“The church tower is the highest point in the town. Painted a dazzling white with lemon-yellow detailing on the corners and round the windows, it overlooks a jumble of houses tumbling down the hill to the water. The clean white lines of the houses are broken up by traditional terracotta tiling on the rooftops – their age calculable by the shading; some flawless in bright orange, others faded and bleached by the sun with the odd crack apparent or a few weeds gamely hanging on in the sea breeze. At water level, a handful of fishermen in their tiny boats are unloading today’s catch. The restauranteurs line up ready to bargain, already mentally preparing tonight’s speciality dishes. Their season is coming to an end with what is probably the last wave of this year’s tourists ambling around the harbour. The atmosphere is much more easy-going and relaxed compared to the bustle and competition of the summer; there’s time to chat, to smile, to pass the time of day until the kitchen beckons.”

Or I suppose I could have just started with a pic 😀

This is Ferragudo, a small town which sits on the opposite side of the Arade river from the big city of Portimão, where the river meets the sea. We ventured into Portimão briefly yesterday on our way here as we had to divert for gas. We get a bit worried when the gas gauge only shows one light out of ten – especially when the only light showing is a red one. As usual, Vince was just joshing with us because we could only squeeze twelve litres of LPG into a twenty litre tank, sigh… He does this all the time to us – last night his low vehicle battery alarm went off (it shouldn’t have as we’d just come from Falésia where we had an electric hook-up). A quick turn over of the engine followed to make sure it would start and I could almost hear him giggling as all the meters went back into the green. He’s a so-and-so at times.

Our whizz round Portimão was a ‘mare. Traffic, narrow one-way streets and a satnav which really struggled among the high buildings. It kept thinking we were in the next street along so its instructions were a complete load of old tosh sending us round and round the same roads time after time. I’m afraid I eventually said stuff it, and just looked for any old road out of Dodge.

So glad I took all those driving lessons

Once we found our way onto a bridge across the wide river, the satnav lady picked up a signal and had the good grace to apologise and ask if she could take us somewhere special. And that’s where we came in at the start of this post. Ferragudo is a real find. Just opposite the harbour is wide area of sand dunes held together by marram grass and scrubby bushes. Sandy tracks criss-cross the uneven ground. Wherever they widen you can find a camper van, a VW conversion – or a Vince! We parked inland a bit last night but this morning we saw one of the beach-side vans leave so we were off like a shot. A short 3.5 tonne, seven meter parallel park later we are sitting in a heavenly spot listening to the waves lapping and the faint tinkle of piano music drifting across the water from a restaurant. I hope the pics do it justice.

If it were still in the summer season, the police would soon be along to move us on – this isn’t an official camper-stop, it’s classed as wild camping. However, according to Len who we just met, at this time of year a blind eye is turned as we provide some much needed income for the town’s businesses. We certainly did our bit for the local economy yesterday with two plates of the freshest, tastiest grilled sardines you could ask for. Len isn’t his real name by the way, it’s just that he’s a dead-ringer for Len Goodman with his suntanned wrinkly twinkly face and his cockney geezer accent. This place definitely gets a 10 from Len – and from Ken!

If we get really mean with our water and frugal with our power we might be able to stretch to another night or two here, but Gill is suffering from hairdryer and straightener withdrawal so it won’t be long before we head for a campsite again. But who knows..? If this glorious weather holds we might actually pop back again. You’ll be the first to know.

We love a bit of feedback, even if it’s just to correct my grammar – feel free to comment below or drop us a note at ken@vincentvangone.co.uk, we reply to every email (eventually!)

Chat soon 🙂

Wandering around the town
Can you spot Vince across the water..?
Portimão across the river
So fresh, I swear one of them winked at me!
Not a bad view from the lounge 🙂
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.

11 Comments on Ferra-really-good-oh!

  1. There is a great place not far from there called the chicken run rustic campsite got electric but no showers or toilets. Lovely people own it called Andrew and Leslie. It is in the village if Mexilhoeira Grande. Try it if you get a chance. We spent about three months there loved it

  2. Once again it looks like another lovely place you’ve discovered . BTW could it really be you who’s suffering from hairdryer withdrawal ?

    • There *are* pics of us swimming but there’s no way they’re going on the blog Phil! The south of Spain was tolerable and even quite pleasant around sunset but as we move west it’s a little more er…challenging let’s say.

    • I’d chance it Alan – it’s really worth it. On our visit there were some giant vehicles parked up by the entrance to the area. I’m talking about converted buses and trucks! You should be fine – the only question is whether camping is still allowed there. It’s worth checking for recent reviews. Hope you make it & good luck!

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