19th May 2009

We left the campsite at Aldea and drove on to Portugal crossing the Rio Tinto (Red River).  Paul noticed that there were severe penalties for trying to sell diesel in Portugal that had been bought in Spain.  This was because the prices are much cheaper in Spain, so when lorries cross the border they can make a huge profit on their fuel if they can sell it to other truckers. We drove on, and crossed into the Algarve - hurray we’ve finally made it to Portugal!
Hurray - Portugal at last!
Entering the Agarve region
We were looking for a campsite at Quartiera  which belongs to the Orbitur Group.  They have several campsites across Portugal, and are meant to be good.  However, we had terrible trouble trying to find it.  We drove in and out of the town of Vilamoura but couldn’t see any signs or directions.  This is when we also discovered that the satnav supplied with the Motorhome - a Blaupunkt unit – didn’t have any maps of Portugal, even though the hand book from Swift said it did.  Anyway, we found it eventually and it's superb.  This is a lovely part of Portugal, between Faro and Albufuera, right on the beaches.
Paul: The van is covered in dead bugs, butterflies and other unmentionables - we hit a small bird on the way here too.  Anyway, we set up the van and relaxed for a bit.  There are quite a few English people on site that we've spoken too, and a Dutch version of Tony ha ha!  He has unruly grey hair, has been everywhere and done everything. His name is Dick. Tony has doppelgangers everywhere. We saw another one driving a Ferrari in Benidorm too.
Orbitur campsite, Quartiera (Now a new location)
Nice and open - a bit dusty
Card making again?
Vilamoura |Portugal
The campsite is really nice and so is Portugal.  There's a lot of palm trees and colonial style buildings all around.  The nearest town - Vilamoura - is walkable, quite modern in places and very clean. It actually looks quite affluent. Because it was so warm, we decided to walk down to the beach at about 5pm. It was quite a long walk. We saw a large group of motor homes that were wild camping on part of the beach by the edge of the town. I'm afraid the site looked a real mess, and apparently local residents are up in arms about them being there. I'm not surprised; it was a bit of an eyesore. We spent a little time walking and looking at the shops and then spotted an Indian restaurant on the boardwalk and decided to have something to eat.  The food was absolutely brilliant! We both said it's the best Indian we've had.  The menu was simple, with only a few dishes, but they were superb.  The Peshawari Naans were excellent.  We were served by a good looking Indian boy who has come over from India and is working here for the summer.  He was very polite and friendly. The bill came to €35 including a couple of beers so it wasn't cheap, but well worth it, especially as Tina had said she was missing her weekly Indian. Tina wanted to look around the Chinese bizarre shops they have here, but didn’t know how to get to them, so the Indian lad kindly walked her to one of them, whilst I sat here enjoying the warm evening and the view. The lad came back and I hoped Tina would find her way when she’d finished browsing as her sense of direction isn’t great. She got back okay though and we strolled along the beach then walked back to the campsite and arrived about 9:30 pm tired and full so we went to bed.

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