On Wednesday 23rd January 2019 we arrived at Alvor. We parked at the “Pines” parking (GPS 37.12414,-8.59527) which is a tolerated parking spot for Motorhomes directly opposite the Camper Park which to us, is absolutely awful, it’s not expensive, just €3 a night but apart from the dumping spot which is quite well built, they have spent nothing on the area which is red mud which becomes a quagmire when it rains and there are still very deep tyre tracks and enormous puddles from
the recent rain. When it has dried, both the camper and yourselves get sand blasted. What a shame they don’t invest about a weeks takings on some gravel which would make a fantastic difference. So as a result, many motorhomes now park opposite, OK we are parking not camping so we don’t put chairs out, although some do which does incur the wrath of the police if they come round, but the beach is only about 100 meters away so it’s very easy to just carry chairs on to the beach which we did a couple of times taking a picnic with us. In the picture, the “Pines” Parking is the Motorhomes on the left of centre the Camper Park is on the right. Click the picture for a larger view.
The best thing about Alvor, which we discovered last year, is the walking. There are 5km of very nice board walks and a firm sand beach when the tide’s out, it’s 10 km when walking both ways, so we can easily get our daily dose of of fresh air, sun & exercise. The beach is golden sands with interesting rocks with tunnels and caves at one end and the lagoon entrance with lighthouses at the other.
The town is nice as well with many restaurants and bars and a couple of supermarkets and a launderette, which we took advantage of one evening. We stayed for five really nice days before moving off towards Lagos because we needed to empty our waste and refill with water. So we stopped at the nearby Intermarche supermarket which has very kindly installed free dumping and fresh water facilities for motorhomes. Unfortunately the parking is very tight and we could find no where to park so as to repay their generosity with some shopping.
Monday 28th January 2019 we arrived at the very large area for motorhomes at the Lagos Sports Stadium, another find from last year, there is a servicing point and they charge just €3 per night with a further €2 for 100 ltr of fresh water when needed. There are marked bays for about a dozen motorhomes but about another hundred can camp on the large area outside except when the market is on, which happens to be next Saturday. There is also very fast free WiFi near the service point which we can easily pick up with our special booster aerial.
Lagos also has nice restaurants especially around the large Marina and a very good supermarket just across the river bridge from the camping area. We hadn’t experienced the market before so took the precaution of moving off on Friday evening so as not to be woken at 4am when the stallholders arrived. Just above the stadium they had built the roads and infrastructure for housing but never built the houses so along with about 50 others we parked up for the night there as we were told that overnight parking was tolerated when the market was on. As it happened we could still pick up the WiFi. which was a bonus.
The market turned out to be much smaller than we expected as there had been rain overnight so we didn’t need to have moved after all but it wasn’t a problem and we did manage to find a card game of UNO at the market when we walked around next day, which we had been looking for to while away wet afternoons with friends.
Sunday 3rd February 2019 we were taking stock of whether we should move off and head slowly back towards home and realised it was our friend Chris’s birthday so phoned her with our good wishes only to find that they were now also in Portugal at the Albuferia Stadium camp site just 50km back towards Spain, so as we were thinking of moving that way, we decided to immediately motor back so as to go out to lunch with them. We had a really nice English Roast with all the trimmings and magnificent Yorkshire Pud’s, which Chris finished off with an enormous Knickerbocker Glory, she was really happy that we had joined them and the friends they were travelling with, the day finished with a long game of cards, a game called Phase-10 which they had introduced us to at Benidorm.
On Monday we had a ride out on Suzie the scooter with Chris & Fred who also have a scooter as the other couple had decided to have a day walking in the town. We rode back a few km to show them the great parking place at Tomato Beach we had found and finished off with a late lunch then another game of cards in the evening.
Tuesday morning we decided to say our goodbyes and move on as the site was not really to our liking with very small spaces and no views, we were missing the open space and tranquillity we were used to. Chris & Fred had told us about a great town they had visited in Spain so we set off and pointed Jemima in that direction but first to Ayamonte just across the boarder to buy the more powerful water pump we had seen there, now Steve had been able to do some research about it on the internet. The other pump we bought does the job but only just and will be reused for transferring water from our 25lt carrier which is a bit heavy to lift and pour. We were a bit tight for time as the shop closes at 3pm and we realised that we lose an hour as we cross into Spain so unusual for us we took the Motorway which like France are mostly toll roads. We made it just in time and the pump we wanted was still there. The owner was a happy man as it seemed that it was his only sale that day.
So, bye for now, till next time and a very strange town …..