29th March 2010 Sagres to Bordeira

29 03 2010

Well, the rain that was forecast last night came and hit us early morning, with strong wind helping, the rain battered the motorhome and woke us up. However, by the time we got up it had stopped and the skies were clearing to leave us with a nice sunny day. We wanted to go further up the west coast of Portugal to a beach car park that we had been told about but first we needed breakfast and a coffee.

We walked to a beachfront cafe that we saw yesterday and sat down outside, first asking a waiter if we were ok with the dog and if we could have snacks and coffee. The rather offish waiter said the dog was ok if it was quiet. We sat and ordered coffee and then when it came we asked for the snack menu only to be told that they didn’t do snacks but could do us ham, chicken, cheese or tuna sanwiches, sounded like snacks to me. Anyway, we didn’t appreciate the waiters attitude so drank our coffees, paid and left. The first time on our travels we have done this, didn’t expect it to happen in Portugal. We then walked to another cafe and had coffee with a mixed toast (ham and cheese) and a pile of chips.

Back at the motorhome we packed up, emptied the waste and toilet and headed off to go to Cape St. Vincent, the most south westerly point in Europe. Bit of a milestone for us both on our travels knowing that we could go no further in Europe in that direction.

After we had had a walk around and taken a few photos we then set off for our next stop off, the beach car park at Bordeira. I decided that we only needed to travel on two roads so confidently set off without the sat nav guiding me, typically I had to turn around after about 10km as I had missed the turning, shouldn’t be so daft as to think it was that easy really but that’s the way it goes I suppose. On our way to Bodeira we saw a turning to another beach and the co-ordinates that we were given told us to go there so we did, following a long winding road toward a beach just south of Carrapeteira. We arrived there to find numerous motorhomes parked and a lot of surfers so we decided to have a look around to see where we could park. I drove to the end of the road and turned into the car park on our left where there was much more room. On our way through this car park we were both looking at the other car park, now on our left when I drove over what I thought was a big pothole. There was a big bump so I stopped to have a look. It turned out that I had actually managed to drive over a 18″ deep chasm in the car park made by running water, quite how I managed to do it without getting stuck still defies me but I did and we were now the wrong side of the obstacle. I had a look to find the best way back across as the exit I was heading for in the first place appeared to be blocked by boulders. I decided in the end that I needed to use our levelling blocks to give us a path over the ditch and set about getting them in place the right distance apart to allow me to drive over them. This failed and though the front wheels made it over they promplty got stuck in the shale that made up the surface of the car park, the back wheels providing enough resistance to make the front wheels lose traction. Great! So, there we were effectively stuck. A bit of a think about things and I decided that I needed to reverse out of the situation, so I made the passage as easy as I could by moving the levelling blocks and supporting them with large rocks and then digging out behind the hole that the front tyres had made in the ground with them spinning (thanks Andy, you know why!) and in one easy manouvre we were back on terra ferma, though still the wrong side of the ditch. I had another look to see where we had crossed it and I think I found the spot but now the edges of the ditch had been eroded due to me driving over it. I started filling the ditch with stones and gravel in a carefully chosen levelish spot where my next attempt to get across would be, still confounded by how I managed to get across in the first place, when Lorna spotted an alternative way out which would require me driving at a certain angle between a couple of big boulders and then onto the road. I was initially unconvinced as it looked quite steep in a short distance and I wasn’t sure that if I didn’t have enough grip I would get stuck on an incline with rocks either side, just waiting to damage the underside of the motorhome. We both pondered the situation, laughing at how we got there when the decision was made to try Lornas route. She kept watch as I carefully positioned the motorhome and then accellerated slowly up the incline, praying for grip. After a few spins from the front I managed to get on solid ground and at last I was back on the road. Never a dull moment eh!

After this little episode we decided that we wanted to have a look at the next beach along at Bordeira so we got back on the main road and headed that way. The car park there was much less challenging so we parked up in a nice spot overlooking the sea (N37•11’34 W08•54’10), levelled the motorhome, had a de-stressing drink and went for a walk with Jack down to the beach. We had to cross a sea water inlet to get to the beach and whilst we rolled up our trousers and waded through, Jack was only to happy to demonstrate his new ‘no fear’ of water and bounded through, up to his belly.

Bordeira Surf Shack

From there he decided it would be a good idea to run round in the sand like a nutter and so got absolutely covered in the stuff, sticking to his already wet coat. On our way down to the beach we had an unexpected downpour of rain so we headed back as quickly as possible, back through the water and back to the motorhome where we de-sanded and dried ourselves off.

Deciding that that was enough for the day we had our last serving of chilli with pasta and some red wine whilst reflecting on the days events before retiring to bed, slightly shattered!

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