Saturday 5th January 2019, after sending the last blog we took a long walk along the beach to the town of Monte Gordo. Since our last visit they had built a really nice board-walk the whole length of the beach front, complete with many restaurants and toilets, only a couple were finished and open but it was looking very nice and must have cost the town a fortune. I hope the investment works for them. After a nice, well earned, large beer for Steve and a couple of glasses of wine for Judy, the sun had lost its strength so a very brisk walk back through the woods was quicker than on the soft sand.
Judy started preparing dinner and suddenly exclaimed “There’s no water! Oh Dear, do we have a leak?” We had only filled up at Murcia so Steve lifted the carpets to get to the tank to find it full and the pump was running ok. Too late to do anything now but we did have a five litre bottle of drinking water so dinner was OK but the washing-up will have to wait till the morning.
In the morning after a long struggle to get the push fit joints apart without a special tool Steve extracted the pump and from his bottomless tool box produced some pipe and filled a large bucket so we could do the washing-up and have a wash ourselves. Most of Sunday was spent tracing the pipework to see if a pipe had become trapped somewhere. If you know about the build of Motorhomes you will understand that tracing pipework is not easy as it appears that they install all that and the electric wiring before building the body around it. After a fruitless day Steve decided that although the pump was pumping water, it was not producing enough pressure to get past the non return valve and reach the taps. So a new pump it would have to be.
Asking around the other Motorhomes there, it appeared that there was a dealer about 70 km away, but somebody suggested, as we are near the sea, what about ships chandlers? What a good idea but not on a Sunday afternoon. So all the drawers and carpets were replaced and we settled down for the evening.
Monday morning and Suzie the scooter was wheeled out of the garage and off we went in search of a suitable pump, armed with a photo of the existing one on Steve’s phone. We headed for Vila Real which we knew had some large boat builders factories, from there we were directed to a small chandlers. The nice lady there spoke perfect English but only had bilge pumps and said we would have to go to Spain, OK, only a hundred yards across the river and we could have taken the small passenger ferry and walked from there, but she drew a map and off we set on Suzie. The owner of the Chandlers was English and very helpful, he had one submersible pump, a good make but very slightly less spec. than the original and one very good diaphragm pump which would be ideal and much better than the current set-up. Unfortunately, Steve didn’t think he had enough tools with him to do the modifications needed and it would need a shelf built in an outside locker so he decided that we would take a chance on the submersible one to tide us over the next couple of months and fit the better system when he had all his tools available. We also bought a stainless steel jubilee clip because the idiot who had last worked on the pump had used a steel one which was rusted solid and would need very careful cutting off the pipe. Well, back at the van and a couple of hours modifying the pipework to take the new pump and the first test. Success, not quite as much flow as the original but we were out of trouble, till the next thing happens, that is!
Tuesday was more walking the other way along the beach to the next village, Altura, then an afternoon sitting on the beach with a picnic and reading. When it got a bit cool we set off on our trusty Suzie to Manta Rota where we knew there was a good Launderette to do our accumulated washing including the sheets as well. There was also very good Wi-Fi so we could download fresh maps for the Maps.me app on the phone which we use extensively and a long “FaceTime” catch-up with our son Kerry and the girls, who we had not managed to talk to since before we left France.
We needed to dump our waste and fill with water so Wednesday morning we loaded Suzie back into the garage and set of for a large Aire we knew of at Quarteira but forgot that it was Market day on Wednesday’s and it is closed to motorhomes, so we found a really nice spot near the beach next to a lake. We still had 25% water and carry a second WC cassette so we can last a few days with the water if we are careful. Lunch in the sun and a mile walk into the town brought another nice day to a close and we were treated to a fantastic sunset to finish the day.
We are really pleased that we bought Suzie the scooter, problems like these would become such a drama without and this time we have just zoomed about in next to no time. We still make sure we do the walking but in nice surroundings rather than pounding the streets looking for places.
Till next time……..