La Fleche
Vivonne aire
Cap Breton
Palencia aire
Lee & Mel Coimbra
Quarteria beach
Quarteria parking
Throw 25th November
Les Lobbs Diary
November 2011
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La Fleche, sunny
Brilliant crossing (we slept for most of it); at Ouistreham we headed for the Aire, only to find is is now "payant", as that is against my religion, we drove down to the beach and spent a very peaceful night there. The next morning we went to a Soc Gen machine at the port to authorise our new cards and then headed for Le Lude, which we reached at about 09.00. There then was a more or less continuous spell of visiting friends, which has left us with just one more couple to see tomorrow, before we continue our journey south.
Vivonne, Drizzle
This morning was grim, so we decided to get moving and call in again on the way back to the UK. Last night was spent near the weir at La Fleche (see main pic) and, considering it is the middle of town, it was a good stop over. The journey down to Vivonne, one of our regular stops, was wet and windy, and a bit worrying when we saw a snow plough heading towards us, so we were glad to pull in and put our feet up. Harry has been in touch and is just approaching Dover; he plans to stop at La Fleche on his way down, so we may meet up on our way south.
Duckworth Towers, raining
We had fine weather yesterday and a very pleasant journey, off the main roads, to Trevor and Glenda's pad. We were greeted with the smell of baking cakes and for dinner, were treated to a fish pie that was to die for.(we've got the recipe in case Barry wants it) - It's like coming to a top class hotel; Dawn is doing tonight's meal, something with dead chicken I think. Trevor took us to Limoges this morning, to top up his Gaslow system for the first time, no problems, and then on to a camping store to buy a new table - we showed great restraint and bought nowt.
Cap Breton, blowy
Up with the lark this morning, we had said our goodbyes and were on our way just after 09.00. We made a direct course for Cap Breton, which meant avoiding the major dual carriageways and using the more rural routes. The scenery around Bergerac was stunning, if a little misty, and we didn't meet one lorry - in France lorries are not used on Sundays. The last stretch into Cap Breton was where they invented roundabouts, I think. When we pulled onto the aire, we were greeted by Harry, offering a cup of tea and a bikky; most gratefully received!
Trevor:- Harry says there is extensive roadwork on the way south from Bordeaux.
Harry followed us out of Cap Breton, but we separated when we reached the toll roads - he is heading south, while we are going west towards Portugal. We usually do the toll roads for this section (bugger the expense!) because it is so much better driving, we are on gruel for the next few days to make up for it. It was quite wet when we started, but got finer as we cleared the mountains and reached Palencia. This is a great place, with loads of shops and a good atmosphere; the aire has nicely spaced out parking spaces for campers, with water and waste disposal at the entrance; why can't some of the UK towns do this, all the owners have come back loaded with shopping, so it must be good for the town. As usual there is always someone who tries to spoil things; as I write this there is a van running a generator, and we are next to peoples flats.
Coimbra, raining
This year we have tried a different route into Portugal; we have done the north Spanish coast (and very scenic it is) and down the coast of Portugal, and last year we went further south in Spain, and drove down the centre of Portugal. We set off this morning onto the A62, a splendid road upon which you can eat up the kms and then, in Portugal, turned onto the A25, which heads west, Lulu told us this was a toll road, but nice surprise - no tolls. The diesel price in Spain is about 1.29€ and in Portugal 1.49€; so fill up in Spain !! We rang Mel last evening to warn her that we would be arriving today and she promised to order us some sunshine as it was hissing down, least I think that's what she said, it was a bad line.
Praia da Tocha, raining
Mel was right, the sunshine arrived as promised! It was great to see how all their efforts have given them a smashing home - more like a smallholding really with goats, chickens and now a pig also. I think we must appear as under-nourished, because Mel again fed us like royalty, with homemade cakes and bread, and a massive roast dinner. Lee told us of a campsite they had used during the summer, so that is where we are now; it is a municipal site, so not expensive, and is in a little town right on the coast. At the moment it is raining, but the forecast is for improvements over the weekend. Dawn has just thrown a cup of coffee over herself (I think it's an age thing) and promptly started stripping off her hot clothes, much to the amusement of a French chap, who was walking his dog past our van.

Quarteira, blowy
On Saturday morning we left Tocha and headed south, with the intention of reaching the Algarve. The wind got up after about an hour and made driving uncomfortable on the open stretches between the eucalyptus forests, so we changed plans and headed for good ol' Pego, where we spent a gusty night (the weather, not us). By mid morning Sunday, the weather seemed settled, so off we trotted again; we rang friends Phil & Pat, who were parked in Quarteira, and Phil met us on his scooter to "direct us in ". As we pulled in we saw Terry, a friend we met at Calahonda, and later had a good chat and catch up with her news. There are a lot of vans parked here (it's free) because of the prices being charged at the local Orbitur camp site.
Barry & Ann - so sorry to hear about Michael, I'll call when we get a decent signal.

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between "want" and "need".

Dust if you must but there's not much time,
With rivers to cross, and mountains to climb,
Music to listen to - books to read,
Friends to cherish - a life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the worlds out there,
The sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair.
A flurry of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come round again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not kind,
And when we go - as go we must,
We ourselves will make more dust.

