19th -22nd February 2011 – Silves and eventually Monchique

22 02 2011

I said at the tail end of the last blog post that things here can change very quickly and there could not be a better example than what happened after I finished uploading that post. In it I said:

This went on for a good while and eventually as the group dispersed I wandered over to Martins van and ran through a few Photoshop techniques that I tend to use on my photos, then it was a quiet night in with Lorna and Jack.

Just after that was published i went back over to Martins motorhome and we both decided that it would be a nice idea to go to the O Cais bar to watch a band play. Whilst I suggested it to Lorna, Martin invited Johan, a Dutch man who I had spoken to a few times over the past week or so. Lorna didn’t want to go particularly so, at 9.15pm all four of us 🙂 wandered over to the bar and, whilst sat upstairs managed to have a few drinks and a great old chat. When we left we headed to the bar at the Bombeiros (Fire Station) and carried on there for a while before finally getting back to the motorhome close to midnight.

Saturday was planned as our last day at Silves, we had told everyone that we were due to leave on Sunday and that we were off to O Cais again, this time for the karaoke. A nice day was had where we went on a long walk with Dave and Marion and relaxed and chatted with people in the afternoon. Later we headed over to the bar and positioned ourselves upstairs, overlooking the stage. Aidee was already there and was soon up singing his songs, particularly good he was too. As we were a little early, the food staff had not arrived as yet so we ordered a bottle of wine anyway and enjoyed the music. At around 7pm the cook arrived and we ordered our food and were promptly served, then the drinking began, and the singing, and the line dancing from Dave and Marion. We had a particularly memorable evening, Lorna sang duets with Aidee and two or three other people as well as getting onto the stage herself. Even I managed to belt out ‘I’m A Believer’ (the Robert Wyatt version of course) toward the end of the evening. It took us a good while to walk back as certain members of the group were suffering from balance problems, there are photos but they are not going to be shared here i’m afraid.

Sunday was a write off really. Both us and Marion and Dave had planned to move on but before midday we had both decided that that simply wasn’t going to happen. Marion spent the entire day in bed, Dave was rough, as was Lorna. I seemed to be ok for some reason. I do believe that managing not to smoke during the night helped with how I felt the next day, no particular hangover and certainly no rough throat or coughing, excellent. By evening time though I was starting to flag a little and by 9pm I was in bed. During various chats during the day we had decided that we would go to the market on Monday and then move on……….a definite plan this time, no going out, no deviation, early night, up early, market and go. Simple. So, Monday arrived and we all managed to stick to the plan of getting up early, going to the street market and then heading off, well, nearly. All was going to plan for Lorna and I until I tried to start the motorhome, the battery had gone flat and it wouldn’t start at all. Very strange as we had only been parked for about a week and a new starter battery shouldn’t lose its charge like that. I can only assume that something, somewhere, is putting a drain on the battery whilst the engine isn’t running. Something I need to get looked at, but it can wait until we are back in the UK now. Luckily all of our friends rallied round and I soon had two batteries with jump leads at hand. It wouldn’t start with these so Aidee got his generator out and we ran that for half an hour charging the battery. This worked and we were soon off and on our way to the campsite at Monchique (Vale Da Carrasqueira). With the battery problem any thoughts of going to a beach for a few days and wild camping were out of the window as it would be likely that we wouldn’t be able to start again and that would be far from ideal, at least on the site we could plug-in and at least float charge the battery for a few days. We had to stop and stock up with food before we arrived as the park is quite isolated so I had to sit in the motorhome with the engine running whilst Lorna shopped.

Later in the afternoon we arrived at the park and, having parked up and sorted ourselves out we took Jack for a walk and on returning we were invited to play Boules with some other people on the site. There is only room for about 14 motorhomes on the site so it’s a small, friendly place were everyone seems to get involved. We suffered defeat to the French couple we played but 13-5 isn’t too shabby considering Lorna hasn’t played before. In the evening we ate early and then watched ‘It Could Happen To You’ before having a reasonably early night. Lorna was up early the next day, sat outside and taking advantage of the fine weather. When I eventually got up we moved the motorhome on to proper pitch (there wasn’t room when we arrived yesterday) and then went for a walk through the lovely countryside with Jack who seemed pleased to be able to run about freely again.

Monchique

As it seems to be very relaxed and quiet here, and the fact that we are quite stocked up with food etc I think that we may well be stopping here longer than the planned three nights. The days are counting down to when we need to be back in the UK so a week here relaxing before the start of the long drive back seems like a good idea at the moment.

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