The past few weeks cannot be called a labour of love more a self imposed vengeance upon ourselves as we packed up everything for onward transportation to storage in the UK. We had a a 5 day break from said work when our Canadian family arrived to visit and stay with us, our grandson just gets bigger and bigger whilst his younger sister seems to become more petite every time we see them.
I guess most of us have had the trauma of moving but we found it a damn sight harder this time probably because we are 10 years older than the last time. Kit as usual had all the boxes numbered labelled and entered into an Excell type programme which she had printed out much to the delight of the guys who had to load the wagon, as one said it made it so easy to get things done, such is the luck of being married to an efficient ex P.A. My part in all this, lifting and carrying, moving and shifting, sweating and swearing under my breath, I really hate hard work, Kit did her full share of the heavy work as well as the Admin.
On the Sunday evening before we left the house in Espiche our friends Terrie and Alf suggested we go to them for a meal as we were so busy, it would mean we could have a bite to eat then get back to work. Well it was a great idea and we turned up in our mucky working gear to then find that a bunch of neighbours and friends appeared to share the meal and wish us well. Needless to say not to much work was completed that evening but we really appreciated the send off.
Monday saw us leave the house and drive a whole 3 km to the Military Campsite in Lagos to allow us time to sort out bits n pieces that needed done. Bureaucracy is a fine art in Portugal and the simplest of tasks can turn you to despair. Change of address from Portugal to the UK, notification in writing two copies, where are your Utility bills from the UK to prove you live or are going to live there? We don’t have any, the Bank cannot send information out (statements) without a utility bill to prove that is your address. OK we got that sorted I had WYP statement referring to my pension, accepted but where is the utility bill for that address for your wife as she is a second card holder. I guess we should have known better, when we had Kit named as second card holder it took 6 weeks and at least 10 different pages for her signature over that period.
We really enjoyed our time on the Algarve as well as the trips out we made to different places, but once our landlords had decided to sell the property it definitely unsettled us and after a 2 week holiday in the north of Portugal decided we would like to go back to touring and now the deed is done.
Think about it who would want to leave a place where a morning view was great, coffee was shared on the Military Campsite with friends and who ever said you cannot have style on a campsite.
At last we were in the Camper and on our way, decided to use the motorways to Lisbon, scenic, easy driving, stops for coffee and a €45.00 bill when we reached the outskirts of Lisbon followed by another €6.00 to cross the bridge leading into the city. I should have known better and used the slightly slower non motorway route.
I write this as we stay at Campismo Monsanto, Lisbon, a site well known to us from previous times and fortunately the weather folks got it wrong and we have had super weather up to now. Our Canadian family were in Lisbon for a few days before flying back so we had the added bonus of spending time with them here.
Our family had decided they wanted to try out a new restaurant fairly near to Belem Torre which stands by the riverside so we walked our little feet off from the Maritime Museum to Darwin’s the super cool place to have a meal. After entering and being suitably awed by the size of it we were approached by an employee and told the place was full. The Restaurant was completely empty except for a dozen or so well dressed folks out on the patio having their meal. We pointed out that the restaurant was empty but were emphatically told that it was full. It would seem that Darwin’s is not for the tourist visitor either that or there was a restaurant full of invisible customers.
Decision made, Monday 22nd sees us heading north up the west coast to Figuera da Foz, again somewhere we have previously stayed and really like the Town and it’s facilities. The Duke of Wellington landed his troops here to start the long hard process of pushing Napoleon out of the Iberian Peninsular.
Now if you happen to see this GB registered ‘Campervan’ on the road it’s definitely not us and just before we left we came across this Squash proudly on display outside an Espiche home whilst the strange looking ‘Pony’,‘Dog’ or whatever your imagination tells you is use of an naturally shaped rock in the garden of a house in Luz nearby.
Cheers from Jack n Kit.