I was prepared for an extraction. After expressing his surprise at the existence of such an aged crown the offending tooth was x-rayed. Peter, dentist, said he didn’t want to remove the tooth and that he’d like to attempt a last ditch attempt to save it. The crack which had become a rough edged hole has been filled and the crown has been filed down as the bite on it was wrong. And now we suck it and see. How long will it last? … who knows, but the Crowned Tooth has a reprieve.
🙂 🙂 🙂
So Monday evening found me waiting at the vets with LWD who had developed, quite unusually, bilateral ear infections. Unusual only because up to now it’s always been either one or the other ear. Silly moo had been rubbing her ears in the sand again, tho’ I’m never quite sure whether that’s the cause or the effect. Very thorough Portuguese vet who did an extreme deep clean of both ears and hair plucking of the worst affected. LWD snuggled and trembled but didn’t make a sound, the Vet was most impressed she apparently gets snarled at and bitten quite a bit doing that procedure. She prescribed ear cleanser (which I’d run out of – lulled into a false sense of security by 9 infection free months) and an aural antibiotic. LWD was totally stressed out by the time we got back to R0X1, even the biggest cuddles didn’t calm her, so I administered Daizepam which relaxed her enough that we both got some sleep! 3 days later and her ears are slowly improving, we go back for a check up on Friday.
My plans haven’t changed much, I shall just be a day later arriving at Pria-de-Luz than I expected. We’re currently up in the hills about 20 miles inland but still by the Spanish border. The weather is foggy first thing, some days like yesterday the cloud lifts and we get a warm afternoon. Not looking that promising today but we shall get a good walk in later and it’s so peaceful up here who cares about the weather!
Alcoutim was our first stop in this neck of the woods. The drive alongside the river Guardiana was winding and would on a nicer day have been stunning. I didn’t see Alcoutim at its best either, dull and deserted – but hey ho, I had high hopes for our lakeside overnight stop. Except the lake was almost empty, the dam virtually completely exposed and the water left was not much larger than Hurst village pond and, with only two water birds, a lot less populated. Walking around what used to be the reservoir bed I found it quite a depressing place.
Castle wall and R. Guardiana Alcoutim
From reservoir to pond
Grey heron and friend
Alcoutim and Pereiro reservoir
It was with a heavy heart and little hope that I drove to our current stop at Odeleite. So I was delighted to find one of the best aires I’ve ever used; large marked out pitches all with water and electricity should you want it (gimme, gimme, I have a blog to write and photos to edit and upload). Despite it not being high season, there’s a cafe and bar on site which is open, and a laundry room. Price? €7.50 per night (only €4.50 if you don’t want hook up). The views are stunning and it’s so quiet I can hear my tinnitus! Add to that a bread delivery van arrived at seven this morning; unsurprisingly I went straight back to bed after purchasing my day’s requirements.
Spring in Portugal
View near the aire.
Views from todays walk around Odeleite
🙂 🙂 🙂
I now know that the leisure battery will give me four nights 12 amp as long as I don’t do any photo editing on the MacBook; the poor old inverter struggles with that. I may have to reconsider the solar panel issue as I’m finding I’m wanting to spend more and more time off grid. The Aire I’ve been at for the past few nights does 24hrs electricity for €2.50, which is very good but not that many places do it at all let alone that cheap, so today I’m treating myself to power and charging every battery I can find. And as today’s weather is not as warm and sunny as it’s been the last week I’m catching up with aforementioned photo editing and blogging.
First night in Portugal was in Castro Marim, tiny place with an interesting medieval castle and an exhibition of torture tools from the Inquisition. I must be getting squeamish in my old age – the heavy wooden chair with leg, arm, waist and neck straps was studded all over the seat, back and armrests with large iron spikes and was my unfavourite; of all the torture instruments I found it especially gross. All in the name of Christianity … yesteryear’s terrorists if you ask me. I decided to spare you dear regular reader, and didn’t take photos of the exhibition.
From the battlements
Livestock pens and chapel housing the grim exhibition.
Inner bailey walls
Second up is Vila Real de San António a quiet, well in January it is, border town. The Aire is riverside to the Guardiano with Ayamonte (Spain) on the other bank. VRSA as it is known locally, in its heyday was a busy port and fishing town, catering now mostly to tourists. I met and spent a lot of time over the weekend with convivial companions Sharon and Matt who are in the process of giving a forever home to Rrrita (short for Señorita – don’t forget to roll the R). She’s an indeterminate breed of around LWDs size with the prettiest of faces and light brown velvety fur. Daize and Rita hit it off, had a great time together on the tiny beach here and both were very tolerant of the frequent wine-o’clock stops!
