Saturday, 8 March 2014

Journey along the West Coast of Portugal, Part III

The next morning it was a lovely clear day again, and I awoke to this view from my bed..



I never tire of being able to open the sliding door without getting out of bed, and bringing the outside in without losing any comfort. The fresh morning air floods in, and in seconds the air inside is fresh and invigorating - no better way to start every day in my opinion. The coffee pot is within arms reach too, so its not long until I am listening to the sound of the kettle bubbling away and smelling fresh coffee in the morning air as the birds welcome the day with their song.


Today I didn't have very far to go until I'd be back in the Lagos area where I've been staying and working, so I decided to take my time and check out a few places closer to 'base' that I could return to for overnight camping in the next few weeks.. Having passed through Aljezur, by around lunchtime I'd made it to the area surrounding the village of Carrapateira. I decided to explore the coast in this area as there are a number of dirt roads all around, along with high sea cliffs and amazing views of the Atlantic.

 Parked along the coastal track near Carrapateira

These viewing platforms with long boardwalks leading to them have been build along the cliff tops, as due to erosion the cliffs can be unstable in places - there's nothing to stop you wandering, or driving for that matter, anywhere however.

The Ocean views are some of the best I've seen anywhere - this is the edge of Europe after all. 
(Well,  so they say, actually the west coast of Ireland is the edge of Europe.)

I drove off the track and followed the rocky clay cliff-tops to get to better view points..

The power and size of the waves here is truly awe inspiring. These views stretch out along the coast as far as the distant horizon in the south and to the north as well.

Its impossible to capture the scale of these waves as they crash and spray on the rocks

 Shortly after taking these photos, I drove further along the main track and turned off again to find a good location for lunch. It wasn't difficult, and this area is amazing for wild camping places with great views, or sheltered ones further back from the cliffs on the other side of the main track.

I heated up a pan of soup and relaxed to gaze out over the cliffs and absorb properly the enormity of the landscape before me..


This is definitely one of the best places I have been in the camper with much scope for further exploration and overnight trips. In fact I'll be sure to spend a night or two here on the journey north again when the time comes. There are also busier places along this cliff road, if you are looking for some company, and even a free designated camping area just above a spectacular beach.

It was here at the camping area I spotted a range of interesting campers and trucks, including this one.

The camping area here was not crowded at all in this season and the entire field had about five vehicles parked in it. Its said to be a lot busier in summer as its a popular surfing location as well. There were quite a few surfers down on the beach that day too. There are no facilities that I could see at the campsite.

Although tired from a couple of days on the move I made a quick stop at Sagres. Here it was too busy with surfers for my liking, and the car parks were full of campers and motorhomes all parked pretty close together. Its not the sort of place I'd choose to spend the night, but there are a few other locations in the area I have yet to see. Although busy, Sagres was a beautiful place and I'll go back to explore the area a bit more I'm sure. Great beach and restaurants/cafes & bars.

In the late afternoon I made it back to base and had plenty of time to establish my camp before it got dark. Here I have a whole field to myself and electric, wifi, and other facilities at the place were I am working - in fact everything I had envisaged two years ago when I first imagined coming to Portugal for a winter, is right here. A place to relax and enjoy in my time off, space and privacy, sunshine, the shade of my awning when I want it, and no problems with power and water. What more do I need?



If you'd like to live this way, or are making plans to do something similar, I'd love to hear your ideas, see photos of your vehicle, or anything else you'd like to share with me..

Chris

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