Thursday, 29 March 2012


Today we woke up to rain; apparently this is the driest winter Portugal has had in several years, in fact there is great concern about the amount of water left in the bore holes and wells in the Algarve.

We haven’t had many worries while we’ve been travelling, however our latest one is gas; we left Britain with two full gas bottles and a partially used one that we expected to run out before we got to Spain – it last a week into our travels. The next bottle only lasted three weeks; probably as we had been using it to heat water for showers etc and, now it’s warmer, for the fridge (so we’ve been trying to minimise our showers in the van and use the ones in campsite and therefore ‘free’). Our last bottle could last another one or two weeks, by then we will be in Spain again; apparently in Spain you need a contract to buy gas (for which you need a Spanish address, so we can’t get one). Every country in Europe seems to have different size gas bottles and adaptors, which is annoying as we can’t just buy new bottles in Portugal without buying the fittings too and then doing the same in France. Someone on our last campsite told us of a gas station where they can refill gas bottles (few and far between, but brilliant if it’s true). We were told to drive towards Spain on the N125 and look for a car wash with a blue elephant floating above it; Brett also looked it up on the internet and here they say to look for a pink elephant! So we drove along and found a car wash with a blue walrus (or perhaps a seal). Brett had a conversation with the man (completely in Portuguese – he’s getting rather good) who said they no longer did gas but there was a depot 3 kilometres up the road we could try – we passed it on the wrong side of the road so had to travel to the next roundabout to turn round, when we got back it was closed (it was 1.00 – we’d literally just missed it), so now we have to wait until Monday.
As everything is fully charged we’ve come back to the aire at Castro Marim – hopefully we’ll see the pigeons again as I want some photos of them. It’s still very busy here, packed with at least 30 or 40 vans, mainly French and German.

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