TND's (TerryandDennis) Travel Log Winter 2016.

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Dennisad, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Dennisad

    Dennisad Funster

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    We are off on our first major adventure in the morning, Sunday 10 Jan. Staying over in Folkestone before taking the tunnel through to Calais on Monday. We had decided a route but thanks to advice from Philandmena have decide that we will go the way as advised in the resources section. It's late now and I have to be up early in the morning, so all I have time to say is argggggh. No we are seriously looking forward to it, not coming back until 12 May. We will keep you updated and definitely be looking for your help and advice or is it advise as we make our way down to Logos in Portugal.

    Take Care out there TND.
     
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  2. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

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    Try and visit nazare. You can wildcamp in the town next to the covered in market.
    5 minutes from the beach and use public loos for waste and fresh water.
    Also large aire at portimeo next to the Marina.
     
  3. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Enjoy your travels, look forward to your updates. (y)
     
  4. Dennisad

    Dennisad Funster

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    Well we made Black Horse Farm, Canterbury Rd, Densole, Folkstone so all good so far. Except we had work done in the toilet, washroom before we put 'The Bus' as we call it (affectionately of course) into storage. When we put the water pump on to use in the kitchen, the tap in the washroom had been left on and the plugin the sink, so that was running unbeknown to us. It took a while before we discovered the situation so you can imagine the mess. Anyway a few soaked towels later we are now in a drying out period, need to get in the sun as quickly as possible. Weather here raining and cold.

    I wonder what tomorrow will bring, tunnel crossing at 7.50am and then making our way down to either an aire Ste Maure de Torraine or a campsite Rue de la Riviere, Limeray. The former looks better in respect of it being close to the town and restaurants. We will let you know how it goes.

    TND
     
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  5. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Enjoy your travels, hope you can find some sunshine...
     
  6. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Looking forward to your reports, you have set a big mileage target for day 1, even with the lure of the potential sun in Spain, is there a need to do so many miles?

    Have a fall back plan, nothing worse than arriving everywhere tired :)
     
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  7. Dennisad

    Dennisad Funster

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    We should now be travelling through France. But we are not!!!!! We had a thread recently about a flat battery, some of you may have read it. So a brand new battery later, parked overnight, up at 5.30am so not to miss shuttle, tried to start the engine at 6.15 guess what a flat battery, yes brand new but flat.

    We did manage to get it started but have decided that we need to sort out what we are doing wrong if we are. Or we need to discover what is drawing the charge from the battery, before we go anywhere We have contacted Sargent re the EC500 and the overhead controls and they say that we appear to be operating things correctly. We have also contacted our tracking company and they advise that the system shuts down after 30mins of being parked up and draws a real minimal amount from the battery.

    So we are taking 'The Bus' to a fiat ducato dealer and going to get the draw on the battery checked out and we will be guided from there. If they say it is okay then tonight we are going to try no EHU to see if we can do any better. If we get started in the morning then we are off, if not back to the drawing board.

    TND
     
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  8. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

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    Hope it all gets sorted soon and Bon voyage!
     
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  9. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    What a bummer - I too just had to deal with a little mechanical incident while disembarking a ferry in Sicily. A right palaver but honestly, a valuable experience and a good dining-out story! Good luck getting it sorted and keep smiling!!
    Jacquie
     
  10. Easyliving

    Easyliving Funster

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    Wow, talk about so near and yet so far. Hope you get your battery problem sorted asap and get yourselves on the train.

    Good luck and keep us in the loop.

    Paul
     
  11. terryb

    terryb Funster

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    have you checked your battery terminals are tight ..
     
  12. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    waiting and hoping all is sorted (y)
     
  13. Dennisad

    Dennisad Funster

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    Ok the latest info. The good news we are just outside Bordeaux on a lovely little campsite in Gradignan 'Camping & Caravaning Beausoliel, 371, Cours during General Du Gaulle'. Drove onto the plot water one side and electric the other, just under 20 euro for the night. 200mtrs down the road a fantastic restaurant 'K2' excellent ambience and food 3 courses for the two of us with drinks which we like 78€.

    Back to Folkestone didn't leave as planned on the 11th stayed and had 'Re bus' checked out to see if anything drawing on the vehicle battery. Good news there isn't. So we decided that we would not use electric, we would practice wild camping. Next morning no issues starting so off we went.

