Silves – Falisia Beach (26 miles)
Very strong winds had slammed the rain into the side, and onto the roof, of ‘Big Momma’ during the night and well into the early hours but by morning, thankfully, it had stopped and we had sunshine again, although on consulting the ‘works of fiction’ they indicated that this would only be a brief respite and the days ahead were not looking very good. Geoff and Chris, who we had met for the first time yesterday, had decided to remain at Silves, Nick and Cathy were heading West to ‘Lagos‘ to meet some friends who were coming out from the UK. We on the other hand were now making our way along the Eastern part of the Algarve towards the Spanish Border, we had decided that it was time to check out the ‘Motorhome Park’ at Falisia Beach, this was owned by the same people who owned ‘Silves’ and although it had opened last year it was one of those that we hadn’t visited on our previous trip but the recommendations were extremely good. The weather was slightly better towards the East Than what was ‘forecast’ for the West, so we decided to hedge our bets on yet another beach location. If the weather, as predicted, was good for the next two days, then this ‘Motorhome Park’ was within 500 metres of a beach and it had direct access, albeit down a lot of steps, what was meant by a ‘lot’ we would need to establish !! However, if the weather did not turn out to be suitable for playing on a beach and we did end up being confined to Barracks, then at least we would have Electricity, the all essential Motorhome Services and WiFi, so that we could use our iPads or watch the News on TV, or even start to go through the large collection of DVD’s that we had brought with us without worrying about the need to conserve our on-board power.
It didn’t take us long to get ourselves sorted and before departing we made a brief stop at the Motorhome Service Point, said our farewells to Nick & Cathy and Geoff and Chris and then ‘hit the road’ in a very clean and gleaming ‘Big Momma’. It wasn’t a long journey today, just a mere 26 miles. ‘Snoopy’ however wanted to take us out on a less than logical route ! but I again ignored her and took the easiest route, it’s a good job that I am now familiar with this part of Portugal. Once off the main ‘N125’ road the ‘Motorhome Park’ was pretty well signposted, so we discounted whatever ‘Snoopy’ was instructing us to do, and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves driving into what was a very well manicured Motorhome Park, and I have to say, even better looking than the one at Silves !!
Apart from the wonderful location, the large spacious pitches and the proximity to a wonderful beach the WiFi connection was more reliable than at Silves and it had a very fast connection speed, so now I can understand why this place got so many good recommendations. I was surprised that it wasn’t busier, but that is something that we have noticed at all of the ‘Aires’ and ‘Wildcamping’ locations we have been to so far this year, it appears to be far less busier than last year ! I know that we travelled earlier this year than on last year’s trip but that was only by four weeks. Last year we spent longer travelling down to the Algarve so we were probably here around the same time as we are now. Not that I am complaining of course, it means that we have a much wider choice of pitches when we turn up somewhere rather than having to take what’s left !! Anyone reading this who is thinking of coming out to the Algarve in the next few weeks, don’t !! The place is awful, it’s so expensive here and the weather is dreadful, the beaches are horrendous and the people are so unfriendly, so best you just stick to Southern Spain, that’s my advice !!!
I have been asked the question as to whether there are any issues in finding spaces on ‘Aires’ or even in Wildcamping locations with ‘Big Momma’. Now what is it they say about ‘A Picture being worth a Thousand Words‘. So just think how lucky you are that I am now about to save you from reading ‘Four Thousand’ of them…………………………………..
