Moving day – we are now ensconced at our latest pit stop the “The Rural Chicken Run”. Its in a place called Mexilhoeira Grand which is about 5 miles inland from the coast at Alvor. The site is very rustic to say the least. Ok to be be honest its more like a camping field / new age traveller site, calling it rustic is just using poetic licence:)
It is a a bit of land at the end of a lane, a few statics and several long stayers in ancient motorhomes, there is a hardstanding area and next to that a very large expanse of grassed area.. The owners are trying to get a campsite running but its a work in process, to be fair it really could be lovely, but it feels a bit jammed together with everyone on the little piece of hardstanding, maybe in the better weather with parking on the grass it would be better. No toilets or showers but we do have electric and water pumped to the van. This definitely isn’t a registered campsite but when we arrived the owners, a lovely British couple, were so welcoming and friendly we decided to stay for a night or two leave so we are here for a bit. We have both agreed its an experience and we for a couple of days before moving onto somewhere with a few more creature comforts.
And after all my concerns and doubts about the site the owner just gave us a ton of fruit from her orchards and a juicer so we get freshly squeezed juice for breakfast. Not sure what some of these things are but Iain is going to be busy peeling tomorrow:) So as the sun comes out it doesnt look so bad to be fair, who knows a couple of days of something a bit different good be good.
On the way here we stopped off at Silves. Lovely town between the mountains and the coast. So lovely there is a campervan/ motorhome invasion there for the winter. Two massive carparks outside the football ground with approximately 200-300 motorhomes parked up (wild camping as they call it) and living in the carpark. We aren’t talking cheapo vans either, nearly every van was less than a couple of years old and most were the massive coach size. We parked up for a couple of hours to do some exploring.
The town is full of cafes, markets, shops and loads of small ceramic shops where you can watch the potters at work. There is a beautiful Moorish castle, Castelo de Silves, and cathedral at the top of the hill in the centre of town. Against Iain’s better judgement we hiked up through the cobbled streets. When we got to the top we had to have a rest and coffee and cake to give us the energy to walk around the castle (our excuse and we are sticking to it). The castle was amazing, the walls were mainly preserved and you could walk around the outer edge looking down on the excavations of the old buildings and gardens (those of us with vertigo were very concerned at the lack of hand rails). There were fantastic views for miles from the battlements – you could see right down to the coast and the hundreds of massive hotels. We popped into the municipal market and I impressed Iain by ordering two onions in Portuguese – and the woman understood me perfectly – my fluency is on the way back – today two onions, tomorrow who knows what I can order:)