Sunday, November 10, 2013

France through Spain into Portugal.

Newspaper Reader
 Our drive down from the Franco/Spanish border was done in sunshine and the roads were very quiet giving us plenty of time to reach our target the campsite at Vitoria Gastiez one we had never stopped at before but decided to have a look at it as a backup. The said Campsite is to be looked on as an overnight stop if necessary, relatively easy to find but not the best of sites to say the least and at a cost of €28,26 (roughly £25.00) a night not exactly a cheap stop. A quick retreat and back on the road heading for the campsite at Burgos where two nights cost us €32.00 a lot better with the added plus of ten minutes from the centre of the City by Bus. Next morning saw us heading into the City and the chance to explore a bit more of it, defintely rates high on places to return to.


Old building in use.

It never ceases to amaze us how many folks are prepared to share their very small Campervan with a couple of Dogs, from Yorkie Terriers to the French couple who shared a small Campervan with two very large St. Bernards, who slept with who or shared the bed ??? Campsites are a great place for people watching from folks trying to put up an awning to the chap we watched the other night try to demolish the electricity point by reversing into it with his car.

Salamanca next stop for a couple of nights but the heavy rain put us off of going exploring having managed to get thoroughly soaked just walking to the nearby shops for a few bits n pieces. The campsite is at the rear of a large Hotel, reasonably priced, good facilities and the hotel Restaurant puts on a good meal. Entertainment for the night was the Brit next to us get out his folding chair, umbrella, and sit down under it in the rain using his IPad or equivelant for the next hour. I like using the Internet but I'm not that keen.

We decided to try out a Campsite near Gouveia on the east side of Portugal as an overnight stop on our way to Fig da Foz, as we got near the GPS started babbling directions which we could see were not correct so we kept going straight on till we saw a sign for the village of Melo where the site actually is, quite a long way from Gouveia. Run by a Dutch couple, facilities were great as was the drinking water for a change, a bit awkward to get out the gate the next morning but over all a good site to go back to in a very scenic part of the Sierras.

A short walk took us into Melo itself with its nicely laid out Plaza and we found and original Farriers shelter including the frame which held the horse steady whilst having new shoes fitted. Another nice 'find' was at the Fire Station where a 1920/30's open top Fire engine was locked up behind glass doors but we could not find anyone to let us in so I took a couple of photos from the outside not good enough to show..

Farriers' shoeing workshop

Farrier's Anvils



Horse stand for shoeing.

Melo saw us have a double whammy when we realised that not only did we have to put the clock back an hour for Portugal it was also the end of Summertime so that was another hour off as well, still it meant it was sunny daylight when we got up in the morning.

The N17 is a mixture of very good and very poor as it changes from a narrow two lane road to a major 4 lane carriage way and back to a narrow two lane again with a three foot concrete divider and no passing places.

We arrived in Fig. da Foz just after 12pm so after setting up it was off to the shopping Mall for lunch, a large bowl of soup each with a bread roll for lunch, it seems to be a ritual with us now at Fig.

We have taken advantage of our stop here to do some alterations to the Campervan that we had been thinking about, we started by purchasing some strip LED lighting, bright white as we have found that the warm LED and Fluorsecent lighting was not bright enough for us.

A bit of cutting and soldering and Kit now has a brightly lit counter top for preparing food and cooking whilst I ripped out the innards of the Fluorescent lamps and replaced the tubes with LED strips, all in all it has made a great difference to the Campervan in the dark evenings.

New lighting in use.

Fluorescent tubes stripped out, LED's fitted.

The full length mirror in the toilet/shower had been an annoyance ever since we bought the vehicle as it had obviously unglued itself at an edge and whoever did the repair used the wrong glue and the plastic surface did not like it leaving a scarred surface. Kit spotted a carbon vinyl material in a shop so for the pricely sum of €6.00 we have been able to cover the fault up with a bit of style and flair. 

The eyes are the clue.

We have been partially adopted by the campsite Cat, I am not a great Cat lover but we have named it Sinatra, if your not old enough to know why, ask someone.


Cheers, Jack n Kit. 09.11.2013.




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