Another good thing about this place, there is no noise at night, once the sun sets and it starts to get chilly, everyone locks themselves away behind closed doors, there is absolutely no road noise, not even the annoying sounds of dogs barking, so now I can use one of those statements that actually makes no sense at all, ‘The silence was deafening“, another one that actually irritates me is when ‘news readers’, when reporting on the demolishing of skyscrapers or those gigantic cooling towers use the expression “It was raised to the ground” ? What’s that all about then… ! Anyway I digress………
We had a wonderful peaceful nights sleep and awoke to yet another day of sunshine and blue skies. We lay in bed with our first coffee of the day, we had no real plans other than to walk the one hundred metres, or so, to the local mini-market for some fresh bread rolls for our lunch. Shazza wanted to go to the beach at some point and have a swim, if it remained warm enough. I decided that I would take the electric bicycles off the rear carrier so that at some point whilst we were here we could go for a ride and explore, after that was done, well we would just see how the rest of the day unfolded. After I had removed the bicycles and drank my second coffee Shazza said, “Shall we cycle to the shop to get the bread rolls ?”. Now it did appear strange to me that she wanted to ride, rather than walk, the short distance, however, I reasoned that this would be the first time, since having the new ‘controller’ fitted to her bike, that she would have ridden it and perhaps she just wanted to check it out properly. Oh ! Eric you simpleton, why do you never learn that Shazza’s seemingly innocent suggestions are never not pre-meditated !! I of course responded with a simple “If you want to“. We were just approaching the little shop and I was slowing down in readiness to pull in to the shop forecourt when Shazza, who was cycling ahead of me, said, “Shall we call in and get the bread on the way back ?”, “On the way back from where ?” I enquired, “I don’t know, let’s just see what’s up this road” she said, as she suddenly increased her pedal power. As the ‘Borg‘ would say in that TV series ‘Star Trek‘, ‘Resistance is futile’, so I pedalled faster to catch up !!
Road became potholed dirt track, but like a woman possessed she kept on pedalling until just a short twenty minutes later we crossed a bridge over an Estuary and I found myself cycling around a very nice ‘Marina Development’, we had arrived in ‘Vilamoura‘. Now some of you that like knocking little white balls into a hole in the ground with a stick, may relate more to this place because of ‘Golf’, but it is also a place for those with a lot of money, who want to moor up for the winter in their ‘boys toys’, their multi-million pound ‘boys toys’, and boy were there plenty to feast my eyes upon. We cycled around the vast Marina, never mind rows on rows of luxury motor yachts, their were also rows on rows of ‘Designer’ shops as well as ‘Designer’ restaurants by the look of some of the prices, however, there were also Cafes, Bars, ‘Tourist Tat’ shops, albeit expensive tourist tat !, Yacht Charter booking agents and the usual Estate Agents advertising ‘Marina’ developments, but we didn’t bother to stop and look at those as we already knew that the prices would have at least six zero’s in them, and they don’t work in decimal points here !! With the sun shining to make these highly polished and varnished ‘boys toys’ look their best for the passing ‘peasants’ to drool over, take their photographs and dream about the day when they won the Lottery, this particular peasant suddenly realised that he was missing one vital piece of equipment, namely his bloody camera !! Now why on earth would I take my camera out with me when all we were doing was going to the shop to buy some bread rolls !! Shazza likes ‘Steve Wrights Sunday Love Songs‘, time I think to send in a dedication, just for her………….perhaps that 1983 chart hit by ‘Spandau Ballet’…………….”Communication Let Me Down” !!!!!
After cycling around the vast Marina complex, in the increasing heat of the day, although there was no vehicular traffic of any real significance, we did have to weave our way around lots of ‘boaty‘ type people, you can tell who they are by the way they are dressed, perfectly manicured hair, designer anchor emblems on their designer Tee-shirts, rope lanyard style belts to keep their immaculately pressed designer ‘Bermuda’ shorts up over their over-indulgent waistlines, white ankle socks with spotlessly clean deck shoes, and that was just the women !! We decided that we would stop for a coffee amongst the ‘privileged‘, well we fitted in quite nicely as it happened as ‘we‘ had clean and shiny ‘Electric Bicycles‘, not just your ordinary run of the mill pedal power only sort of bicycles, oh yes ! we fitted in quite unobtrusively ‘Mixing with the Elite‘. We took up a prime position at our ‘carefully’ selected Cafe, careful in as much as we chose one that didn’t charge a ‘Kings Ransom’ for a simple white coffee and an Orange Juice !! Fortunately we also had a very nice prime view of these quite amazing ‘Boys Toys’. I suggested to Shazza that perhaps we needed to come back again the following day, Shazza said that the Orange Juice wasn’t that spectacular ! “No my beloved” I replied, or words to that effect !!! “With my camera“. As we left the Cafe, the waiter wished us ‘Bon Voyage‘, we boarded our respective vessels at the point at which we had left them ‘moored‘ and pedalled away.
