Friday, 25 January 2013

Storming South

Camping Asseiceira is one of those places where life sits so comfortably that moving on takes something of an effort. Well serviced and maintained it sits in a peaceful part of traditional rural Portugal with much to do in the surrounding area - thus my planned two nights drifted in to four. At the Sunday social gathering  I spoke at length to a couple who had sold up in Kent and now run the main campsite on Mull but hope to travel full time at the end of that contract - as proud owners of a large and thirsty Winnebago with an  'A' frame car towed behind it will be rather a different style of trip to my compact arrangements.
On the Monday a meandering bike ride through rural lanes and tracks passing cork oaks, olive groves and grazing goats brought me round to Beira whose unused station walls display a remarkable collection of painted tiles displaying local scenes. I saw these four years ago and was pleased that they still survive although I wonder for how much longer as the tracks are unlikely to spring back in to life. Lunch in the sun by an old ford was followed by a number of punctures as the strong winds had brought down thorny debris from I think the oaks but all were swiftly dealt with and I returned to the site on a warm afternoon after five hours in the saddle.
A blustery Tuesday saw me drive round to Castelo da Vide for a shop before it cleared up in time to walk that afternoon and then do some hand washing.
A wild Tuesday night saw trees down when I left on Wednesday heading for the coast passing orange and lemon trees in full fruit and almond trees in blossom - early spring flowers were also blooming and it turned noticeably milder as I clocked up the miles. A rare L'Eclerc supermarket enabled me to buy 4 inner tubes, a pack of patches and a spare pump so I can resume exploring again - for the Portugese these large and sophisticated malls are totally at odds with their traditional retail outlets - tiny non descript shops with limited stock and opening hours.
The pounding Atlantic breakers rolled in as I parked up at Vila Nova de Milfontes for lunch and later they could be seen crashing far below as I parked up just south of the Cabo Sardao lighthouse a few miles down a cliff top track for a memorable night as the sun set way out west.
Following the coast south I visited Zambujeira Do Mar and the many small coves and extensive beaches that  are reachable by rough tracks. West of Aljezur I stopped again for the night high above the sea and walked south to an abandoned cliff top village before another very wild wild pitch as the strong winds persisted.
After calling in at exposed but dramatic Cape St Vincent I have headed inland to the Serra De Monchique and will continue to head east over the next day or two - progress can be followed by clicking here and a few piccies - limited by the unsettled conditions are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Help keep us in touch by adding your news and views!