Weeks 14, 15 & 16 - Sausages

Monday 12th January 2015

After a very pleasant week at Quinta Manjericao we moved today. Not far, just 55 kilometres east to Camping Canelas just outside the seaside town of Armação de Pêra. We had a pleasant trip of less than an hour, the site was just in front of a roundabout and had it’s own rather narrow slip road which I followed - first mistake - and as we turned in I relaxed and started rubber necking - second mistake - I was so busy looking around I misjudged the turn and wiped the offside mudguard off the caravan.

I was livid. I have driven thousands of miles with a tow behind, everything from tiny open trailers through yachts to horse boxes to twin axle caravans and I make the most basic error imaginable. It will be a very long time before I forgive myself.

Tuesday 13th January 2015

Today was declared caravan repair day and we travelled west along the Algarve to the only caravan/motorhome repair specialist on the Algarve that we are aware of and arranged to take it in next Tuesday for both checking the problem with the fridge and to make repairs to the nearside wheel arch. That meant of course that it had to be roadworthy to get it to Camperserve, so on the way back to the site stopped at a huge B&Q type place and bought some materials to reattach that wheel arch.

Wednesday 14th January 2015

Spent this today working on repairs to the wheel arch - not bad if I do say so myself, and I don’t suppose anything else will ever be done. I’m a bit happier Princess Fiona is back in one piece.

Thursday 15th January 2015

Had a trip out today to a place we have been trying to get to for some years - Monchique, the town itself was a big disappointment it is said that it’s altitude of 458m (1500ft) gives it a great spectacular view of the surrounding countryside but we didn’t find where you got those views from so we continued to Fóia at 902m (2959ft) the highest point on the Serra de Monchique from where, on a clear day you can see over huge distances.

Friday 16th January 2015

Had a little wander into Armação de Pêra, the nearest town to the campsite this morning it is a nice town but quite commercialised with lots of touristy type restaurants and bars. We quite fancied a Japanese restaurant that seems to do a good lunch or dinner at a very reasonable price but will we actually get to go there, I doubt it.

Saturday 17th January 2015

Brits abroad are a sad bunch and we include ourselves in that because today we went to Iceland. There are several in Spain but only one in Portugal. We went to get some good old British bangers. European sausages tend to have more meat content, less fat content (dependant upon type) but NO cereal and as good as they are they are NOT the same.

Sausage salad for dinner tonight - Hurrah!

Sunday 18th January 2015

Portugal and Spain are famous for their fiestas and today we went to the “Fiesta das Chouricas" (Festival of Sausage) in Querença, which after our sausage salad last night we thought was a pretty fitting place to go. Querença is a tiny village at the top of a very steep hill with a parking capacity of, I would guess, considerably less than a hundred cars. There were cars everywhere, fortunately we were able to park at the bottom of the hill, an exhausting climb but at least being so steep it was relatively short.

On each side of the small - very small - village square, outside each cafe, was a large BBQ with lots of sausage rings cooking, which made for lots of fragrant smoke. The square was packed with groups of people, almost exclusively locals, very few tourists. The sausages were served as a complete ring plus a couple of inches from another, to fill the middle, in a thick peasant bread loaf on which after inserting the sausage the seller put his considerable weight in order, we think, to crush the sausage and cause the oil to flavour the bread. I’d like to say that the result was delicious but the bread had the consistency of 50mm thick cardboard and the sausage was indescribable. We bought one of the €7.50 (£5.63) monsters - at least 150mm (6”) diameter and around 75mm (3”) thick to share between us, although most of the Portuguese had one each, and could manage less than half of the bread.

There was to be a parade through the village late in the afternoon with a statue from the church but it was several hours away from the planned time (possibly a lot longer by Portuguese time keeping) so we didn’t stay for that.

Monday 19th January 2015

Nothing more than a short drive to the little seaside town of Praia Señora do Roca. What a little delight.

Tuesday 20th January 2015

It’s moving day, not far to go just 60 kilometres further west to Moncarapacho. It should have taken around an hour but we had arranged to take the van to a Brit owned caravan/motorhome repair centre to get the fridge looked at. The centre is just of the main A125 trunk road that runs the entire length of the Algarve from east to west (and vicky verky) but the centre itself is off a side road itself off a side road, both of which are very narrow with sharp bends on them. Not ideal for weaving down with a caravan.

We arrived at the centre only just getting in the yard it was so full of motorhomes two and a half hours before our appointment and bang on appointment time the engineer plugged the van into his mains electricity and started his tests.

It didn’t take long before we were told that there was nothing wrong with the van’s fridge, the problem was with the Portuguese power supply, and that in remote areas the 220 volt supply could be 210 or even 200 volts and the alarm will trip at around 202 volts.

Getting out of the yard and back on the main road was a nightmare, luckily another customer sprung into action getting some vehicles moved, bounced trailers out of the way and guided us through the blind spots - Thank You whoever you are.

Our nightmare scenario being kept so long at the repair shop and arriving at our next site (an awkward pitch at the top of a steep incline) thankfully did not happen and we arrived at Casa Rosa with the sun still shining and virtually no one on site to see our ham-fisted efforts at getting on to the pitch. Thank goodness for motor movers as without ours we would, no doubt still be mucking about with it.

Wednesday 21st January 2015

What a super way to be welcomed to a new site than with an invitation to dinner. Friends Rosemary and Frank who live close to the site we are now on gave us a splendid dinner and have changed the course of our lives for the next four months.

They have invited us to go with them to Morocco for the spring.

Saturday 24th January 2015

Married for 43 years and Sue got my birthday wrong. Sue invited R & F to dinner to celebrate my birthday but despite being married for 43 years she got the date wrong and they came tonight instead of tomorrow. But never mind we had a great dinner, too much wine too much port and to much beer and set an approximate date for Morocco.

Sunday 25th January 2015

I don’t have much to do with “Facebook” but its great when you get lots of Happy Birthday wishes from every one. Thank you.

Monday 26th January 2015 to Saturday 7th February 2015

The last two weeks have been spent mainly getting sorted for Morocco and so as few if any will want to know about the problems of getting HepA and HepB inoculations sorted in Portugal or interminable phone calls trying to organise a Green Card or getting punctures repaired or sorting the thousand other things for a three month trip to North Africa I am going to skip weeks 15 and 16. Although we have had a few nice lunches and a very pleasant day spent in the company of Anne and John who are on the next pitch to us here at Casa Rosa and restart this blog with week 17 when we will leave Casa Rosa and Portugal to head south and west to Tarifa and a boat out of Europe.

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