After lunch and with the sun still shining we set off for the beach. Shazza liked it here because the sea was a little calmer than at Alvor, so she could do some swimming rather than battling constantly with the large and quite strong breakers. After an hour, or so, after Shazza had had enough of her watery exercise for the day, we returned once again to Big Momma and soaked up the remainder of the day’s sunshine before locking ourselves away in the comfort and warmth of the van.
The ‘work of fiction‘ had forecast a warm, but cloudy day, with no sunny intervals, although thankfully, no rain either. However, when we awoke at 7:30am and slid open the night blinds on the bedroom ‘Heki’, we were greeted with blue sky and sunshine and yes a few ‘cotton wool ball’ clouds. I like it when the ‘work of fiction’ gets it wrong in ‘our‘ favour. So, once again we mounted our trusty steeds, this time with the extra piece of cargo, namely my camera, and set off on our twenty-minute ride to Vilamoura. It wasn’t long before we were back into the Marina and so out came the camera accompanied by Shazza’s more than familiar ‘tuts‘. I only ever got concerned when I could no longer hear such sounds as this meant that she was no longer in the vicinity and I had to look to see which ‘Supermercado’ she had found to explore, or worse these days, a ‘Cocktail’ bar !!
So that was it, Shazza had finally run out of patience with me wanting to keep stopping for that ‘Just one more‘ shot, so it was time to cycle back. I was well pleased that the ‘work of fiction‘ had got it wrong, highly polished ‘boys toys’ just don’t look the same if they don’t have the sunshine to make them sparkle. It also made our cycle back much more pleasant for if the forecast had been correct, we had forgotten to put our rain jackets in our saddlebags !!
Well, believe it or not, we had done all of that in just two hours, and after a brief stop at our local mini-mercado for more fresh bread rolls, I didn’t bother photographing them, we got back to ‘Big Momma’ in time for a spot of lunch. As we were eating lunch who should we see just arriving but ‘Geoff and Chris‘, the couple that we had met with ‘Nick and Cathy‘ and dined with at Silves, well I have said many times that the Algarve coastline is pretty small and that you often meet the same fellow travellers on ‘Aires’ that you use.
Well the ‘work of fiction’ may have got the forecast wrong for the main part of the day but by late afternoon the blue sky had been wrapped in a thick white blanket. The ‘forecast‘ for the following day was for rain, it looked as if that was definitely on the cards, so just in case we were to be confined to barracks, I decided to do the necessary with the on-board facilities. I didn’t want to go to the trouble of putting the bicycles back onto the rear carrier, just in case the weather did permit another bicycle ride, as there were still lots of ‘other’ places in the locality to explore, so I secured them at the back of the pitch behind the van and placed the rain cover over them just in case. With the sun gone and the day rather dismal now we just spent the rest of the afternoon pottering. Shazza conjured up a beautiful home-made Steak Pie with mash and peas for our evening meal, washed down with a rather good glass of palatable white ‘grape juice’, then we settled down and watched the ‘penultimate’ episode of ‘Death In Paradise’ on the DVD box set we had brought with us from the UK.
When we awoke it was to a grey leaden sky, the evidence on the Heki revealed that it had rained whilst we slumbered, although it was dry when we got up that didn’t last long, the ‘work of fiction’ was going to be correct for once !! This morning ‘Nick and Cathy’ arrived, their friends from the UK were staying nearby, in an Apartment in Vilamoura, so they would be here for few days. We paid for an extra day as it seemed pointless moving on this damp day and we had all the ‘comforts’ here. However, we liked it here and we’re in no rush to go anywhere in particular at this moment in time, although crossing the border into Spain is increasingly in our thoughts. So we may just stay on for a few more days, we do have to think about a ‘major’ re-stock of provisions though, the little mini-market isn’t quite up to that degree of re-provisioning so we are looking at our options, do we move back to ‘Parque de Palmeira’ at Albufeira, just a thirty minute drive away and re-provision at the nearby ‘LIDL’ and ‘ALDI’ or do we drive there, re-stock and then return to our current location………………………………………. ?