Getting ready for the big off tomorrow morning..Trusty More or less Packed, Lex bolted to the back. just the tooth brushes to put in before we depart. Cleaning the little house is done.
6 Years and 40 Thousand miles plus. nothing ..this last trip..well !! you can see by the pictures above Good job Trusty has a guy who knows how to sort this..when we get back.. Me !!
Its push off time. Up at 7 am (early for us) , Showered and final bits into trusty and were off..Putting the Old Girl back on the road after nearly 5 months of standing around outside this little house..She’s still bent and battered, with a cobbed up leaky rad, but I intend to drive her back all the same..
We were going to get the parts from my Bros in England sent over, and had it in hand this week. However, BO Jo is up to his stupid ways again..so 2 weeks mandatory quarantine in France and UK, for all travellers arriving 8th June..so bugger that !! were off back now.
Not looking forward to getting back to UK..at all. But we do love our country. Just not the prats that manage to screw it up.. Plus we have a boat to sort out ready for Trusty’s 6th Adventure around the waterways of Britain..
Next year we are definitely committing to boating around the waterways (We Hope)
We started our journey, Trusty’s 5th adventure..as planned. cleaned the little house Spikity Span, everything checked and treble checked, very necessary when you leave anywhere you have been in for a while, or when you get to use something, cant find it, turned trusty upside down, only to find you left it behind.. Ahhh !! but no, everything’s in and where it should be.
So off we go, we were heading for camping Alentejo, a simply superb site around 150 miles from Alvor and on the way to Monsanto. But as we were making such good time, on arrival, we decided to push on to Monsanto and give it a miss this time. l!! had we known what was to come we would have stopped.
We arrived at Monsanto,around 5 pm a journey of around 6 hours..some 300 miles.. It’s a medieval place, centuries old. Set high on a hill with a fort and church as well. amazing quaint old houses built on. around boulders. picture is from town square below. Spent the night, and had a really relaxing evening in the bar. We decided not to walk our selves silly in the heat, and sat it out in the Bar soaking up the Rays, and the Beers.
Up next Morning and 20 miles to Spanish Border. Well what a fiasco..First before starting this journey, we made sure it was possible to do..checked the British Embassy site in Madrid. which allowed us a download of a consulate document outlining our travel plans and a request to let us pass, others with other saying they did this. Seemed OK to us so up we troop to border.
On the Portuguese side no one to be seen, so great of we trundle 200 yds towards Spain..Cops jump out in front, hands up waving like mad for us to park ..And now were faced with two guardia civil twats..both which, looked like they’d just swallowed a wasps nest..No English spoken and only very broken Spanish by me.
After a bit of tooing and froing..they got the gist of what we were at..Passport !! one wheezed through clenched lips..so out they go through the window..Hands him the Consulate paper..Hardly looks at it..I swear it might have been upside down. !! …NO !! he says ..Pardon ?? says me..NO !! POSSIBLE !! and hands it back. and orders us to turn back..which we had no choice but to do. No amount of arguing,( I won’t plead !!) got us anywhere.
Should have said to him..No !! not possible to give you back Gibraltar either..but cops bristling with guns and bad attitude are not prone to sarcasm or own a sense of humor either. I Felt it was better to refrain, and smile through gritted teeth!!
Reluctantly we turned and went back..200 meters, the GNR are now about..hands up and pull in..Now I think I have mentioned before the Portuguese police..should be sent as trainers to Spain to train their police good manners.. No comparison whatsoever..chalk and cheese.
ALL GOOD ?? No !! Because they did not see us going to Spanish checkpoint, they assumed the Spanish had let us through. and more or less wanted us to do 2 weeks quarantine, Blow me..the very reason we were headed back to UK to miss by 8th June.. So a bit of explaining showing some receipts we had for fuel etc..and his perfect English, got us over the problem.. and he let us continue. Guess where we are now..Yup !! Camping Alentejo.
150 miles on our way back, but its a great place and were happy..well almost. Intending to mosey on back to Algarve in a day or two..trusty has a squeaky rear shock absorber, so going to replace that, when we get there. And I’m thinking off getting my brother to send all the other bits, as previously planned.
We had missed Monsanto a couple of times on a previous journey..and if Id known it was going to cost us a 600 mile round trip back to where we started..plus 100 quids worth of fuel. I’d have missed it again !!
Were back in the Algarve after a couple of great days in Camping Alentejo, Now spending a night in Redstone park..a rough unofficial campsite near messiness.. Owned by a great guy called Lucas.. As I said rough and unofficial. but a good place to be for a night or two..not the best or the prettiest. but handy for the pub.
Great English pub next door. called Roosters. serving many Trad Brit meals..pies, fish and chips, etc..good wine and a good selection of beers, and good company, combined with excellent bar service. So a night spent with some Friends and on the next day to find parts for Trusty s suspension, and a better place to stop.
After leaving Redstone, we decided to tour round a few campsites we had not been to before. but new of..with the intention of selecting the best one that suited our needs, and on the way call into a motor factors I know to order Trusty s Shock absorber. That done we started looking.
First one we looked at was Mikkis place. No website I can find. but on Facebook, camper contact, searchforsites etc. .but when we got there, it seemed closed..looked very nice and our kind of price 7/8 euros a night. so we left. tried phoning a few times but only got an answer phone..any way she emailed us later..but by then we were much further away, looking at another site.
Well we were Heading to Loule area, to see a friend and found this site..Absolutely Brilliant. Almost cant fault it. owned by a Portuguese couple who have just this year opened it..for 3 weeks and covid hit..now reopened..we love it..one of the best parks we have found besides Camping Alentejo. Sao bras is 5 miles away another great small Portuguese town, with everything we need.
Shower blocks are portacabins custom built..and good..as said it a euro for a shower , which I am going to take advantage of after writing this.
A little steep, seeing as most are free or 50 cents at the most..Yup showers every bit as good as they are clean..oodles of hot water..lasts for 5 mins or more..but that’s 4 mins and 50 seconds too long for me..but not long enough for the missus, took two euros inc her hair..so not good either.
Downside of all this if you use the place..Is they also charge 50 cents every time you use the toilets, a daft practice, and I think that will loose them business, eventually..we saw one Portuguese camper leaving because of it after 1 night, because of these charges. they had two kids with them and a 30 euro bill for a week using the toilets would be a no no.
Its a large site after walking around it..space for 80 vans or more, ill ask later exactly how many..
Had Breakfast and popped out to Robs and Claire’s place..thought she might be there working from Home, but back in her offices, Rob was though, great to see him..had a good chat, and told him we were of to red-stone park to get Trusty fettled up..and how the camp ground ground was Ant city..Do it here on the Concrete he says !! Great,cant, fault it..or him..seems just lately we are doing a once a year repair at their place..must suggest he renames it Finca Trusty Rusty
Well as usual with us and Trusty, things are panning out different;y than we planned. No longer going to repair Trusty at Robs, as we manage to do some of it it here, on the campsite. We have moved to Mikkis at Pera, just between Ghia and Porches. The next post will explain how it all happened up to now.