Wednesday 4 April 2018 - Day 31
Nido’s parked up at Mikki’s Place near Pêra, a quirky campsite running by a Dutch couple. It has room for about 150 vans, but it’s so well landscaped with terraced levels, that you wouldn’t know (although it’s nowhere near full). The pitches are separated by the planting of lemon trees and shrubs, including Rosemary. Each pitch has a gravelled area for the van and green astro-turf to sit out on. It’s an eco-site, with reed beds to filter the grey water, which in turn feed a fresh water swimming pool. They also run a pottery and ceramics school from here, plus a small plant nursery and it looks like further work is ongoing to extend this. There’s a bar and dining area, which is funkily decorated and well used. They have a few foodie theme nights each week. We popped into the bar this evening and it had a good buzz, with mostly Dutch customers, plus some Germans too. I’m not sure but I think we were the only Brits.
It’s a much friendlier place than our last stop at Manta Rota. Someone commented on yesterday’s blog that Manta Rota was a bit like being stuck in a nose-to-tail traffic jam on the motorway - I know what they mean. So we were quite happy to leave this morning. Although I’d bought a pre-paid motorway toll card, I thought I’d try to get to Mikki’s Place off-piste. I need to tell you that it’s not a good idea in Portugal to try this! The roads are dreadful and, in some spots, not much more than a potted dirt track (the equivalent of a B road at home). It certainly isn’t kind to a campervan, but hopefully we survived with not too much hidden damage.
We arrived here at about 1100 and have spent the day just sitting outside in the hot sunshine reading, although Cathy did wash and scrub all the van carpets, cleaned and washed the van floor. We managed to cook and eat outside for only the second time this trip. I think the bar has just closed and the last of the oldie Dutch customers are singing their way back to their vans! We’re booked in here for a couple of nights and tomorrow we plan to find some of the coves and sandy beaches that this part of the Algarve is famous for, hopefully allowing us to have our first Atlantic swim. We need to find some quiet unspoilt coastline before we head inland to explore some of the wilder parts of Portugal.