Summer at home, then off again……….

This Summer’s/Autumn’s plans involve spending time with family and friends, then heading off to Portugal for Sept/October, back through Spain and home again for Christmas. The kids are planning to meet us mid October in Alvor, so probably a good idea that we get there in time.

We had a few days out this year, including a family day at our son’s airbase, including a flight in a Chinook which was a massive privilege and great experience. The family day included an airshow including our own Falcons and Red Arrows display.

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We also managed to find enough good weather (just about) to have a friends BBQ, I have to confess at this point to “oversampling” my home-brew to some extent.

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150 years of “Firefighting experience” here – mostly sober

We had the pleasure of “Larry sitting” for a few weeks.

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What do you mean I’m not getting in the car with these feet?

We had a cpl of weekends with Clive and Malc at Darley Moor race circuit, (when Clive could tear himself away from girls rugby)

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And Debs fell off her bike again!! (to be fair this was partly my fault)

Off to Dethick next and a rendezvous with Pete/Nina and Keith/Chris, (and another barrel of “festbrau”)

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We managed a few walks

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A few beers

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And one of us went the wrong way

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We have tried to get out on the bikes 2-3 times a week and have just clocked up 2500km in the first year cycling in 7 countries.

We have had plenty of local rides as well, including the “5 pits trail”, Sherwood Pines with Adam, and Clumber. (to see Cav)

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We had a good day out at the National Mining Museum, which includes a trip underground – thoroughly recommend this place if you’ve never been.

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Well, it was a busy summer, but the weathers cooling off, so time to load the van and head South to sunny Portugal.

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First stop was the West Coast of France, and a ride along the Landes coast

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Next Stopover was the Northern Spanish village of Torque Mada.

At the Spanish/Portugese border we discovered the town of La Alberca, a free camperstop on the edge of an “Olde Worlde” town surrounded by hills and trails. We broke out the bikes and headed to the hills.

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The mountain refuges are already stocked with firewood and kindling, winter is coming, but its still high 20’s here.

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Our starting point is right down there somewhere

Malcata was our first stop in Portugal and we stayed at a free camperstop on the edge of a barragem (reservoir) some good bike rides around here and the temperatures are rising to the high 20’s

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Our next stop was at the side of a river in the village of Benquerenca, a really nice quiet spot, the river had steps for swimming and the locals delivered grapes by the bucket load (take as many as you want free of charge).

Today’s ride was a bit of a disaster, (for Deb) but really funny for me. Portugal has more than its fair share of stray dogs, and we tend to carry a box of biscuits with us to ease our guilt when we come across any on our rides.

Today’s strays weren’t in any sort of mood for biscuits they wanted the real deal. They were initially running alongside us in an adjacent field (half a doz or so of them). this is nothing new with regards to Portuguese property as most have a guard dog or two, so we kept riding.

Unfortunately we were riding towards a large gap in the hedge.

The good thing from my perspective was that they were now quite a way behind us and Deb was at the back. but this relief was short lived when they carried on at full speed (Deb clocked them at 27.5km/hr) I could hear a squeal from Deb and turned round to see her surrounded, legs going like bats wings “don’t stop” I shouted (increasing my speed to approx 29)

Quite a dilemma really, do I stop and help? a decision that would guarantee me being ravaged by half a doz non English speaking hounds, or do I offer more advice from a distance to keep pedalling?

“Keep pedalling”, I shouted.

Our next stop saw the tables turned to some extent, we found another delightful spot near the town of Nisa and to be honest it was perfect, a barrage with a beach, a small bar a short walk away, plenty of bike rides and walking trails.

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The barragem at Nisa

It was on one of these walks that Deb got her revenge by insisting I took a short cut through a bramble hedge, I told her it wasn’t safe, but she pushed me through anyway.

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I sent the kids this expecting sympathy, only to be called Harry Potter

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Odeciexe next, and more bike rides – temps now mid 30’s though

After Odeciexe we decided to visit Camperstop Messines again, Andre the owner has had some bad news with regards to certain areas of his camperstop licence, but is working to keep the ethos of the place. It would seem Portuguese bureaucracy is sometimes a bit “make it up as you go along”.

We decided to have a ride out to the waterfall at Alte, some of you will recall we had a swim here in the Spring. We were in for a bit of a shock though…………

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Springtime at Alte

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Not so refreshing today

It really is hot now, we’re trying to get out on the bikes or walk as much as possible, but for 2-3 hours around midday it’s really not possible.

How is it at home? 😉

Well the kids are on there way in a few days time, so we had better get ourselves over to Alvor – I know they’re looking forward to seeing what Mum’s become………….

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Crocks n socks!! (im hiding somewhere North of the Algarve)

Take care everyone

M&D

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