Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Terrifying bed fellows and the ROAD OF DEATH!

Day 86 17.07.12 Faro

We got up and headed to Quarteira having been told it was more camper friendly than Albufeira.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and there were massive ‘no camper’ signs not just on the car parks but along the road all the way down.  No pleading ignorance here!  There were a couple of campers in some residents only parking and that was it.  We grabbed lunch and then got back on the road to a campervan service shop called Camper Serv we’d read about online.

It took a while to find them but we got there in the end.  We needed to grab some more toilet fluid and have our water heater looked at.  The heater has been blowing fuses every time we try to use it.  The very helpful English guy who runs the place figured out it was a faulty cable and managed to dig out a replacement despite the heater being long obsolete, now that’s good service!  We chatted for a while about life in Portugal while we waited to check that the water heated up.  After ten minutes we had super hot water!  We certainly don’t need it in the current 36 degree weather but down the line I’m sure we’ll be very glad of it.

Afterwards we headed to Faro along the road known in the ludicrous Portuguese road numbering system as EN125 and R125 and N125 and IC4 and by the locals – ‘Road of death’ on account of the number of accidents that occur!  We made it to Faro in one piece and parked up in the huge town car park.  Unfortunately we were ‘guided’ into place by another Portuguese staple, the self-appointed car park attendant.  Usually a scruffy, slightly crazy looking person, the car park attendant will guide you to a free parking spot (even when they are blindingly obvious) and then hang around the vehicle waiting for money.  Typically a euro is enough to get them to leave you alone and not damage your vehicle whilst you’re away.  The car park attendants are everywhere in Portugal and fiercely guard their patch!

We then headed out to look around Faro.  Some of the buildings in the old town are very beautiful with a strong Moorish influence.  Outside the cathedral is a particularly nice courtyard lined with orange trees.  Again lots of these architectural lovelies are in various states of sad disrepair.  The marina area was nice and we walked through a large park with fountains and peacocks roaming free.  The town shopping area is a little smaller than expected although there is a huge shopping centre on the edge of town by the airport. We’ll certainly spend a bit more time looking around tomorrow. 

After returning to the van for a Bolognese dinner and a film before a trip to the toilet gave me the fright of my life.  I opened the door to find a MASSIVE cockroach scuttling around the loo!  I shrieked and leapt to the furthest point in the van away from it.  Chris opened the bathroom door, trainer in hand only to discover the bloody thing had disappeared!  Cue a rather tense search mission!  It turned up on the ceiling and after more shrieking and shoe bashing the damn thing was done.  It was then a rather tense half hour of turning the lights on and off to check there weren’t any more before both of us taking a long time to get to sleep.  Thankfully we awoke with no signs of Mr Cockroach having brought friends although we did discover a mosquito that appeared to have taken a liking to one of us, now begins the wait until one of us starts itching!  My bet is on Chris, it’s his turn to be a mosquito buffet after the last one bit me in the damn armpit!

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