Friday, 18 February 2011

WEATHER,GAS & PORTUGAL

Wednesday 16th February 2011

Finally left CONIL as the wonderful weather broke at last and a few days of storms set in but not before we managed 2 lovely days walking and cycling.
The walk was along the beach towards Cape Trafalgar, 11 kms away, and back on the footpath across the dunes, stopping for a picnic at the old watchtower.
The beach was almost deserted and the surf was crashing or doing whatever surf does and as the whole coastline is unspoilt the views from Trafalgar back past Conil are lovely, and the town , being so white against the sky and sea looks great.
WE finally completed the cycle ride to BAROSSA which ended abruptly when my motor gave up the ghost last time, by cycling on through the town after a coffee stop to SANCTI PETRI, a small ex-fishing village on a headland looking across to SAN FERNANDO & CADIZ and the castle island of Sancti Petri. This village has been abandoned by the fisherman and is just in the process of being developed by every type of water-based leisure venture imaginable. It still retains some charm but soon will be a huge sporting venue and marina and may well become a modern horror but for the moment it is a great place for a picnic.Great cycle path to it as well...27 mile round trip on the bikes.
Few drinks with Nick & Barbera, Dave & Geraldine to say farewell on Monday night and then the heavens opened for wind and non-stop rain. At 9 am on Tuesday morning we were resigned to not moving as though nearly everything was packed, it was decidedly unpleasant. The forecast was bad for 2-3 days though so if we stayed we would be there until FRiday, so when the wind eased at midday we made a decision to go even though it was still raining.
Off by 12.30, stocked up at the supermarket and left CONIL in the rain by 1.30. Rain stopped by JEREZ, sun came out at SEVILLE and arrived TAVIRA by 5pm in more or less sunny weather. Campsite busy, pitches very crammed but all hard standings, facilities fair to middling but hot water is dangerous.

Thursday 17th.

Wednesday a write off as storms swept in continuously;rain,hail,wind,thunder and lightning. Managed to walk down to the very pleasant village of Cabanas for a coffee. Still operating as a fishing community, the village nestles behind islands of sand dunes like the machair of the Hebrides. Look forward to trying some of the many seafood restaurants.
Having a problem with Spanish Butane gas which looks suspiciously like the regulator fouling problem suffered 2 years ago.Have used Spanish Propane for the last month without trouble, when it came to replace the cylinder I decided to switch back to Butane as it is much easier to find than propane in Portgal but when the bottle was connected the pressure was rubbish at the hob and fire. Discovered from neighbours that the only propane to be had was to go back to Ayamonte, just across the border in Spain and find a little petrol station down in the docks which had the only stocks to be had. A bit fraught taking the van down the cobbled streets of a busy little port but the excellent directions ( with dire warnings of avoiding getting sidetracked into old town with steep,narrow overhanging alleys) made it quite a pleasant trip and the directions of how to extract ourselves from the oneway system were most precise. So all sorted and propane gas working fine. On return shall switch to a Gaslow regulator from the second Trauma regulator that may be failing.....my last resort is to fit the spare that I carry but I am loathe to mess about with the gas system too much if I can avoid it .
A light bicycle ride pm and a glass of vinho in Cabanas at a very pleasant little bar on the front we have discovered ( mainly because it was the busiest) where every drink so far has been 1€.
The GoodFairy may be changing her opinion of the Portuguese as everyone round here is very smiley and very helpful and the area although busy with Northern Europeans is still very Portuguese.......unlike further along the Algarve - of which there will no doubt be more said when we hit Costa Skegness.

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