20th March 2010 Baragem de Pego Altar to Baragem de Monte de Rocha

20 03 2010

It rained overnight and was still raining in the morning when we got up. We had planned to leave reasonably early today and head for Silves which is a place I have been to before and I wanted Lorna to see it, a drive of nearly 3 hours. By the time we had said goodbye to the people we had chatted to at Pego de Altar it was getting on for 11am and by the time we pulled off it was 11.45am. We needed to empty certain containers so pulled up just a few hundred yards away where there was a suitable drain and started the job, whilst we were doing that the big green bus I mentioned yesterday pulled up and so another half an hour was passed away chatting over toilet cassettes. Eventually we headed toward the tap to fill up with some water but couldn’t get near to it and so had to run back and forth with bottles and the watering can, in the rain. Then we had to go shopping so headed into Alcacer do Sal to the Lidl that was there. Shopping done and a small lunch later we were finally on our way, at about 1.30pm, nothing happens quickly these days it seems.

Once on the IC-1 the sat-nav was saying straight on for 134km and it was actually a fairly decent road so doing 70kmh wasn’t at all uncomfortable, the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to come out, we had Tears For Fears playing on the stereo and all was well. After about an hour we passed a sign for Baragem do Monte da Rocha so we decided to have a look, it had been mentioned by several people so I thought rather than driving all the way to Silves we could spend a night there and break the journey up. As with the day before yesterday (I am fast losing track of the actual days now), we saw a few motorhomes parked up so found a spot and pulled up (N37•43’47 W08•16’42). Almost immediately we were approached by another British guy who was keen to chat and find out where we had been and where we were headed, everyone is just so friendly!

The note on our map for Baragem de Monte da Rocha also mentioned ‘great chicken’ which had confused us a little as we have so many notes on the map sometimes you have to paraphrase, but on our way to take Jack for a walk we realised what it meant as there were chickens wandering all over the car park, we assumed they all belonged to the small ‘shanty’ cafe over the road. We walked Jack alongside the water and through the lush treed before returning to the cafe for a drink. There we got chatting to four English people who were sat having a drink too, they also said about the chicken being particularly nice at this cafe although they hadn’t eaten there. The place clearly has a reputation. Not wanting to miss out we booked a table for the night (when I say table, imagine plastic patio furniture) and had another drink continuing to chat with the English folk who had actually been staying in a villa not far from there. Whilst chatting we noted that the cook at the cafe came out and started peeling potatoes, ours for tonight we presumed and the way that all of the chickens were running about made us think that ours had just been caught too!

The Overflow at the Baragem - A rare sight to see it in use.

Time was moving on quite quickly so we returned to the motorhome for a short relax before going for our much anticipated chicken meal. Much to my disgust I realised that the six-pack of Sagres beer I bought at Lidl earlier in the day was actually Sagres Zero ie alcohol free…..duh!

We wandered over to the cafe and were immediately seated and served chips, salad and barbequed chicken which tasted extremely fresh, confirming my thought that as soon as we booked another chicken was put to the knife and cooked. The cafe still had locals in who sat around drinking small glasses of red wine, most atmospheric and really the ‘real’ Portugal that we enjoy seeing so much. We had no idea what the charge for the meal was as there was actually no menu, you sat, were served chicken and drinks and paid at the end. Our total bill came to just €15 which was very reasonable indeed, the experience outweighing the food by a fair amount, and the food was excellent. Glad we stopped here rather than driving for another hour or so into Silves, we’ll leave that for tomorrow.

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One response

21 03 2010
David Turner

I’ve read your recently updated blog for the past week or so and it sounds an idyllic lifestyle – apart from the Sagres Zero, of course!

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