Rose Milligan

Dust If You Must
Quarteira, sunny
Reet then - we're dongled up and back in business. We had a walk along t'front yesterday and what a colour the sea was - proper cod water, all coloured from the bottom being stirred up by the winds we've had. Days ago, Dawn wrote a letter to Mum, with a few piccys, since then we have not found anywhere selling stamps, but yesterday she went to the main P.O. and the letter is finally on it's way. While she was out and about, she treated me to a new sim card for my dongle - 4€; a bit different from those robbing B******rs in the UK. Andrew texted last night, to tell us a chap over the road from him had been murdered; with Julie telling us of the accident on the motorway near her, it seems all bad news. To happier things - Pat showed Dawn where the water point is and where to dump the toilet, while Phil and I swapped lat/longs of places to stop.

<<<<<< A poem I saw hanging on Glenda's kitchen wall, that I thought I would share with you.
A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner.
The man took out his wallet, extracted ten dollars and asked, "If I give you this money, will you buy some beer with it instead of dinner?"
"No, I had to stop drinking years ago," the homeless man replied.
"Will you use it to go fishing instead of buying food?" the man asked.
"No, I don't waste time fishing," the homeless man said. "I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive."
"Will you spend this on greens' fees at a golf course instead of food?" the man asked.
"Are you NUTS!" replied the homeless man. "I haven't played golf in 20 years!"
"Will you spend the money on a woman in the red light district instead of food?" the man asked.
"What disease would I get for ten lousy bucks?" exclaimed the homeless man.
"Well," said the man, "I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you home for a terrific dinner cooked by my wife."
The homeless man was astounded. "Won't your wife be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty and I probably smell pretty disgusting."
The man replied, "That's okay. It's important for her to see what a man looks like after he has given up beer, fishing, golf and sex."
Quarteira, still sunny (not complaining)
The in-house hairdresser cropped me this morning, so I'm feeling a little light headed; this theory of cut it more often and it will grow more does not seem to apply to me - I think I've burnt the roots out. We are off to get the obligatory oranges this morning, there's a chap nearby who sells them; I don't know if it's imagination but they always seem to taste sweeter down here.
Now that I've got my dongle, you can expect more of the bad taste jokes that people send me - keep sending them!!
Quarteira, getting hotter
Forty four years ago today we got married - did I forget? of course I didn't. We had an anniversary stroll to Vilamoura and then roamed around town, getting free wifi at the tourist information centre and then had a well earned cuppa. The weather is certainly getting hotter, but we can stick it, got my knees out again. We have heard from J&J in Brittany, and may see them later in their new camper van. Last evening we skyped Ann in P'boro, and got very good reception, so may try a few more soon.
Just had smashing prawn curry - bugger, we know how to live !!
Quarteria, warm
Yesterday we had our stroll, and called in at the huge fish market they have here; we came away with two tuna steaks, one we had last night with a veggie rice and the other we will have in some sort of pasta (depending on what is in the cupboard) this evening. - Have you noticed that as soon as we settle I start talking about food? Phil and Pat moved off yesterday towards Portimao - still waiting to hear if they got there and what it is like. Overnight we had a fair drop of rain and the odd clap of thunder, but it has brightened up again now and Dawn has taken a load of washing to the laundrette. There is a manhole near the entrance and we drove over this morning to empty our tanks and top up with water. Change of plan - we had the tuna with lemon & herb couscous, mushrooms and tomatoes; another culinary masterpiece from our chefette.
Quarteria, looking good,
One good thing about Portugal is that when it rains, it does it properly - no drizzly showers, enough water in one day to restock the area; that was yesterday, today is looking a lot brighter. We are going to walk to the tourist info office this morning, where there is free wifi, to update my Ipod.
Wot no people !!
Quarteria parking
Quarteira, still shining
Another gorgeous day yesterday, so we had a stroll to the laundrette; I sometimes wonder if all the washing is ours! Terri has left, heading for Tavira and then Spain; she gave us several useful co-ordinates, which we will try on our way along the coast. In answer to your question BC, I don't know how long we will stay here, we are just taking it as it comes, but we plan to be in Spain for Xmas when we, hopefully, will meet up with the famous Lancashire duo G&T.(and Colin the cob). I don't know what plans management has for today - she is still in the shower - but I spect it will involve a walk somewhere. Later :- Had a walk as predicted and managed to prise open the purse strings for a cup of coffee, only 60c compared with the 1€ we paid around Spain and Portugal last year - the bail out is obviously having an effect! This pm we sat around and soaked up the rays and chatted to a chap with a VW camper; he went into the campsite last night because his batteries were low and commented on how few vans there were there.
Head and legs belong to Dawn
Quarteira, glowing
Before everyone got moving this morning, we drove over to the waste point and emptied the tanks, and then decided to go to the Vodaphone shop to top up my dongle, only to find that it closes Fridays and Sundays !! I have put off mentioning Dawns latest pastime, but I think I'd better tell you about it, in case we get lost under it, or smothered by it. When we were at Mums, she said that she had a lot of wool oddments that people had given her, this made Dawns ears prick up (not a pretty sight) and therein started the "throw" - with her crochet hook she has been crotcheting away, and it is now reaching quite a respectable size. It started as a knee blanket, but has now progressed to a throw for the bed, and at the rate she is going, there is every possibility that it will end up as a cover for the camper-van; I don't know where she finds the time.
For anyone interested in the details of our trips, I have uploaded various files for download; these can be opened or saved. If you want to use them for your own trips, please feel free to do so, but at your own risk. There will soon be a link to these files on the homepage or at For anyone using LPG from the pumps, there are 2 pdf files listing Chevrolet dealers who often have LPG pumps; to keep all the detail, these files are large and will take longer than normal to download or read.