    We stopped at Black Horse Farm Campsite just outside Folkestone okay no issues, the temp wardens were very helpful with our problems.

    On the evening we had a meal at The Black Horse pub 500 yrs from site and the food was great, we would recommend it and will be doing so on tripartite.

    Last night stayed on an Aires @ Cloyes Sur Le Loir. Should have had electric & water but the vending machine (2euro for 20 mins for elec&water) was not working. Used our Jenny in the morning so not so bad, but the T of TND not very happy.
     
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  14. Dennisad

    Dennisad Funster

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    Tomorrow of to Pamplona, hopefully going to get there early enough to have a look around. Oh yes we have had MiFi issues hence no daily updates had to wait to get WiFi.

    Take care TND
     
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  15. Dennisad

    Dennisad Funster

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    Hi

    We are now in El Escorial 40 minutes by bus to the centre of Madrid, we are staying here for three nights and going to see Madrid. After Cloyes Sur Le Loir we moved onto Gradignan nr Bordeaux. Our evening Meal @ K2 Restaurant was great, ust 200m from Campsite Beau Soleil, 371, Cours du General de Gaulle, 33710 Gradignan. Campsite was clean and services good EHU and water on each plot. We again had battery problems in the morning. So EHU and our Battery do not seem to be getting on.

    So far we have only spent 17.10 Euros on Tolls

    Then we moved onto Pamplona staying at Camping Ezcaba, Carretera Pamplona-Irún, KM 7, 31194 Orikain, Spain. It being out of season was a bit desolate only one other occupant. But they were also English, but going home, no meals out only our delicious pork chops, fried egg and my version of fritas. We were again on EHU and again had battery problems. Our English occupants suggested it might be the automatic battery switch over that is failing hence the drain on the vehicle battery. We have worked backwards since we have had 'The Bus' and it was on EHU for two weeks in Spain last year no problems. On the way home we stopped three times on all occasions on EHU, it was only on the third stop that we encounter a battery problems and have ever since. So at least we have some guidance to give to the repair man whoever that might be.

    So now we are very careful using EHU for necessary charging of equipment laptops etc. then unhooking overnight. Any suggestions appreciated.

    Last night we stayed on a filling station just 20km from Zaragoza that has previously been suggested by our fellow Funsters, full address is De la Joyosa, ctra. De logrono, km. 19 (estation de servicios la Joyosa) Tel 976 653811. It is basically a truckers overnight stop. No charge, with free toilet facilities, it also has shower @ 3 euros, but I would suggest ladies may prefer to use their own showers, the men could use the showers with the truckers. No not together. It has a restaurant and for 27 euro we had two pasta dishes, garlic prawns, a couple of gins and a bottle of rose, and it was more than edible. So we would give it at least a 4 on a scale of 1 being good ten being awful.

    Had time to go round Zaragoza, El Pilar and Palacio de la Aljaferia a beautiful Moorish Palace. We will return there lots to do and see. Last night we careful monitored the EHU and started first time this morning. We are cooking from the hairy bikers selection tonight 'Spanish Chicken' it's lovely.

    That's all for now, any further suggestion re battery and EHU issue are welcomed.

    TND
     
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  16. PeterandNicole

    PeterandNicole Read Only Funster

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    how you guys doing ? we are heading down to Andalucia and Gibraltar then back up via Valencia, Taragonna and poss Andorra , we are leaving on Monday morning and catching Newhaven Dieppe ferry on Thurs and now just totally stressed cos i am so disorganized lol, keep up the updates they are great and maybe we will meetup along the way somewhere, drive safe Nicole and Peter x
     
  17. Dennisad

    Dennisad Funster

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    Hi Pete & Nicole
    We are fine thanks, now down in Lagos, Portugal arrived here Wed 20th. Going to stay a while, weather around 16-18degrees cloudy and some sun, hope you have a safe journey and keep in touch. I will update our events during the day.
    TND
     
  18. Dennisad

    Dennisad Funster

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    So Guys & Girls for those who are taking a look we made Lagos in Portugal on Wed 20 Jan and only paid toll costs of 19.40euros all the way from Calais (is that a record) I bet some one has done it cheaper. In fact most likely for nothing.

