8th – 13th February 2011 – Life on a Car Park in Silves

14 02 2011

I have not written any blog posts since the 7th, I have not really had a great deal to report travel wise as we have been mainly staying on the car park in Silves. The weather has been gorgeous and the thought of moving on when we have made so many friends here really hasn’t entered our minds.

So, what’s been happening on this car park that we are currently calling home?

The early part of last week was spent in and around the motorhome, socializing with the people here (at times we have been sat outside in the sun and had a crowd of up to 8 people with us), walking Jack, popping into the town for various things and generally trying to live a slightly more frugal lifestyle to get ourselves back on budget following the week we had with my mom being here with us in Portugal. The latter part has been fairly easy as we seem to have forgotten just how much food and drink we had ‘in stock’. Shopping has been limited to the odd baguette, the occasional lump of pate and a couple of bottles of cola (I started drinking red wine and cola again and then Dave and Marion were introduced to it, subsequently the cola sales in the local supermarket have risen dramatically).

Wednesday 9th was a great day when we had risen late and as soon as we eventually stepped outside we were again part of the social scene. Deck chairs pulled up, cups of coffee, bacon sandwiches and lots of laughs. At around mid-day we (the male contingent) decided that a game of Boules was in order and so we collected various sets of Boules and began a marathon game, four of us took nearly three hours to complete a game with the final score being 13, 12, 11, 11. After the game had finished we all had our lunches and then everyone congregated together again and the beers and red wines came out, as did one banjo, one electric guitar, one acoustic guitar and one mandolin. So you can picture the scene that went on until about 10pm when finally it became too cold to be sitting outside making merry.


We had been chatting to Dave and Marion about the option of traveling the short journey up to the Barragem for the Friday and Saturday nights so that we could have a camp fire and barbecue there and as the weather forecast was saying that the expected showers would hold off until Sunday then those two nights seemed like an ideal time to go. On Friday afternoon five of us set off after filling up with water and getting some supplies in from the Modelo (the local supermarket) and were soon at the Barragem, parked up, chairs out and barbecue lit. Later in the evening we were joined by another and as the light fell Dave and Marion were proud to show us their solar table lamps which had been charging all day. These lights are a great idea. You stick them outside in the sun all day and the solar panel charges the battery which then switches on the light when there is no more sun about. Unfortunately there is one major design fault with these particular models in that there is no off switch which has meant that they have used the lamps in the motorhome at night and then had to put them in the bathroom when they went to bed, leaving the bathroom lit up like a Christmas tree until they finally ran out of power. The evening barbecue and camp fire was rudely interrupted by a short rain shower which was preceded by bolts of lightning illuminating the skies above us and booming thunder.


Saturday was a gorgeous day and we had a lazy day sat in the sun chatting and just taking things easy. Another barbecue ensued and another relatively early night was had as the cold set in and we ran out of fire wood to keep the campfire going. The two night stint that we planned was over and we timed things about right as on Sunday the heavens opened and we were treated to a long spell of heavy rain which made the area where we were parked a bit of a mud bath. There were a few options floating around on what to do. Dave and Marion were in a situation where they needed to be heading back soon but we convinced them that an afternoon in the O Cais bar in Silves was a much better idea than starting the journey in the rain so, early afternoon we all (except one) set off back to Silves for the regular Sunday afternoon free and easy session. Again that turned into the Sunday evening and then the Sunday night free and easy session but it beat being sat in the motorhome listening to the rain hitting the roof despite the huge beer bill that we seemed to have amassed during our time there. Looks like we will be back to frugal living for the next few days to catch up, again!




4 responses

10 03 2011
trev eden

Fantastic read and photos. Found your blog searching for Portugal Laws attaining to motorhomes, driving etc. Directed from outandaboutlive.co.uk big momma post.

Continue searching Portuguese motorhome laws….thanks..trev

19 03 2011
Steve Green

Thanks for the comment Trev, did you find what you wanted?

24 03 2011
trev eden

Hi Steve,
Yes I think we did find the information we need from the AA. Really to do with strange Portuguese toll charge rules, ie having to hire portable machine to pay. Otherwise Laws seem similar to France and Spain.
So anyway we are packed and ready to go. Setting off for Newhaven, have a couple of days around Brighton then ferry to Dieppe, and on to the Dordoyne to meet up with friends. Will check the weather reports to decide which route to take , either down to the med or across Northern Spain towards Portugal. cheers…trev

24 03 2011
Steve Green

We heard about the new electronic tolls but apparently they are not working properly yet and certainly have no way of tracing foreign plated vehicles, this information was from a Policeman who drove on them without paying anything. Seems like a bit of a strange thing to be happening and could cause a lot of problems in the future i think.

Happy travels.

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