Old “grid” style town
Tiny beach …
Spain viewed from the “wine-o’clock” terrace
Vila Real de Santo António
Matt and Sharon are off to the rescue centre today to sign the adoption papers and get Rita’s passport. I’m off tomorrow after I’m fully charged, for a side trip up to the the lakes before heading to Luz at the end of the week.
🙂 🙂 🙂
Silly moo LWD is not a happy puppy; she does not learn.
Despite me politely suggesting she stop, she’s been rubbing her head around on the beach, grazed her ear on the sand and the inevitable has happened. Luckily I have some ear drops and, bribed with treats, she’s not making too much fuss about their administration . This morning her ear is not as red and hot. Hopefully we won’t have to make a trip to the vet for antibiotics.
So the beach is banned and yesterday we had a wander round the streets of Conil-de-Frontera. Its another white Andalucian hill town but with the added attraction of being a seaside town too. Temperature was in the 20℃s – what I have to endure whilst my family and friends in UK and northern Europe have Storm Eleanor to delight them!
My regular reader may have spotted that I’ve recently acquired a busy social life. Since arriving at Pinar San José, as well as the obvious socialising with the Bezzies whilst they were in residence, I’ve made new campals by the dozen, or more. I’ve joined small parties for dog walks, larger gatherings for afternoon drinks, live music, lunches etc. – in fact staying on here for a rest has turned out to be quite exhausting!
Last nights outing was to see the Christmas lights in Vejer. I wasn’t too keen on being the thirteenth member of the party but thankfully I wasn’t the unlucky thirteenth. We had a good wander and admired the shops (all open ’til eight/nine p.m. – this is Spain!) and the lights were beautiful. The Thirteen then popped into a bar, rearranged all the tables and chairs to their own satisfaction and flummoxed the poor barman/waiter/cook who was on his own, expecting a quiet Tuesday evening no doubt. After ordering 13 drinks, we considered, to great mirth, ordering 13 different meals but decided that might be a joke too far.
🙂 🙂 🙂
Yesterday’s forced march for LWD was along the beach, around the lighthouse and back. We happened across fellow Moho-ers walking the two labs they’re dog-sitting. LWD was invited to play ball – she didn’t play ball. When the prize was finally hers (by subtle and devious means) she showed her labrador heritage by stubbornly and absolutely refusing to give up possession.
Now she had the prize she played paw-ball, nose-ball and bury-ball very happily on her own. Eventually, and it was a very long eventually, she tired and I was able to play grab-ball and stuff-in-pocket-ball. The wet and somewhat sandy ball was returned to its owners on our return to site.
When waves collide
Cabot de Trafalgar
Lighthouse at Cabo de Trafalgar
🙂 🙂 🙂
I left Bolnuevo a week ago and motored the short drive to Lorca for a stay with my friends. Not only did my patient survive my nursing she has recovered incredibly well, yesterday we were crossing the road together and she almost ran across – it was raining, and we’d just come out of the hairdresser’s – fastest she’s moved since the accident she informed me!
Having a cracking time here, we’ve been out and about quite a bit, meal with some of R&J’s friends, local market, food shop and other jaunts. Last night we went to the cinema to see Murder on the Orient Express (cracking film) and LWD had the devil in her and refused to come inside the house before we left. She wasn’t terribly impressed with being left outside in the dark and cold for two and a half hours; we thoroughly enjoyed the film tho’ . More trips out planned for this coming week and then I’m off to Granada to see the sights.
Just before I left the UK my windscreen collided with a stone. I was in Halfords for something else and asked if they knew where Autoglass was, cashier told me that Halfords now repair windscreen chips. To save time I had it repaired there and was assured the repair was solid as a rock. And so it was – for seven weeks. The morning I was off to Lorca I drew back the windscreen curtains to see a curly crack descending from the “repair”. Insurance company put my call straight through to Autoglass who faxed the details through to their Spanish colleagues and within the hour I had a date for the replacement windscreen. Unfortunately that appointment had to be postponed because of a weather forecast of heavy rain for the appointed day.
Today, however, was sunny (but cold) and R0X1 is now resplendent with shiny new windscreen.
🙂 🙂 🙂