Preparing to leave the Rocío camp GPS 37.1415 -6.49083 site we had to park Hetty on the grey water dump that doubled as a motor wash area and as Hetty was now a grey brown with fly smudges I decided to have a free car wash . They charge for this but as the site was so dusty and the pool closed I decided to just go for it. By the time the tank was empty her nose was clean so I flushed her tank from the drain and did her bum whilst waiting”sneaky I thought”.
We stopped after leaving the site and The Cook said I have a castle for you so off we rolled to Castillo de Niebla . On arrival we parked at the front and went for a stroll to find it was a Moorish fortified town in its previous life. The fortification gates had the Moorish arch but the original entrance was offset at 90 degrees to prevent the use of a battering ram with a murder hole above the doorway. The Portuguese had cut a big hole in the wall to allow present day traffic to pass .
Inside the walls the mosque had been converted to a Catholic Church but the washing area had been preserved as a potted plant garden.. very nice it was too. Inside the space felt much warmer than outside which seemed strange.
After a stroll across town to an original undamaged gate we wandered back to the castle ..Its internal space is used for theatre and shows etc The recently used stage and seating was being dismantled. The old Moorish castle has not been well preserved but has not been badly knocked about either . It is famed for having been the first to be involved with gunpowder but did not have structures for its use defensively so I assume the attackers used it . Access was available to some of the towers and to the dungeons which had been decorated with lots of ghoulish kit to torture and damage bodies. An area inside was described as a gunpowder store but there was nowhere on the battlements for cannon.
At €2.50 each I thought it was good value for money, but if you bring children take care as some of the areas have no barriers to big drops and the stairs are uneven and slippy but they will love the dungeons.
Back in Hetty for a big drink of water and off we toddled off to Travira and The border
A TOLL TALE
PORTUGAL has a Toll system which if we inadvertently use a Toll even for a mile we would be charged BUT if you haven’t put your credit card into the system you are tolled and a fine is added so we decided rather than risk a fine to put my credit card details in as security BUT where is the machine to do it The Driver asks as we can see the border bridge.. The Cook doesn’t know so The Driver Shouts But The Cook still doesn’t know !!! The border looms and a sign saying “Foreigners” in big writing is very obvious.. off into the foreigners area where there’s a machine to enter Barclaycard details a photo is taken of your registration plate we are relieved of 75cents admission fee .. now we will be tolled and not fined unless we go on a “Green route” but we haven’t worked that one out and The Driver has stopped shouting so all is well
Now we are in Portugal
Most Motorhome’s are on the gravel but we decided to take advantage of a bit of shade on the very large carpark GPS 37.1229 -7.64323 for the municipal market… well away from the business end as we have had issues with markets erected around us before.
After bedding down we had a few local car buffs “The Cook said hooligans” revving and burning rubber for a bit but they soon became bored and roared off into the distance so no problem really.
Next day it’s an explore ..So many tourists … it’s a very pleasant town with a river and narrow lanes leading to The Church but I The Cook hasn’t got a lot to say about it other than the veg and fish market was in full sway ..
Where now said The Driver ? The Cook has found a carpark on a cliff so off we go again
GPS 37.09025 -8.412564
A place called Praia da Marinha
A very successful wildcamping spot ever though a “THOU SHALT NOT PARK “ sign was observed and ignored along with six other camper van of all shapes and sizes
A youngish guy came by searching the ground seemingly he’d lost his key for his hire car .. he’d upgraded to a BMW and driven to Portugal from Malaga where the spare key was .. what a mess .. he’d hired another car to drive back to Spain to get the key and had a tow truck tow the BMW to a secure storage .. We didn’t find the key !
After a quiet night we decided a trip to the beach was in order. Rucksack packed with water ..towel .. and books.Off we trecked down lots of steps to the beach On arrival the waves where pounding onto the small beach and access to the main beach was passed a cliff promontory being pounded by the waves . Some intrepid souls managed to negotiate the lull in the waves and pass round ….Some did not and either where splashed or pounded on the cliff face A family returning .Mum Dad and kids made it Granny and Grandad did not and where rolled by the waves. People still tried the route and not until 2 people were treated for dislocated shoulders did the beach patrol marshall people on both sides of the promontory. Great spectator sport..After a couple of hours we packed our chairs and wended our way back up the steps to Hetty. Our space on the beach was taken in seconds.
Hetty was quite cool as we had left the screens in place so we quickly prepare for the road and headed for the lighthouse on the southwest tip of Portugal stopping at the Sagres Intermarche to service our tanks and as it was the cheapest fuel seen so far in Portugal topped up that tank too( English prices oh shit) .After a stroll around
The lighthouse compound and a look at the tat and pullover stalls back to Hetty . We intend to free camp here tonight GPS 37.023355 -8.994450
We have run out of mobile phone data and have had to buy more .. so don’t expect the same amount of posts I will write em but may have to access WiFi on a campsite soon
These blogs are our way of sending postcards home as I know my brother and sister in law like to read em but don’t know whether our kids bother to read em or not …. sighs
Spelling and grammar mistakes come free of charge .. smiles