Happiness is Easy

Armacao de Pera 16/12/2014

Sitting in a car park right on the beach. However the meanies do charge €1.50 a day for the privilege, he jests. This week we have been tootling around the Algarve as you can see.

Lagos 9/12/ – 11/12/2014

Let’s start with what is useless. Namely Knaus Tabbert support. Their handbook lists a load of numbers throughout Europe for help. Unfortunately these are ADAC numbers and Knaus has no contract with them. We were not told that when buying the van. We could not find a single person who spoke English at the most singularly unimpressive help centre I have dealt with; Knaus HQ in Germany. The dope on the line, sorry to be rude about a fellow human, had never heard of Portugal. A big hoorah for the German education system. We gave up at this point. How did they win an award in Paractical Motorhoming for Service and support?

Now for the good.

  • My dad was a sparky and did teach me the basics of circuitry.
  • The Internet and especially motorhome forums.
  • Helpful local people
  • Time to get up to mischief.

The receptionist gave us the details of a local motorhome service company that could help. Sadly, they are based in the Eastern Algarve and we are in the West. We did phone and they were most helpful. I then started to check the fuses and charge rate coming off the Solar Panels. Here I found the fuses had blown even though the panel was telling me it was charging, it was not. I also got the details of a Brit called Ian based up the road from Lagos who could help and we make an appointment for the next day. We unhooked the mains hook-up during the day and monitored the batteries getting charged from the panels, a first. Overnight we noticed the batteries did not lose charge and felt quite chuffed and thought we were fixed. As I am not an expert Tracy said lets go to Ian and get him to check, so we did. When we arrived we noticed the batteries had discharged quite a bit. Ian diagnosed the problems being a blown fuse from the starter battery to the Leisure battery. So the alternator was never charging the leisure batteries, worse still on driving is was pulling 10A from the leisure batteries to run the fridge whilst in motion. So now all fixed, Happiness is Easy.

Homie Help: If you have electrical problems in the Algarve then for the East use CamperServ. +351 916 581 141. For the West contact Ian +351 912 863 600. We can recommend both

As we left Ian we got a call from Valter the bike man to say it was fixed. Valter from Bikerent, Lagos had put on a brand new Mavic wheel and made everything shiny and new for a cost for €60. Happiness is Easy.

Praia da Luz 11/12 -13/12/2014

We are not going to mention the events that took place here seven years ago. We parked up right on the beach ignoring the ‘No Homies’ sign on what is a rather lovely part of the Algarve. ‘Luz’ is a village that still retains much of its character and we spent a pleasant afternoon taking advantage of the warming sun and half price caiparinhas. In the evening we had piri piri chicken in the local chicken shack ran inevitably by a chap called Nando, and his English wife. To date it is the best Frango we have tasted. Happiness is Easy.

Next morning we were woken by the chirping of Surfers. We are not surfers and do not understand the complexities of the language or associated hand movements that seems to be the major part of the sport. We witnessed the three hour preparation to get ready, the twenty minutes in the water and the three hour debrief afterwards. It all seems far too technical for us. But here are some photos of the more impressive Luz.

Boca do Rio 13/12 – 14/12/2014

‘Nando the Frango’ told us about this place. Stocked up with goodies we headed out. They have recently built a car park with the mandatory ‘No Homie’ sign but someone had broken down the defences and left a route to a flat gravel area beyond. However it was a bit remote and we were umming and arrring when a friendly Dutch Homie sporting a magnificent moustache turned up. We did the I’ll stay if you stay routine and parked up for the night. We had a ‘Breaking Bad’ night and settled down for a good nights’ sleep. The Algarve weather had other ideas. We had the lot, gale force winds, thunder and lightening, very very frightening. It was so bad I had to get up in the middle of the night and move the Van directly into the wind to stop the lateral movement and associated noise.

Homie Help: A golden rule of Wild camping is to always park so you have an escape route. This night I was left with the choice of having the route out or the wind blowing the guts outta the van. Traditionally this would have meant sending your wife/partner outside to guard the van while you parked it into the wind to get a good nights’ sleep. To overcome this dilemma fit a vanbitz alarm so all can remain safe and sleep soundly.

Here is a picture that gives some idea of the remoteness. You will notice our bush faced Dutch colleague has disappeared.

14/12/2014 A drive to Europe’s most South Western point and back.

As the weather was a bit squiffy we decided to have a drive about. Firstly to Cabo San Vincente (Europe’s most South western point, Terry) and then along the N125 to Marufos chicken shack in Quarteria. The scenery to San Vincente is not great to be honest but it is a tick in the box. A picture of the lighthouse to say we have been.

Quarteria & Albuferia 14/12/2014

Marufos was shut so no point in staying in Quarteria. The Aire in Albuferia looked horrible so we headed for the commercial Aire in Guia.

Guia 14/12 – 15/12/2014

The Aire is top, top quality, probably the best we have stayed in. It was clean, well maintained and staffed by friendly people. Happiness is easy. To the unknown Guia is the Piri Piri chicken capital. This is where it all started. We went to the king of chicken, Ramires in Guia. It was weird to eat in a place that had a painting, a bronze bust and the sitter for these artworks to be at a table surveying his domain. The Chicken was OK, not enough flesh and a bit too much garlic for us. So Mr Ramires you may have been the first but you are no longer the best.

Next day we had a bike ride around the beaches and got some supplies at a very expensive supermarket. We managed to get some after eights for chrimbo. In the afternoon Paul, Rachel and Red turned up (we met these guys in Spain). We shared a bottle of wine before having a good nights’ sleep. Happiness is Easy.

Armacao de Pera. 15/12 – 16/12/2014

And here we are bang up to date. This was an unscheduled stop but we like it so much we have stayed here two days. Yesterday the 15th, the weather was gorgeous and after a walk along the beach we did a couple of jugetts of Sangria, topped up the tan and finished off with for us, a posh meal in a beach side restaurant.

Tourist Tip: Be careful when walking around the nature reserve in Pera as some motorhomers from countries just across the channel like to use the reserve as a toilet. Disgusting.

Today we again have been walking along the beach and collecting shells and just being on holiday. Happiness is Easy. Here are some pictures of Pera. A town we like.

Take care E&T


One response to “Happiness is Easy

  1. Glad your power problem was solved without too much agg!
    We are now totally jealous , hope to be leaving UK mid Feb to find a little sun down there. Enjoy Christmas.


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