Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Winter Sun 2020. Camping Turisticampo Lagos

Our first winter sun site Camping Turisticampo at Lagos. Well strictly speaking it was at the small village of Espiche just down the road from the seaside town of Praia Du Luz. A beautiful campsite in the Yellow Village group. Quite luxurious with indoor and outdoor pools, heated! A gym, a very nice restaurant with friendly bar ( complete with log fire ) and a reasonable supermarket on site. 

The indoor pool was heated  to 29C with a jacuzzi. There was also a large unheated outdoor pool.

The pitches were of a reasonable size for Portugal and more than enough for us.

We were soon settled in and found the site so handy. There was a bus stop outside the campsite and it was so easy to travel by public transport. The walk into Praia Du Luz was a bit of a hike, but good exercise, we could do it in about 35 minutes. Not the best place for bikes because it was very hilly.

Praia Du Luz was an ex pat haven with mostly English to be heard in all the bars and restaurants. We tried most of them. Everyone was very friendly.

A beautiful beach with lovely sand. I would imagine in the summer it would be very crowded but it was just away from the big tourist areas.

There was a lovely little church practically on the beach. We went to Mass which was in English and well attended.

From the campsite we caught the bus into Lagos and spent a great day having a wander around the shops. We went to the slave market and looked around the church of Igreja Da St Antonio. Not a very spiritual experience, I found the wood carvings rather grotesque. Still it was worth a look around. We did the tourist town trail.


Slave market.

Even the end of the rainbow. No pot of gold though!

The marina was great for people watching.

Another entertaining day out by bus was to Sagres. Here we went around the Fortaleza Fort. The most South-Westerly point in Portugal. Another very satisfying day out.

A fantastic walk out onto the headland where the Atlantic meets the Med. Well set out. We enjoyed the chamber of sounds which magnified the sounds of the sea

This part of Potugal is well worth a visit and we enjoyed our short stay here. Certainly a longer visit on the cards for next year we hope. Some of our favourite pics.

And this made us smile!

Time to move on back to Rio Formosa next. I wonder what changes we will find there?

Winter Sun 2020. Calais to Lagos.

We decided this year to book a bit earlier and to try winter sun again, as we did last year. Booking the sites through the Camping & Caravanning Club was relatively easy and we managed to get all the sites we wanted with only 5 days, as well as the journey, to find ourselves.

We set off on a cold damp January morning for Folkestone and managed to get on a pretty deserted train, an hour earlier than expected. Tuesday seems a good day to travel especially if negotiating the M25! Before long we were exiting the tunnel at Euro City and heading for our first nights stop. We had been put off spending the night at Cite Europe due to the migrant issue raising it's head again. Euro Cite is now a "no go" after 10 pm with no overnight stops. We were heading for Montreuil Sur Mer. Our very first night in a proper Aire!

Pre dinner drinkies at Le Clos Brasserie des Capucins in Montreuil su Mer.

 After about 50 minutes we had arrive, just as it was getting dusk, so good timing. Madam SatNag found the site with no issues it was pretty deserted. The aire was next to a large car park (which was also almost empty) so I guess there would almost always be space. There were a couple of other motor homes which looked as if they were parked there semi-permanently although there was a sign saying 48 hours parking only. A public loo was on the edge of the car park, Den reported back that I wouldn't like it so I didn't go for a look. We walked around the corner into town and had an extremely good meal at a local restaurant and began to feel we were really on holiday!

Morning has broken over Futurescope. At least it wasn't raining!

Next morning we headed for our next stop at Futurescope near Poitiers. A handy over nighter just off the motorway.

 Our jolly little pinger, the toll tag made life easy. An uneventful stop and then the next day we continued down the motorway towards Bordeaux. A quick zap around the Bordeaux ring road after crossing the bridge. It was a straight run to the border and the campsite Larrouleta another winter sun site. Always a good place to stop. The site is down the road from a handy little supermarket and facilities are really good. Tomorrow Spain.

Supermarket cafe but handy for a beer.

The trees at Larrouleta always look a bit spooky without their leaves.

Day three and we were soon spinning along to Salamanca and Camping Hotel Regio. Negotiating Salamanca we took a wrong turn again, just as we had last year. Fortunately the traffic was lighter and we were soon settled down on the campsite. Paella for two in the hotel restaurant set us up for the last run to Lagos and Camping Turisticampo at Espiche. We had originally planned to stop enroute at Evero but at the last minute thought we would go for gold and do the long drive in one hit As it turned out it was an easy drive but very long and on reflection we should have stopped the extra night. We actually drove down through Portugal on the motorway which our pinger seemed to like as it did an awful lot of "pinging". A cheaper route would be down through Spain although I think the traffic would have been a lot heavier.

The camping area at Hotel Regio was a lot tidier this year and quite busy. The toilet block was just as freezing as last year!

All in all, it had been a long but relatively easy drive. Boring in parts through the High Sierras but we were so lucky with the weather. Two days later Storm Gloria hit. We had escaped.

So glad we missed this....just!