Saturday, 21 January 2017

Pomarao to Odeceixe

The next couple of weeks are spent firstly entering Portugal in the south east and traversing the country east to west in search of an elusive solar panel...

This would have been our preferred entry point directly in the tiny hamlet of Pomarao

50m from the border (and Pom) there's a bit of a landslide sealing the countries off from one another
The diggers came then went apparently after a few days work so who knows when they'll return as there's a shed load of support work to be done here
We had to enter Portugal much farther north via Serpa & Beja which was fine as we got a few washes done and topped up the LPG

We settle in right in front of Russ (Aka Nobby) and Lynne for the next week
The mornings begin with river fog then give way to glorious chest exposing sunshine...

One of several river craft that call this tranquil place home

Another fire, another roaring success...

Walking is done of course along that rugged ex rail line

A 'Lost' moment (and a good spot for a 3G signal)

A really nice group meal organised by that guy in the corner
I have enormous respect for Ean and he reminds me so much of my old dad with the exception that this guy likes interacting with me..
I guess so many guys have had the same woes with their fathers and if he were alive today he'd probably be as mellow and wise as Ean

Nina & Lynne provide cheerful smiles..

Moddey studies the movements of a certain ship's dog he's took a dislike to

Lunchtime filler at nearby Mertola sat in blinding sunshine

After a couple of days recharge and general servicing at Castro Verde campsite (including a memorable 'Who wants to be a Millionaire" night with Russ & Lynne ) we head right across to FF Solar near Aljezur on the west coast
The panel is out of stock but expected soon so we have three nights at the beautiful Odeceixe

See what I mean?

The nights are remarkably cold and the socks are worn in bed!
A nip round to the solar guys reveals that they are still waiting so we head south to Vila do Bispo as the panel is imminent apparently 

Whilst there we visit Lagos on Max and spend a really nice afternoon strolling the town and settling down in a marina bar

The site here is a good find, particularly on the crammed Algarve and after just ten minutes of arrival the solar guys ring to say the panel's in....
We're not rushing back so it will wait till next week!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Cumbres Mayores

Next up was a one night special near Seville at Hidalgo Motorhomes. Situated about 24km from the city its perfect for us to stay overnight in their rear compound which doubles as a good Aire with lekky and service facilities.
I needed a small part for one of the toilette cassettes and received excellent service from the Dutch guy who works in the spares dept there
An afternoon jaunt in to Seville was of course compulsory.....

We head north west towards the border with Portugal and our next RV with Russ & Lynne who are heading for Pomarao too
We stay two nights out in the hills at Cumbres Mayores, a sleepy one-horse town out near the helipad on a dedicated aire that gives superb all round views of the beautiful countryside

Our first evening is spent watching the sun go down..

With some of that Olorosso from Sanlucar

We think Kite, Keith?

That horse..

If you carry your keys in the same pocket as your camera eventually something like this will happen..
The view on powering up the camera when the shutter cover is jammed

Don't Dump Garbage!

Sleepy town still has a rail connection though

These fellas were enormous fun

Most ran off when passing on our hike as they are quite timid but the hungry ones couldn't get enough of the acorns we threw them

A 'Keaton' moment..

We left Cumbres Mayores refreshed and headed off on a great scenic drive over the border to Pomarao via the washing machines at the Intermarche in Serpa and the LPG station in Beja

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Festive Sunshine

The New Year rapidly approaches and our time is filled with walking and cycling down familiar routes together with tripping in to Sanlucar to sample its evening life

Now if only we could find a chip shop!

Twitcher at play...

An afternoon is pleasantly spent walking in to Sanlucar to stroll the streets and seek out tapas

Armed with my trusty translation I try to seek out the guy who sharpens knives, to no avail so the belt knife will have to wait for another day 

Oh 'Deer' the girls are led astray by the hanging Hams....

The local Oloroso wine goes down a treat

Chums on tour!

The bikes are pressed in to action again and a trip down the superb cycleway to Chipiona and beyond takes up another fine day

Technically our route from a previous day but Keith and I go off this arterial route and discover another round trip back to base

Refreshments in Chipiona

The big night arrives, as does hoards of Spaniards, and the site fills up
Alphonso has prepped one of the 'tomato' greenhouses ready for the New Year's Eve shindig and we all take goodies to the party

Lots of wine and nibbles later the hour is toasted by a melee of mixed nationality sensation-seekers

Girlie silhouette 

Followed by the Daft Lads...

The next few days are spent unwinding and recuperating with walking and another trip in to Sanlucar topped off with a last night 'blowout' at a newly discovered bar in our locality

So we made it in to 2017....
Our reorganised festive location turned out to be far better than the one planned in so many ways
We've had a wonderful time here with our Chums and were blessed with superb weather
Both parties will be back soon to soak up more of this great area but its time to wander off in different directions....
We leave with very happy memories
Happy New Year to all!