Week 10 - Ready for Christmas?

Monday 15th, Tuesday 16th December 2014.

The weather the last couple of days has been quite horrible, the rain has rained and the wind has rattled the van as it has blown with increasing strength. We have emailed Rosemary and Frank who we were planning to meet tomorrow that if the wind does not moderate overnight we were going to stay put until it does, which is particularly important as we are travelling south down the IP7 through Lisbon and it crosses the Rio Tejo on a very high and very exposed road bridge.

Tuesday started really well. Having stayed warm and snug in bed while Sue made a nice cup of tea I reached for the tea and (although I cannot work-out how) managed to throw the entire mug of tea over myself, the bed and as I found out later, my phone. Screaming “oh dear what a nuisance” or something similar, I leapt out of bed but, of course, nowhere quick enough to save the duvet, sheet, Pillows (x2), pillow cases (x2) under blanket, and mattress from consuming the tea. So having spent a rotten Monday doing (or rather Sue did) washing, drying and ironing duvet cover, sheet, pillow cases etc., we now spent a rotten Tuesday doing it all again with extras, after that we had to drive to town and buy an electric blower heater to dry the mattress. It was as we were going to the shops we pugged the phone in and found that it had drowned in tea and although still working after a fashion has suffered serious brain damage from which it may never recover.

Wednesday 16th December 2014.

Was very careful with the tea this morning managed to get it down my throat rather than over the bed. The wind is still noticeable but no longer threatening so we were packed up and ready to move by 10.30 although a bit annoyed that our new super dooper mover was mucking about not operating properly. Still we were off to where we would spend Christmas.

We arrived at Camping Milfontes, a site we have been to before, early afternoon and selected a pitch that it was necessary to motor move into. Thats when we discovered that the mover had been playing up because the battery had failed. Well, it was six years old and since we have been travelling for four of those six years it has had a hard life.

Still after all the trials and tribulations it was great to meet up with ex-pats Rosemary and Frank again.

Thursday 17th December 2014.

After the jollity of catching up news last night everyone was feeling a little delicate this morning, absolutely nothing to do with the large quantities of beer and wine consumed. It was probably an off pack of crisps or bad peanuts.

Battery purchase day. We did a bit of research on t’internet last night and found a local company that has stocks of leisure batteries, not cheap at €351.67 but they stock only the top of the range jobs. I had a trawl around the internet and found that in UK the same battery is £284.17 (€362.18) so after everyone here saying leisure batteries in Portugal were expensive we came out on the credit side.

Friday 18th December 2014.

Our first Christmas dinner today, Rosemary has got a large turkey leg that she de-boned and stuffed. Frank BBQ’d it along with some beetroots and honied carrots while Rosemary roasted potatoes and Sue wilted spinach. It was absolutely great.

Saturday 19th December.

We put the awning up for the first time since last Christmas and, as usual, it was a rather acrimonious event. When we retired and set off on our travels we wondered how we would cope with being together 24/7, most of the time apart from a bit of grumpiness all is fine till we start putting up an awning then world war III threatens.

While in the market yesterday we were so taken by the large Dorada on sale we bought three, one each for Frank and I and one for Rosemary and Sue to share. When we got back to the van we realised that the one Rosemary and Sue were to share was more than big enough for Frank and me and one of the small ones big enough for the girls. Cooked on the BBQ they were very good indeed.

Sunday 20th December 2014.

Other than (another) shopping trip to Lidl the highlight of today was tonights dinner. We went out to O’Pescado a fish restaurant we have visited before but that was a new experience for R & F. The menu was unapologetically Portuguese, Rosemary and Frank shared caldeirada (fish stew) while Sue and I had caranguejo e camarão arroz (crab and prawn rice). In both cases the cooking pot was brought to the table and you helped yourself from that. We were going to try each others meals but each couple got so “into” their own meal that neither tried the others. When the bill came it was not a particularly cheap meal but at €72.00 (£56.00) for lots of starter bits, two bottles of wine etc, or €18 (£14) a head it was acceptable.

Last updated Sunday 21st June 2015                                                                                © S W Ghost 2015