Sunday, 17 January 2016

Castro Verde & Odeceixe

Ten days have passed at Pomarao and we are not quite sure where they went
We decide its time to move across to Castro Verde in order to use their excellent municipal campsite and those elusive washing machines…

We have a full day of constructive comings and goings, mainly me carving a new trail to the washhouse, but next day it all goes pear shaped as Russ & Lynne arrive from Pomarao and we are firmly back in to party mode!
(possibly the grainiest photo ever but you get the message)

Next day we decide to actually leave the site and go stroll the town together amidst dull skies and the threat of rain. Quite a shock after the months of superb weather we've had

The old Manor House which must have looked very grand in its day

The Royal Basilica of Castro Verde 

A collection of tourists re enacting 'Saturday Night Fever'

Beautiful roof just peeling away

The interior is almost all hand painted porcelain tiles

Three days here and then we moved off to Aljezur on the west coast and a visit to FF Solar to check out their solar panels

The small portable panel I've procured will be ready for collection in a couple of days so we settle down just north of town at one of our most favourite places, Odeceixe

Beautiful as ever...

In a couple of months these succulents will be a mass of flowers

Storks in action

We get the message guys
The tolerated parking area is just back from this and offers a superb view and convenience

A room with a view...

The little beach community has been awarded some EU money and is busy renovating the steep cobble  paths and access roads

Name the actor...

Our first visit here this trip but we are sure to return in the coming months

Sunday, 10 January 2016


There now follows a long period of rest from our recent tripping…
At Pomarao right on the Spain/Portugal border on the Guadiana river

Tranquility assured here as the tidal river flows gently back and forth each day 

G & T at sundown

There's a small gathering of vanners dotted around the riverside area and once more we re engage with the almost daily ritual of afternoon drinks under the rubber tree at the local cafe
This is 'Moddey' receiving some TLC from Nina

Its New Years Eve and we have pre booked some seats up at Maria's restaurant with Ean, a seasoned regular here

The three of us mix in as best we can with the Portuguese and Dutch contingent and have a great multi course meal

At the appointed hour we find ourselves back at the van preferring to see in 2016 with a romantic toast 
The small group dancing session with Abba blaring out at the cafe just didn't appeal

The ten day stay here was something of a first for us and we are joined later by a few Brits from last year. Lynne & Russell are good company and we set off one day on a jaunt around the local tracks

Next day Nina is poised for something more hardcore and thats what she gets….
Scary tunnels that she refuses to negotiate unless the end is visible

This means a diversion and some hiking on goat terrain 

Ventilation shaft to one of many tunnels of the old mine railway

Dismantled in the 1960's for scrap to give money to the local mineworkers with no pensions, the line is left in a shocking state with numerous bridges gone and the pain of getting down the banking over the streams
We have become accustomed to the practice in the UK of renovating old lines for leisure use so to see this golden opportunity here spurned is quite sad as I'm sure it would attract more folks here
All down to investment I suppose and the Portuguese have more pressing issues with infrastructure like road resurfacing

We had several enjoyable soirees in various vans during our stay with much laughter and guffawing 

We even managed a visit or two on Fozz to both Sanlucar de Guadiana and over to Alcoutim on the ferry boat

John, a fellow vanner, came on his scooter too…
Quite surreal really as he's had Fireblades in the past and we both now find ourselves on much smaller mean machines..
I never envisaged having a ride out like this!

Nina's bedroom view for our stay in Pomarao

Russ and fellow Anorak captured examining battery leads, what fun…..

En route out of Pomarao we are forced to give way to some local residents out walking 

We finally leave Wookey Hole and head for a few days recharging and washing to be done at Castro Verde campsite, a gem of a site with all facilities for €8.50 per night
Three nights are spent here with Russ & Lynne arriving second day for more social interaction of an evening, you know the sort, tablets at the ready….