    After Zaragoza we made our way down to Madrid and stopped at El Escorial, Ctra. De Guadarrama aEl Escorial M-600. (40kms from Madrid). Stayed two nights, went into Madrid for the day on the bus and metro for about 10 euros each, not bad.
    Look at this for a market it was fantastic inside expand the picture if you can mouth, watering foods inside and plenty of wine, and other refreshment bars.
    Mercado de San Miquel-Madrid.jpg

    After Madrid onto towards Cordoba and Huelva, we were going to stop We were going to stop at Caravan Park Los Arenales, Almagro, Cuiadd Real. Carnl de Atilano s/n 13270. Tel +34 606995432. Open All Year. N42 52'47" W -3 -41' -46" but although sign posted in the town, we went of the beaten track and couldn't find it so we moved on.

    Eventually stopping at La Para Rociera, 24 Restaurant + Fuel & toilets. Just a pull off on the A4 to Cordoba. See view from 'The Bus'
    La Para Rociera overnight before going to Huelva.jpg

    View from restaurant and our parking spot.
    La Para Rociera 2.jpg

    Not a bad stop over but noisy artics in and out all night. Didn't disturb 'T' that much.

    Then to Camping La Playa Bota, Punta Umbria, 580-21080. N37 12'27.366" W7 01'24.492" just outside Huelva, looked a good site, just 5 mins walk to the beach. Playa La Bota Beach 2.jpg

    That's Terry, doesn't the beach look great :) Sorry doesn't she look great.

    Then on to Lagos staying at a very good site, great facilities called Camping Turiscampo, Estrada Nacional, 125 - Espiche, been into Lagos a couple of times, just taking things easy and planning on where to go and how we get there with out hiring a car just yet.

    Hope you like the pics, did try to get one of us both in but didn't want to play so maybe there is a limit.

    This is Terry's take on Madrid and what I missed out on.

    Well I had a bit of a lucky escape in Madrid.

    When we were planning what to see, I agreed to go with Den to see Real Madrid if they were at home. There are several reasons why I haven't been to a football match since I was about 18 but mostly I don't like football or understand the rules. So we looked on the internet and it seemed all tickets were sold out. Never mind, I said brightly, maybe they'll have one of the offices like there are in London where you can get last minute tickets for things. No, said the lady in the tourist information office when we got there, you can only go to the stadium for tickets before the match. D had already said we weren't going to trek to the Bernebau (?) just on the off chance and possibly waste some of the time we had in Madrid.

    Phew! Saved 2 hours of my life that I wouldn't get back. And it was flippin' freezin'. Mind you Real scored 5 in the first half so even I might have paid attention at least that long.

    We parked up on Camping El Escorial in the mountains on the outskirts of Madrid. Good site - warm toilet and shower block (big tick), lots of outdoor facilities (none tested), and a shop, restaurant and lastly a bar, where you had to go to get a wifi connection. Recommend it if you happen to be down this way. The restaurant looked really busy on the Saturday when we got there. We thought we'd eat in there on Sunday after getting back from Madrid. Came back, still freezing, looking forward to a nice steak or something. Shut. So was the bar. D cooked a three chilli Pasta Arrabiata instead which was so hot I could only manage about 6 mouthfuls. He said apologetically they were only small chillies. Oh well.

    The site was a 40 minute bus ride into the centre of Madrid. The bus station was also on several on the metro lines so it was really easy to get to the places to see. Walked from the Plaza Espana to Plaza Mayor, a huge square surrounded by the sort of over priced cafes you usually see in those places. No thanks, we've already eaten. There seemed to be a stamp and coin collectors' fair going on around the edges which was interesting by virtue of the number of people who were interested in it. Actually it was a very nice location. The frontages of the bars and shops were mostly really old fashioned and attractive. Near the Plaza was Mercado de San Miguel, a mainly food market selling all sorts of really nice looking things from cakes to seafood. One stall had all sorts of things on display to have cooked to eat there and then, including squid, huge prawns, muscles, small shellfish, skate and some little round black spiky things that I ought to know the name of. Somebody will tell me. In the middle was a standing/ seating area where you could eat the things you'd bought. Nice to see also that they applied the "it's 5 o'clock somewhere" rule and there were several glasses of wine and beer around at 11 in the morning. And before you ask no I didn't.

    As it was Sunday, there was a huge flea market called El Rastro in the Latin area, mostly selling lots of things I wouldn't buy, including a stall selling old military uniforms, but the street jazz musicians were good.

