Wednesday, 28 March 2012


28TH.MARCH 2012

When we arrived here we were parked near an extremely large RV that is probably larger than our home at Martlesham and more luxurious. It is owned by Tom & Pam who live in it fulltime and who are quite interesting and spend most of their time in the sunshine up and down the Algarve, only returning to the uk for 6 weeks every year. Tom is a bit of a whizz on most things to do with motorhomes, especially satellites, and in the course of conversation he asked what channels our very small dish could pick up ( his satellite is about 6ft diameter and blots out the sun). We of course are under no illusions and only use the dish in Spain to pick up BBC radio, Sky news and BBC News 24 on a good day. I learnt however that Astra had put up a new satellite a month ago as Astra 2 was overloaded with shopping/porn channels and this had boosted the signal considerably in southern Spain and that we should be able to receive more signals. He then told me that our LNB (the pointy thing in the dish that looks like a microphone) was not set correctly and instead of pointing up & down (as in 6 o'clock) should be rotated slightly to the left ( as in 5 past 7 or 10 past 8). This sounded incredibly technical to me but he assured me this was so ( and a brief walk round the sight showed very other LNB in that position) and it was a simple job and would not even require resetting back in the Uk as this was the correct setting for Astra2 south. So I got up on the roof and it took 2 seconds to rotate the LNB. We then did a reset on the digibox and low and behold we now receive 400 channels of rubbish,porn and shopping as clear as if we were in England. And we still just listen to radio 4 and 4 extra but we watch the 6pm news from Anglian Tv so we know what's going on in suffolk.

A trip out to ARMONA by ferry was a very pleasant day and included an excellent lunch of grilled seabass and a bottle of wine after wandering across the dunes to see the surf on miles of deserted white sandy beach. There are no vehicles on these sand dune islands so everything has to be brought over by boat, The 12pm ferry that we caught over was packed with litle old ladies with enormous shopping trollies filled with the weeks rations from the supermarkets at Olhao and it was fascinating watching them all being loaded by the ferry crew.

We have new boules partners, Rob & Julia, and after 3 months of being a member of undefeated men's teams, I have to report that the Ladies scored their first series win on Monday afternoon when Julia & the GF adapted better to the sand-bunker terrain we had to play on and creamed us 3-0. We were slightly hampered by a mad Belgian called Marc who did not help our cause.

The weather is looking very iffy for the next week along the Algarve so we are going to head North on Thursday instead of waiting till Sunday and will probably spend a few days next week around Arcachon in France as it looks better on the forecasts and there's no point sitting around here in the wind and rain that is now expected from Friday to Tuesday......although having said that, I've forgotten what rain look like ( apart from a shower overnight last Sunday that dumped more Saharan sand on top of us than the average school sandpit contains and necessitated a visit to the roof with mop and bucket to clean the skylights and solar panel.)

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