23rd May 2009

Not very nice today so we packed up the van and decided to drive to a shopping centre near Albufuera. On the way, we noticed a really awful smell, and at first I thought it was the drains outside, but then I suddenly thought that we hadn't emptied the waste water tank for some time and wondered if it could be that.  This is the tank that all the sink, shower and wash basin water drains into, and I couldn't think why it would smell that much as we are careful about washing down any food debris or stuff like that.  Anyway, I stopped the van and checked the external tap under the van and drained a little water out.  It absolutely stank!  The water - which had been in there for about a week - must have become stagnant.  We got to the shopping centre which was just like a UK shopping mall, and I managed to find a big enough parking space over a drain and drained all the water out, put in some Milton's fluid and left it like that.  I'll flush it through again back at the campsite and put a drop of water in it with some more Milton's fluid.  That should stop it smelling.  We’ll have to remember to flush the tank out more frequently whilst we are in a warm climate, even if it's not full.
We spent some time going round the mall; we bought a little folding table for the picnic barbecue to go on for €9, and got some oil, a hammer and a broom.  We also found a supermarket called Continentale and bought more food and provisions as we were almost out of everything. We had lunch in the mall at a kind of buffet place.  It had loads of things to choose from but the food wasn't particularly good or enjoyable.  We then drove back to the campsite.
Guia Shopping Mall Algarve
When we got back, two new Dutch couples had arrived in caravans - the know-it-all guy Dick and his wife had moved on – and they’d parked one behind us and one along side.  They seemed nice and we chatted to them as they set up.  On the whole, Dutch people have been very friendly so far and we enjoy chatting to different nationalities when we are washing the dishes or sitting outside drinking in the evening.  Nearly everyone speaks English very well, so we don't have to try and speak their language.  In any case, nobody speaks Dutch except the Dutch, so I guess they have to learn English!

We didn't stay up late as the weather was cold and so we played MK and Tina watered her flowers on AC.  I found out today that the mobile phone company 3, who we have our internet dongle with, are stopping the free access in Italy and Austria in June.  As this was one of the reasons I went with them on an annual contract, I now want to cancel my agreement with them.  That's not going to happen without a battle I expect.  I emailed them and said that I wanted to cancel.  What's the point of paying £15 per month if I can only use it in the UK?

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