    Lots of other buildings and plazas that were really good to see. As you do, we walked miles. Won't go through everything. Conveniently the Cathedral and the Royal Palace are next to one another. Well you would rebuild the palace there wouldn't you if you were the 18th century monarch of a largely Catholic country. Easy to nip across the square of a Sunday if the inhouse very grand chapel was full of courtiers and people waiting for an audience with you. I picked up some interior design ideas. Thinking of having some silk wall coverings made, embossed with the initials D and T for our flat when we get back. Shall I go for the sky or the royal blue?

    Those are Terry's Madrid thoughts. Me just miffed at missing RM's five goals.

    Oh yes by the way, fingers crossed and touching all the wood I can find, the last battery issue we had was at Gradignan on 10amp EHU where we had to recharge battery in the morning to start. Since then when using EHU 6amp it has been okay.

    Well that is it for now Guys & Girls

    Take Care

    TND
     
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  19. Dennisad

    Dennisad Funster

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    LAGOS – Portugal

    As you know we are now ensconced near to Lagos appox 4kms away, we arrived on Wednesday 20 Jan, the site is very good and the services toilets and showers are excellent. There is a pool area, in due course we will include a photo.

    The site is very full and we have discovered that (as we should have guessed) that it is unusually so. The reason being that the French are not travelling to Morocco this year.

    There is a good bar and restaurant, which we used on the first night, the bill coming to 40euros with a couple of G&T’s and V&T’s each.

    Thus far the weather has been somewhat variable, cloudy, some sun and rain, temperatures from 16 to 20 degrees so not so bad.

    Thurs 21 Jan

    After settling in during the morning on the afternoon we went to Lagos on the bus (useful timetable from reception) the bus stops directly outside the site entrance.

    Lagos is we would say unspoiled by tourism, but it also benefits and caters for tourists. Using the fabulous Algarve guide provided by our friend the big and wonderful SteveT we meandered our way through the streets seeing the sights. The guide book was correct with one exception.

    Where it suggests you stop at Casa do Papagaio no 27-29 on Rua 25 de Abril to meet the two loquacious parrots to be lured into a dark and fascinating treasure trove of Portuguese antiques, on arrival either the Portuguese pirates have visiting stolen the parrots and the antiques. Or the parrots are dead and no longer lure tourists into the shop so it has gone bust. The Dom Sebastiao restaurant opposite has managed to survive the theft/death of the parrots.

    We had and enjoyed a good lunch at a restaurant named Miam, would recommend it, with a jug of Sangria tinto very nice.

    We did some shopping and then as we sat outside at a bar very near to the bus stop, that Terry confidently predicted was for our bus back to the site, sipping our first G&T/V&T of the day 5.30pm (wow such restraint) we looked out across the harbour and thought this is the life.

    At the appropriate time went to the bus stop a few yards away, a few minutes later the bus comes down the road. We signal for it to stop the driver wags his finger ‘no, no not here’ and drives straight past. The bus stops some 150yds up the road T&D run and at about 30yds away off goes the bus, not another one for two hours. Looks like a few more drinks, but no we were right by a taxi rank so went back in style. Bus 3.60euro taxi 9euro so not so bad.

    Fri 22 Jan

    Didn’t do a lot, well I didn’t, Tel was doing WomenMotorhome jobs, up and down the site doing the washing and other stuff like that. She will hit me if she sees this. I did do some ManMotorhome jobs but not too much.

    Sat 23 Jan

    Off to Lagos again, this time to see the over the harbour side of the town as it is quite expansive and to go to the Intermarche (on the outskirts of town on the way back) for supplies. Waited outside for a bus that didn’t arrive, Tel said come on lets walk, I thought okay it’s only 3/4kms so off we went. An hour and a half later and both of us having developed a blister each, we got to town. Walked to the Post Office and Bus terminus to get a timetable for our visit to Portimao whenever that might be.

    Had a drink, no two drinks each (it had been a long walk) and started back to the Intermarche, got lost was and walked even further.

    Eventually found it, did the shopping and got a taxi back. A total of 8 and a half miles, I don’t know about Terry killing me.

    Sun 24 Jan

    Stayed in, I refused to go out, I couldn’t walk another step, foot still on fire from yesterday.

    Mon 25 Jan

    Off to Portimao, up early and caught what we thought was the 8.30am bus.

    Got to Lagos, where we had time to visit the post office and also get some cash from the exchange. Post Office opened at 9am but was still closed at 9am and so was the exchange. We asked a local what time it was and they said 9am, we just thought strange that both were still closed.

