All The Old Dudes

Evening all! Last time we spoke we were at Salema’s Eco Camping Park, and were fully intending to stay there another day when the message came through. A set of secret lat & long co-ordinates were texted to my phone. We’d been waiting days for this mission so we packed up hastily and negotiated the site’s twisty roads once again.

Our take on the Wild West theme of circled wagons

Regular readers might remember the two chance meetings we had with Graeme, Sally & wonder-dog Bobbie in the Dordogne & the Pyrenées last summer. They’re travelling Portugal in the opposite direction to us with two friends Eddy & Michelle. As we’re going clockwise, and they’re going anti-clockwise our paths were bound to cross – after all it’s just maths!

Eddy and Michelle are way more experienced at the motorhome thing than we are so they know the area very well. Understandably they don’t want to publicise all their favourite spots around the coast or they’ll be invaded by other travellers, and as so often happens, the residents or the landowners complain and up go the height barriers. As a result even we don’t even know where we were – the co-ordinates self-erased after 24 hours. All I can tell you is that we were on the edge of a beach with golden sand and clear blue sea. That should narrow it down a bit.

We spent a lazy afternoon on the beach with a beer or two, chatting and catching up, as well as (in my case) being bowled over by the huge waves and losing my very expensive £3.50 designer Ray-Bins in the surf, dammit. The swimming helped to work up a healthy appetite so we set up our tables and chairs behind the three motorhomes for a barbecue.

BBQ’ing. On a beach. In November!

We all brought food and drink – lots of drink I’m ashamed to admit – and as Eddy had the biggest BBQ he had to do the cooking which was fine by me! After clearing up the debris we adjourned to the terrace; a nice spot in the sun behind a restaurant which was closed up at the end of the season. There we sheltered from the sea-breeze to toast the sunset and listen to the waves. What we should have listened to instead was the little internal voice which says “Are you sure you really want yet another red wine..?” But as is always the way we ignored it and held up our glasses for more. I seem to remember at some point inviting everyone back to Vince for nibbles and I’m afraid even more wine; it all gets a little hazy after that. I do remember a cool starlit walk on the beach before finally going to bed though, a wise move on my part I think, as I felt much better than I deserved to in the morning.

Fal-de-ree, fal-de-raaa…

Although we were a little bit late getting up, a sensible walk was very much in order to clear woolly heads. Eddy led the way up hill and down dale on a 10k wander round the headland where we had great cliff-top views over to Sagres (where we are now), as well as spotting some extreme fishermen half way down the cliffs. A little search for wild asparagus proved fruitless as it’s a little early in the season this far south. The combination of the late night and the walk in the heat meant the only thing we were good for after lunch was snoozing on the beach to the sound of the surf.

After sad goodbyes and promises to meet back in the UK we went our separate ways yesterday morning. Graeme, Sally, Bobbie, Eddy and Michelle heading east while we went west. Well that was the original plan, but we decided that as the next few days are going to be off grid, we backtracked slightly to a luxury campsite for electricity & water. What a site! It had a pool, jacuzzi, bar, restaurant, en-suite facilities, butler – ok, I’m lying about the butler but you get the idea. It costs €45 per night for a pitch in high season eek! Luckily we used our ACSI card for a discounted rate of €17. We lazily decided not to cook, and enjoyed seafood pizzas under the stars.

Vince with his hip new friends

Today we came a few miles back along the coast to Sagres, home of the surfer dude. Our guidebooks said it’s a fantastic place if you’re a surf fan, not so good if you’re not, and they weren’t wrong. We parked for free in the car park which serves the local landmark, the Fortaleza Sagres, surrounded by VW campers & skinny blokes with big beards and wetsuits and strange-smelling cigarettes. The Fort itself was a bit of a disappointment; we only went as far as the entrance as other travellers had told us it wasn’t really worth the entrance fee.

A cycle round town unsurprisingly revealed lots of surf shops and cafés so we had a leisurely coffee and a planning session for the next few days’ activities before heading for the beach. And what a beach! You can hear Praia do Tonel, long before you see it; the huge Atlantic breakers absolutely pound the cliffs either side of the beach, and hurl the surfers forward – those that don’t wipe out, anyway. The surface of the sea seems deceptively calm at first, but then the waves dramatically heave themselves up out of nowhere and you feel the deep boom in your gut as they crest and smash down on the shore.

I’ve lost a bit of weight on this Mediterranean diet – can you tell?

We spent a fantastic couple of hours enjoying the beach, a beer or two, the sunset and the sound of the surf. As I write I can still hear the boom of the waves from here in the car park at the top of the cliff.

Tomorrow we’re off in search of gas as we’re down to two blobs on Vince’s gauge. We know it’s wildly inaccurate, but we need a top-up as we know LPG is harder to find heading north. Expert Eddy mentioned there’s a festival this weekend in Aljezur which isn’t too far from here so we’ll find a quiet cove for tomorrow night then head that way for a weekend of sweet-potato based malarkey. Oh didn’t I say? It’s a Sweet Potato Festival – whatever that is. As soon as we know, we’ll share 🙂

Chat soon xxx

PS Apologies for yet more sunset pics – but the light here is so special, it’s a photographer’s dream…

Sagres town
Surfers’ beach at Sagres
I really have lost weight, haven’t I?
Somewhere in this pic are two fishermen on the rocks
About Ken Tomlinson 219 Articles
Semi-retired biker, blogger and world’s best grandad. Doesn’t take life too seriously. Discovered motorhoming in 2015, sold up and downsized to fund more travels. Now with added Yorkshire.

4 Comments on All The Old Dudes

  1. Absolutely love meeting up with old friends on our travels, we’ve just had a couple of days with our next door neighbors from home and we’ve had such a fab time. Lovely to make new friends on the journey too. Sounds like you guys have just had a special couple of of fun filled days. Happy days

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