Tomato 🍅 Beach and Beyond

Our travels yesterday took us past Albufeira and to a spot called Falesia Praia where we had heard good things about The Algarve Motorhome Park there. Sadly so had every other Motorhomer and his dog so it was completo i.e. Full! Bugger! Luckily as we were hovering around outside looking on the map for the next place, we bumped into our mate, Tony from Manchester, who directed us to a gorgeous little spot called Praia Tomate, Tomato Beach. How glad we were when we arrived. What a gem of a place. Falesia is between Albufeira and Vilamoura. You can’t believe there’s a little,totally unspoilt, pocket of countryside between the two bustling resorts. We are wildcamping in a little nature reserve, literally on the beach. It’s amongst a strange mix of pine trees, palm trees and olive groves with a few huge cacti thrown in for good measure. The Goat Herd brings his flock through in the evening with bells around their necks and all you can hear is the tinkling sound of the bells, the call of the Hoopoe Bird and the waves. It’s delicious.

The hills are just like big tomatoes. The Cliffs are red rock. The beach is once again stunningly beautiful. I had just gone down to sit on the sand and watch the sunset when Tony, Marion and Maggs turned up to see us. They pulled out of their rucksack a bottle of Sangria, beers for the boys and a box of chopped fresh fruit. We sat on the Cliffs and watched the sun sink into the sea and the sky turning to fire. How cool is that! They had walked all the way from their campsite. Such lovely people.

We got back to the van just before dark. I wanted to try a new recipe for Spaghetti Tortilla. It was yummy so I shall share it. You need 4 eggs, 1 red chilli and 1 green, one red onion, some sliced skinned chorizo some boiled spaghetti (cooked al-dente -bucatini or macaroni works just as well) some Gruyere cheese and a handful of chopped red, green and yellow peppers. First whisk the egg with a splash of milk. Fry the onion on a high heat until it starts to colour but is still firm. Set aside. Do same with peppers and chillies. Fry the chorizo then stir everything in together including the chopped cooked pasta. Pour into a round flan tin. Sprinkle generously with grated Gruyere then cover with the egg mixture. Cook in the oven until golden brown on top and firm. I served mine with home made potato salad with cornichons, grated beetroot and sliced avocado with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime.

It was a cold night last night. Three degrees! I even had my hot water bottle in bed (not the dog on this occasion, he was banished in view of clean bedding!). The sky was as clear as crystal, no light pollution from anywhere so the stars were amazing. We did a bit of stargazing, had a quick nightcap (Port of course) then got tucked in.

This morning we had a very pleasant bike ride to Vilamoura. We rode along a track between the beach and the river and then on the boardwalk along the sand. It was only just over a mile. Wow though, what a contrast!! You can certainly see how the other half live as you look at the yachts moored around the Marina. Did a bit of window shopping (I am on a spending ban enforced by Bank of Husband – pah!), found a smashing spot for lunch with a great view and a gin bar for sundowners later. Sorted.

There sure were some pretty boats. I would settle for the little grey number, thank you please.

Cycled back to base and spotted along the path a number of the nasty caterpillar nests in the pine trees. I mentioned these in an earlier post. They are extremely dangerous, particularly to dogs. This is what to watch for, the nests were much bigger in France.

They look like balls of white candy floss. The wind blows the caterpillars out and you will see them on the ground crawling in lines, hence the name ‘Processionary’. The hairs they leave behind cause a massive allergic reaction, paralysis and can be fatal to dogs. Beware!! They are rife at this time of year.

And so chums, it’s almost time for the sun to disappear into the ocean for another day. The only thing to tax our minds with is whether to stick around in this beautiful place or to move on to the next when we wake up tomorrow. What a hardship!

Adios for now my lovelies. Safe travels and sweet dreams.

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