Saturday, 26 March 2011

SATURDAY 26TH.MARCH 2011

Before leaving Fuzeta we had a great lunch at a restaurant we had passed several times on the bikes and it was always busy....in the middle of nowhere at a hamlet called Aire de Torres And we were not disappointed. Mainly fresh fish grilled on an open barbecue but also steaming tureens of eel stew and fish stewed with rice. We both had a whole grilled sole which were delicious.
The Portuguese gentleman next to us very nicely kept us informed about all the various dishes we could see around us and even insisted that the GF taste his stewed Cuttlefish eggs..apparently a delicacy..which she pronounced delicious and like scallops. After a litre of wine and a large brandy it was necessary to take a walk before attempting the cycle back.....

So on Sunday 20th we headed inland to EVORA, leaving the Algarve behind,and meeting up with D&M and their outward travelling companions, Brian & Rita on the Orbitur campsite, who provided a most delicious BBQ on Sunday night for all of us, along with a litre bottle of brandy that was nearly empty by 9pm......which was when I went to bed apparently, although I have no recollection. The whole episode prompted the GF to try and teach the rest of us the phrase 'No thank you, I've had enough' but with no obvious sign of success.

On Monday we walked into EVORA, a pleasant & interesting town and hired audio guides for a mere 2€ each to enhance the walk through the old town and met up in the evening for drinks...........

On Tuesday we headed to CACERES and an Aire just 10 mins walk from the centre. Brian & Rita don't like Aires so headed for a campsite out of town and then went off on their own.....
We stayed 2 nights. THe Aire was incredibly busy and the designated area for 10 vans already oversubscribed when we got there but another 12 vans were parked in the area for coaches so we joined them and had drinks.........
First thing in the morning the local police arrived and very politely told us all that we couldn't park in the coach area. As we wanted to go & look round the town and stay the night this was a bit of a blow but as luck would have it we not only managed to whip into 2 slots recently vacated in the Aire proper but also connected to the free electric point courtesy of a frenchman with a vast array of cables and adaptors he was only too pleased to share with us. CACERES has a delightful old town, wonderfully preserved.....the main square is undergoing a major reconstruction which rather spoilt things but we shall come back next year to see the results. When we returned to the parking area, the coach park was again full of motorhomes who then stayed overnight with no more visits from the police so who knows what that was all about. More drinks were then taken......this is worse than having Pates around.....And as we were leaving Paul & Marianne appeared, having spent the night in the coach park and now looking for a slot, so they were lucky. Small world again.

On Thursday a lovely drive through the countryside and up into the hills to a campsite at a village called
HORCAJO de los MONTES in the Cabaneros National Park after stopping at CIUDAD REAL to stock up with wine...
The Campsite is perched on a terraced hillside above the village below with great views and as we were the only visitors (it did get busy on the weekend) we had 2 great pitches on the terraces. The GF & I love the site, it is so quiet ..... the only noises are birds and sheep bells and the sound of corks being drawn from bottles. Margaret had bought a kilo of fresh prawns at the supermarket in Cuidad Real which we had for lunch on friday with enough wine to ensure we all had to go to sleep until dinnertime when the GF produced a wonderful meal for all of Gaspacho followed by boeuf bourguignon followed by fresh strawberries & icecream and accompanied by lots more red wine and finished off with tawny port..........

My liver was again waving a white flag. D&M have itchy feet and want to keep moving....we have 2 weeks to go and don't want to get too far north too quickly so are staying here another night before moving up to TOLEDO which is not very far away, over the hills. So they left this morning for RIAZZA in the mountains above Madrid
before heading through France at a leisurely pace. We shall stay in Spain and whizz through France stopping only at Saintes & La Suze sur Sarthe where we may catch up with them again....hope so as the last week has been a great time with a lot of laughs and we are 5€ better off after the daily card games which nowhere near covers the cost of the red wine, even at 1€64 a bottle!!!!!!!!..................only joking if you are reading
this.

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