Just Chilling in Manta Rota

As if life could get any more laid back, we’ll it just did! We felt we needed to chill after the mishap in Olhão and where better to do it than Manta Rota. It’s very close to the Border with Spain. The Motorhome Park is literally on the beach. Always a major plus for myself and the dog. It’s only €4.50 a night so is very cheap to live. Many French and Dutch stay here for the whole Winter. We have lovely neighbours, a comical pair of brothers from Bethnell Green, London. The dunes around us are full of blossom bushes so the floral scent combined with the salty air is very uplifting. I love it. The weather for the past 4 days has been hot. Spring has arrived on the Algarve and the wild flowers everywhere are blooming. It’s so pretty. The little town has everything we need. A brilliant family run Butchers who could give the Bakewell Gingers a run for their money (sorry Tom and Ed!!), a couple of nice bars and restaurants and a well stocked Supermarket. The beach goes on for miles of white sand, you can see Spain on a clear day. The little bread man comes around every day as does the laundry lady and an array of fruit sellers.

Dylan thankfully is back to his bouncy self. He’s made a few doggie mates down the beach. We had a big scare yesterday when he almost ran into a swarm of bees. Luckily I saw the cloud, heard the humm and screamed at him. For once he stopped in his tracks and came back to me , phew! We legged it sharpish. It was frightening.

I was just in the Supermarket yesterday topping up the wine supply when I bumped into Maggs. Just deviating slightly, Maggie, who we met some months ago in Portugal, is quite an awesome lady. She is a talented Artist from Cornwall, see her website at

Www.beyondthecanvas.co.uk

She paints and makes amazing jewellery. She’s also fab fun and travels on her own, brave girl, well with her dog, Kezzi, in her little red van. Anyway, Maggs had found yet another traditional market in the next village and said we simply had to go! We had our bikes outside so we put the beer shop on hold and cycled off. So very glad we did. It was a monthly travelling market with quite a different flavour. There were lots of beautiful terracotta pottery stalls, cracking jewellery and colourful Moorish/Arabic style clothing as well as the usual fruit, flowers, veg, live birds etc. At the back of the market there were rough tables and chairs set out and hordes of people eating the barbecued food and drinking wine. It had a fabulous atmosphere. It would have been downright rude not to join in! We met a very jovial bunch of French, Dutch and Swedish people. They were drunk as monkeys, singing their heads off and quickly roped us into their circle. I was serenaded with several rounds of Michelle my Belle. Hilarious afternoon.

Last night Marion and Tony joined us around the fire pit for a bottle of fizz with frozen strawberries and a chin wag. Sadly the wine and whisky flowed a little too freely and the Sunday roast supper had to be put on hold until Monday as we were too tiddly to cook it, oops!! I doubt we’ll starve.

We awoke this morning to another glorious day. I did one hour domestic detention under protest while Mark fixed another bloody puncture! Damned bikes.

We then set off to ride em cowboy to Cacela Velha, only a couple of miles away, which was mentioned in our guide book. We had tried to walk to it along the beach but couldn’t get across the river inlet. The book quoted it as having one of the finest beach views in the World! Wow, let’s see what all the fuss is about then! The ride there was just idyllic. The lanes run between the orange and lemon groves and wild rosemary grows along the verges. The trees are bursting with ripe fruit. Lots of colourful birds are flitting around. The village is perched on the side of a low cliff looking out over an estuary. Hayley Melluish and Jamie T, it’s very similar to our old favourite, Talmont. The whitewashed buildings are very quaint and the little gardens bursting with flowers and fruit trees. There is a very pretty church and the remains of an eighteenth century Fort. It’s all so picturesque. We stopped for a quick Galeo and some home baked orange cake at the little cafe. Also piked off a great little tapas place for another day!

Now to the best bit. The view. Oh. My. Days!!!! Just fabulous. We sat and just looked for about an hour without even needing to speak. The pictures don’t really do it justice, its breathtakingly beautiful.

We carried on another mile to Fabrica. Another pretty little place, worth a look. A little old chap was sat on his porch playing Accordion, totally at peace with the world.

Back to camp, thankfully without any further tyre issues. Decided we were both craving sausage rolls so I’m now doing a bit of baking before sunset beach walk!! Yes I do wear my sunhat for domestic duties, what of it, it’s how I roll, everybody’s weird around here, Motorhomers all wear Crocs for Gods sake!

I am not likely to suffer from Anorexia any time soon that’s for sure.

Mr Hennessy is threatening to get the paddle board out tomorrow so hope I can still fit into my wetsuit!

Until next time people. I bid ye farewell.

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