Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Peniche, more drama & Cais do Bico

Our route up the West Coast sees us visiting a small new site at Odrinhas which turns out to be a little gem with electric and good services. In the little village there's a disproportionate amount of cafes and a very good restaurant, Rui Dos Pregos which we frequent both nights as the atmos is superb, friendly with the added bonus of full fat WiFi

Its from here that we Fozz it to nearby Mafra

and take a peek at Mafra National Palace

We take in Ericeira and soon see why its very popular with surfers the world over

Put them down Nina!
Just too big for her bag or else I'm sure she would have wanted to give the lab a new home

Peniche up next and we stay for two nights encamped with many others just outside the walls of this seaside town

Sea defences, and lots of them

These elusive characters were having a ball at the harbour walls

Just down the harbour walk from the locals trying to snare them

Success at last, but no….The fish got away after snapping the line so now cruises the depths with a hook stuck in its fat lip

From Peniche we head for a really nice secret (not any more) spot at Praia do Osso da Baleia and I mooch about first evening taking a few shots in the dunes behind the beautiful almost deserted beach

All is well in Camper World, how could it not be when falling asleep each night listening to the nearby crashing waves?

Next day we are off for what becomes an eventful day...

The 24km ride to civilisation at Pedrogao is very pleasant as we stop half way for sticky sustenance and coffees

What a sight….
Nina's sneaky shot of me after the drama…
14km from home and, after light rain on the seemingly 'safe' deserted cycle track, I come crashing to the ground after the front wheel just disappears under me when turning to cross the road
'Luckily' I break my hefty fall with my right elbow, which is nice…..
After ten minutes I am frightened as there appears to be someone screaming in my ear in agony, Oh that must be me then…
Laid flat out with the world in disarray I just couldn't get up with the grief
Anyhow Nina manhandled me and the bike and eventually I rode back one handed, unable to change gear and feeling sick, back to the van to nurse my wound
'Nursing' consisted of Nina in her new role as carer, dresser and personal assistant, big pain relief pills & about four large Maciera brandies.
What a prat I am!

Next day I drive one handed (good job its an auto gearbox) to the nearby hospital where the kind doctor pulls and pokes my arm (many thanks Chum) after showing me X-rays and declaring I had a fractured elbow. I had somehow guessed my diagnosis by the apparent symptoms prevailing at the time and the minor problem of not being able to use my now twisted arm

Happy pills and yet more TLC coupled with a course of rehab ultimately are duly prescribed and we go away wondering what the hell is going on in 'Accident Prone' world

Off we trundle from the hospital (roundabouts are now quite interesting to negotiate with just the one hand) up to the lovely lagoon side location of Cais do Bico just south of Porto

Us for two days' R & R

I become a whizz at left handed photography (the shooting, not the quality)

Lunch is served in the local cafe and I spend my time walking around in a painkiller induced La La trance. Its on the mend thankfully but rue the fact I'm right handed….
All but the simplest tasks are left to my trusted carer…..Nina

Thursday, 24 March 2016


Lisbon had the last laugh on us…
In the very centre of the biggest thunderstorm we'd experienced for years I managed to get the rig well and truly stuffed up a narrow, ever inclining back street in downtown Lisbon
Don't ask me how we got there I simply thought I could slip off the sat nav route and pick up the scenic route along the coast to Cascais
How we managed to reverse round several bends with the trailer in horrendous deafening lightning and torrential rain I don't know but thanks to my courageous wife and lots of multi lingual shouting at the muppets in cars from yours truly…we managed it!

In total silence we drove to Cascais and suddenly all was rosy in the garden. What a real find this was last year for us. Simple parking at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and we are a complete world away from stress and traffic

View from the bedroom window...

Or the short wall we ate breakfast on

I have Mick Clarke to thank for this….
A renewed interest in my big camera which will see me learning more as time goes on hopefully

Can you spot the van?

We've cycled in to Cascais along the excellent dedicated path and take a stroll around this wonderful town

The main road through town


Two locals about to be cash rich for their early morning efforts

It actually looked quite roadworthy to us...

Picking up fellas...

Back at the van its Tosta Time with these essential pre dining treats covered in sardine & shrimp pates and another night being lulled to sleep by the crashing sea just yards away...