A couple of nights on a car park near Armacao de Pera gave us the opportunity to enjoy the seaside. I posted a selection of photographs on Facebook of the stunning coastline. I did worry at the time that the brightness of the sunshine and the blueness of the sky would be too nauseating for the readers coping with January snow back in the UK. But hey, never mind, I thought I'd go ahead and share our good fortune. The location looks stunning but what the photos don't tell you is that it was windy and that interfered with our sleep.
When we arrived on the Algarve in December we treated ourselves to the A22, a toll road. This involved registering a credit card at the machine shortly after we crossed the border from Spain. Cameras are placed at intervals along the route, but as yet, we haven't been charged. I hope it doesn't cost a fortune because we used the road again yesterday, and it took about an hour and twenty minutes to get here.
Back in the day Manta Rota had a huge number of motorhomes parked on the beach carpark. The council put in an Aire de service and an entrance barrier about three years ago. I have heard the occasional mumble and grumble that they are profiteering from the motorhome community. However, water rates are high in Portugal and with so many motorhoming visitors I don't think it's an unreasonable charge at €4.50 for a 24 hour stay.
The Aire is almost full but we found a space and Mike tucked us in behind an English motorhome. After a few minutes the owner returned from a bike ride, shook Mike's hand and greeted him warmly. "Hello Mike".
How did he know his name?
"I met you in 2010. I warned you to lock up your bikes. "
Such a memory, although for a man who struggles to remember the name of his current wife, I guess it wouldn't take much to impress my husband when it comes to the use of grey matter.
Mike and I sat in the van and as we chatted about this meeting over a cuppa , I realised that we've arrived a day early to meet our friends, Jo and Mick. We have no idea of the day or the date it seems and we're both as hopeless as each other on the brainpower front. But never mind, there's always something to do. Mike gains a day to do some laundry and I'll fill mine writing stuff like this.