Blog posts have been a bit thin lately but torrential rain and high winds have stopped play for the day so the computer is on overload. In truth I have not been that inspired travelling down the east coast of Spain but to be fair our exploring has been somewhat limited by Kaye’s leg injury. We cancelled a trip to Barcelona because of the amount of walking involved but did enjoy a bus tour of Granada.
From Grenada we headed West through Seville and found a deserted camp site on the edge of Parque Nacional de Donana, an area of outstanding beauty. After an overnight stay we decided to cross into Portugal and found it somewhat ironic that on leaving the Parque its neighbour is the biggest gas and oil refinery I have ever seen. We had to raise the van windows because of the noxious smell and I suspect the pollution will not respect the Parque boundaries.
On entering Portugal at Ayamonte we made our first stop at the municipal camper park in Tavira and enjoyed a short bike ride around the cobbled streets of the town, it was Kaye’s first ride in nearly three weeks but she was determined that her injury would not stop her.
The following day it was domestic duties in Harvey (Kayes name for the motorhome) so I was told to “go ride my bike”. Not needing a second invitation I quickly plotted a course out to the fortified border town of Castro Marim and back via the hills to the north of the area. I am constantly surprised at the sites you see from the bike and in Castro Marim I stopped by an area of pigeon lofts. The birds were being flown and the owners were gathered, occasionally blowing whistles of different pitch, I could only assume the birds recognise the different sounds.
The one trouble with just plotting a route on a map is that you do not know the condition of the roads and believe me in Portugal even the good ones are bad. Pedalling on quite a good section I came to a council boundary sign, from that point the road surface was non existent and I considered turning back but half a mile further on I came to the next council boundary and the road was back to tarmac.
The other quirk of Portuguese life is that they all seem to own dogs and they are either chained up for life or run free and chase cars and bikes trying to bite the tyres, well my sprint training has certainly been improved after a couple of rides in Portugal.
After a couple of days in Tavira the forecast was for heavy rain so with a camp site surface of red clay we thought a change of venue might be prudent. Our next stop was a new camp site in Falesia near Albufeira and an area we know well and with all services available for a modest €8.50 a day, a good wi-fi signal and the beach at hand this would be our base for a few days.
While travelling we like to keep a record of some of the stranger sites and signs we see, an assortment from our trip so far.
This narrow street had obviously had problems in the past, not sure if it was vehicles or large persons but they wanted to leave you in no doubt
The second photo denotes a warning to cyclists of a very uneven surface where rail tracks cross the road, they certainly were not joking and the camp site also had a notice warning of the danger and saying that people have been hospitalised as a result of crashes there. Perhaps a bit of maintenance at the crossing would help !
On our walks around the hills in Portugal we are amazed that miles from roads or habitation you would find an old fridge or washing machine dumped but not in Falesia. In a suburban street we came across this house who has hundreds all over his garden and frontage to the street. You would not want him as a neighbour.