After Paderne we headed for Vila Real de Santo António and spent a few nights on the Aire there. Lovely location, overlooking Spain across the estuary of the Guadiana River. Mike busied himself with laundry duties, accompanied with a bit of 'Argy Bargy' from a French lady who was annoyed with Mike for two reasons,
- He didn't speak to her in French. (understandable, if we were in France)
- He wanted to fill his watering can. She was monopolising the only tap to do her own laundry and Mike getting his own water meant that she would have to disconnect her hose.
Oh the joys of full timing, a sad reflection of the times because motorhoming always used to have a more community based feel to it, and just because the numbers this year were at infestation levels I wouldn't have thought that politeness and good naturedness should all go out of the window. Perhaps Mike should have done his washing with the Ecuadorians in Paderne. So it was stories about washing on the cruise and now two laundry related mentions for Portugal. "Get a life Ali!" I hear you cry.
The town of Vila Real was wonderful. The buildings in the centre were set out in pedestrianised blocks with squares. It had been built as a new town during the 1700's and the matching white washed buildings were all visually appealing.
Once the chores were out the way we headed into Spain. I played the Andrea Bocelli/Sara Brightman version of Time to Say Goodbye for Portugal. As we crossed the border into Spain Mike chose the main title from from the musical, Paint Your Wagon-(I'm on My Way). We often play this when we set off somewhere and on this occasion it set Mike up for a very long drive-all the way to Almerimar, approximately 160km east of Malaga. Although the travel brochures wax lyrical about this coastline for holidays, I'm afraid what struck us the most was the proliferation of polytunnels since our last visit. This was approximately 10 years ago and there were so many more than there were before. I appreciate that our year round supply of salad vegetables has to be grown somewhere but I could almost feel the insecticide permeating my whole being. Well, perhaps that's an exaggeration, but the impact on the environment has to be extreme. A couple of days later, as I devoured my locally grown little gem lettuce, I did wonder if it, or I, would glow in the dark.
Anyway, that's all for now. Pictures and additional pages on the way for our journeying during February. All the best,
Ali and Mike