Final couple of weeks

We stopped over night at the church near Penamacor before heading to an art and craft market in Aldeia de Joao Pires, as this is where most of the English community would be. It was great to see friendly faces everywhere and have a nose through what people were selling or exchanging.

Seeing Noelia, Lief, Lyanz, Alin & Karolina again was great as we swapped stories and met the new members (George & Rachel) that were staying at the Riverside. It seemed like loads had changed since we were last there as the guys had been really busy with land clearance, planting new beds, moving Lomitos pig pen and Devo leaving for the UK but it still felt very familiar to be back at Riverside… there was one thing sadly missing though. Gingerbread the goat had been getting too bolshy and needy without a herd to keep him in check and after an attack on Lyanz and a lot of deliberation it was decided that he should fulfil his meat criteria a bit earlier than expected. I have to admit that he fed us very well in the week we were there and was extremely tasty.

Whilst we were there we said more sad goodbyes to Karolina as she was to continue her adventures in Portugal and hopefully America but also had the welcome return of Devo with his trusted sidekick Nelly, although they would be moving on to his own patch of paradise a few miles down the road.

The weather had starting to get hot now and by midday you tended to be looking for work in the shade or if you felt especially brave, as I did one afternoon, you could treat the well as your own personal plunge pool and jump in. It was icy cold but was the best way to quickly cool down, I can imagine it will get used again during the hot summer.

Time came for us to leave and unfortunately the TV programme air date was pushed back to the day after we were leaving the Riverside, but we managed to watch the trailer for it together and it looked like it was going to contain quite a few familiar faces. Sad farewells and kind gifts of produce from the Quinta were provided and we were soon heading back down the road towards Spain.

With only 4 days to get back to Dieppe but wanting to take a slightly different route back we racked up the miles in between stops and managed to include a night up the Pyrenees in a secluded spot surrounded by pine forest and snow capped mountains, which was stunning. Once again we made use of the free motorhome aires that Spain and France have in abundance, some even with free electricity and we made it back to Le Mans on Saturday evening. A brief blip in sanity made us stop at Ikea and buy a new foam mattress for our bed and so the next morning found us sawing up a foam mattress in one quiet town, much to the amusement of the locals. 
We got the evening ferry across to a bitterly cold Newhaven and as we had managed to secure night work starting the following day we had a busy 24hrs in between buying suitable work clobber and stocking up on essentials. Portugal was already feeling like a distant memory.


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