Friday, 28 March 2014

Santa Clara a Velha, Praia de Odeceixe & Monchique

En route inland next day to Messejana we find the road blocked by the police and fire crews. A small goods vehicle had left the road and hit a tree head on so we about-turned and took the detour via sat nav. Some days later we were saddened to see in the local newspaper some general photos of the crash and the news that the driver had been killed
Messejana was a one horse town with a superb aire attached to the local open air pool complex. We stayed the night on our lonesome having been bizarrely locked in at 8pm prompt
What an excellent facility at a remote village

We head for the local barragems and after a 10km remote drive through the rugged countryside we find a perfect spot at Santa Clara a Velha

Nothing here but beautiful hills and very remote farms and villages

This villa was 'Vende Se' and had been on the market probably for ages. Idyllic setting but could only really be a holiday residence as its way too remote

Plant thieves will be shot or something along those lines…..

Or burned in oil….

These guys have protection it seems

If only I could name them...

Next day we make a return visit to Praia de Odeceixe where we stayed last year at the water's edge for two superb nights.
Trouble was they were turning it in to a new car park!

The bar was closed but then I guess 'eorr eorr eorralways says that :(

The short story is:
We park up mid afternoon some way back from the beach but still OK
Watch 3 large hippie buses/lorries arrive, let loose several large dogs and coral themselves
Enjoy our dinner cooked by Chef Nina
Listen to retro music from way back when
Start listening to alternative 'pot' induced wailing and shouting from our neighbours
Drive in the dark to the other side of the river to the cliff tops where there are thankfully several 'duddies' like us in vans looking for a restful nights' kip
To be fair it was a remote spot and they were harmless enough….

Towels don't wash themselves so its off to Monchique and this excellent little site in the hills
Good hot showers, serviced pitches and a friendly welcome

A dirt track gets you here from the main road that sports several good restaurants

One of those restaurants and a 3 hour lunch mainly due to..

…these ladies, Margo and her lovely mum Claire
Two very nice Canadians we had the pleasure of spending the rest of the afternoon with. They later spotted us trekking up the road to Monchique and we met up for beers in the village
A much needed lift from them back to the van (as ever my back knows when to play up) and more coffee and good chat ensued
Now all we need to do is save up for a trip to Canada!