The Barragems

Sorry this post is a bit late. I am playing catch-up as I was late starting this trip’s Blog because I thought we would not be touring so much this year. But then I started getting emails; “Where is the Blog?” so I made a start, but then as I said in the last post decided to completely change the site and move it to WordPress.

Wednesday 17th January 2018

We had been told about the Barragems last year but never investigated, these are dams across valleys and the reservoirs behind. A few people had mentioned them again this year and we could see on our map that there was one just a little north of where we were, at Silves, so, after a bit of shopping in the nearby Continente supermarket we set the coordinates from our CamperStop book into TomTom. A German motorhome which left the supermarket just before us seemed to be heading in the same direction so when TomTom said “turn right” down a very narrow and bumpy track we ignored it as usual and just went the same way as the German who seemed to know the way. Unfortunately TomTom will often do this sort of thing, if it sees it can save a few meters by going across a ploughed field it will do, ok in a 4×4 perhaps or sometimes even in a car but a 4.5 tonne 7.5 meter P1080636motorhome is a bit different, however if ignored Tom will usually instantly re-calculate and take the proper route, unless it sees another short cut.  The German van headed across a dry concrete ford and up a steep hill. As we crossed the ford Judy said “There’s the campers, over on the right” by which time we were already heading up the steep hill so too late to turn round. At the top the German turned left and we followed stickerto find a nice flat clearing with about ten Motorhomes perhaps you can see in the picture, the dam in the fore-ground with a few motorhomes just above and to the right of the car on the dam, what a lovely spot just 13km from Silves. If you click on the picture it should open to a much larger view. After finding a nice spot with plenty of sun for the Solar Panels Steve had a walk around and just behind us was a very old Portugese registered Hymer motorhome with a Funster Sticker on the windscreen. We know that there is a member of our club called “JJ” who is full timing in his Classic Hymer so Steve knocked on the door and sure enough it was the same guy who Steve had met on the forum but not in P1080622person. So as usual when Funsters meet we got out the chairs, made a cup of tea and sat for a chin wag and compared notes. We very soon met the resident “Wild Dog” who had been named “Motte” by the residents most of whom were staying there for most of the winter. He was extremely well behaved, didn’t beg when we were eating a biscuit and played all day with the residents dogs with no fighting.

The following day Thursday, we had really nice 7km walk through the nearby Orange and Lemon groves.

On Friday, Michael one of the other long term residents said that they usually go out for lunch on a Friday, would we like to join them which was very nice.  The restaurant was a little over 3km walk but we all had a magnificent three course lunch with wine and coffee for just €10, well worth the walk there and back but a lazy afternoon dozing in the sun.

P1080608Michael told us that he and the young French couple who had arrived in the clearing that morning were going to walk around the P1080617lake tomorrow which would take all day, so a 9am start was needed.

Saturday morning and Judy wasn’t too sure if she would make it but Michael assured her that he had done it a number of times and they were happy to walk at the speed of the slowest so she relented and yes we had a fantastic walk, just over 20km and yes taking all day but beautiful scenery and the views at the highest point were amazing and the dam, Barragem  Funco, which was 100 meters high was great to come across. A very long walk but we were so glad we did it and the amazing thing was that Motte the dog tagged on and came with us for the whole walk. He did look a bit tired at the end though, but he had probably done twice as much as us, as he would run off to explore then come back to check on us before running off again. Tired or not, it didn’t stop him playing with the other dogs when we got back though.

After the exertion of Saturday, Sunday was a rest day reading, in the nice strong sun and chatting to our neighbours but our gas and water was getting low and our waste needed emptying so we will head off to Lagos tomorrow.





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