    A couple of other events that had happened started to make us (thenone2s) think, there is something wrong here with the time. Terry visiting the site office at 9.30am that opened at 9am and it being closed, a visit to the Museum and the Tourist office just after 2pm, when they should have been open but were closed.

    Anyway caught the bus to Portimao at a time we didn’t expect from the timetable we had, but who cares we were on the way. By this time we were convinced we were crazy and had started to suspect that we maybe had our times wrong. But they fact we caught the bus on our first day out at the right time stated on the timetable didn’t make sense if our time was wrong.

    What can I say about Portimao, the Churches were interesting, the shopping write up in the guide book, Terry thought was grossly exaggerated, I was just relived, phew another escape. The fish restaurants were few and far between, mostly likely due to the time of year.

    We decided to go back to Lagos and have lunch, we had some time to kill so went into what we thought was a bar for a drink. It turned out to be an Indian restaurant, so our lunch decision was revised. Very nice and the waiter/manager said they would do delivery (we are 20kms away) if we ordered five or six dishes. I suppose if it adds up to 80/90euro it is worthwhile.

    Back to our time issue, whilst getting the tickets for the bus back, we asked the attendant the time, we had it as 2.45pm, she said it was 1.45pm and so the realisation began to dawn on us as you go from Spain into Portugal your cross another time zone, what a pair of egits.

    Tue 26 Jan

    Sun was shining so guess what, we didn’t do a lot sat and enjoyed 18 to 19 degrees.

    Wed 27 Jan

    Sun was shining again but we thought we ought to go and see the infamous Praia de Luz. So got the bikes down from the racks and off we went with tyres that really needed air in. Who had forgotten the pump and the puncture kit (me of course), never mind we’ll go to a cycle shop in Praia de Luz, in your dreams.

    Nice and flat from the camp to the first road islands 300yds, then left up an enormous hill, Tel was off and walking very quickly I lasted a little longer and did the gentlemanly thing and got off and walked too. Actually I was ??????? too. The downhill bit was great into Praia de Luz.

    Well it was lovely, beautiful in fact, here you have a look.

    Paria de Luz 9.jpg

    Spent two or three hours catching the sun, taking in the views and of course the compulsory bite to eat and a beer for Tel and a G&T for me and back to base.

    Another long walk up a hill and glided back down to base, bike away until we get a pump and puncture kit.

    Thur 28 Jan

    Caught the 11 o’clock bus to Sagres, ‘Henry the Navigator’ was based there and built a Fort and a Navigation school. This is also the place where the early Portugese sailors set off from to discover Africa etc.

    It now attracts lots of surfers all year round and lots of Tourists during the summer.

    On arrival the views were fantastic, we walked down and along the beach, then through the town to the harbour. Seeking out one of the two or three cafes for a coffee to shelter from the rain, yes rain.

    We didn’t get to wet and the coffee was good.

    The Beach

    03 Sagres Beach.jpg

    The Harbour

    04 Sagres Harbour.jpg

    Then back to ‘Henry the Navigators Fort’ which is out on the cliff tops of Sagres the views were stunning.

    07 View from Sagres Fort.jpg

    We spent nearly two hours just walking and looking in awe of the views. It was a great day and to end the day the sun was shining brightly. Sagres itself was basically closed so we can’t really comment on it, but there looked as if there would be plenty of restaurants and the like during the high season.

    Fri 29 Jan

    More sun so we took advantage again.

    Sat 30 Jan

    Morning out in Lagos, this time via the bus not on foot I am very glad to report.

    Managed to get the equipment for the cycles and did some needed shopping and back to base. Then in the afternoon we walked to Praia d Luz and took the clifftop route to Burgau some 2hours later we arrived at Burgau.

    A view of Praia de Luz from the cliff tops on the walk to Burgau.

    01 Route from Praia de Luz to Burgau.jpg

    The sun going down on Burgau beach at about 5.30 in the afternoon.

    08 Burgau.jpg

    Sun 31 Jan

    More sun and as everywhere is closed on Sunday we took advantage, we have had to move to another plot today, but the view is breath taking.

    Well that’s it for now, what a relief I hear shouted from the rafters. More soon and I will try and do a little and often, so you don’t fall asleep.

    Take Care

    TND
     
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  20. Greenway

    Greenway Funster

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    If you like Indian food there is a very good Indian restaurant in Espiche 10 minutes walk from Touriscampo.
     
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