A Travellerspoint blog


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Mardi Gras seems to last a long time in Portugal, there was live music on Saturday night and then BBQ on Sunday which was also linked to the chef, Alex, birthday. Pedro got everyone dressed up and how jacqui managed just a very stylish ball mask we don't know. The party lasted 7 hours and it was meant to be a lunchtime do!
Roger and Sue were great companions, joining in with everything and I will have to share some of the photos Roger took. Good job it wasn't to far to stagger back to the van to collapse!
Monday we rested and the other two drove off west to Silves which we have missed this year, it's a lovely town with loads of storks nesting everywhere. We picked up Jacqui's MRI results and got her brace and did a bit of shopping in the big Faro mall; we thought Faro would be a big place with its airport but, apart from the castle and a small marina there is not much to it.
Shrove Tuesday is the traditional carnival day and there are really big celebrations all over the Algarve but we are going to the local town of Paderne for a more modest and old fashioned affair, or so we assume.
We have just got back from the carnival and had a great couple of hours eating local pancakes and pork rolls with piri piri sauce, which was a bit too hot, and beer and local spirit, again. All of the floats were made in the town as were the costumes, the local Chinese bazaar must have taken a hammering. The floats were decorated with handmade tissue flowers in various images, there were lots of stars and stripes and eventually we got the theme of some of the floats.
Trump, as a clown with more stars and stripes, Trumpalhada or Trump's mess and best of all Trump with his guns and army and the wall he wants to build along the Mexican border. The people carrying the wall stood firm whilst Trump and his army cowered behind children. It was very funny and so well done.
Other displays in the carnival were a group of washer women, presumably celebrating the local lavenderia by the spring in town; lots of dance troops young and old. Everyone was enjoying themselves so it must have been a good afternoon.

Posted by cjpolley 12:05 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Legs of a 32 year old!

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We don't want this blog to be a list of the frustrations we have encountered with Jacqui's knee, but she was still in loads of pain so we decided to take the consultants advice and book an ultrasound. We hadn't expected a 5 day wait for one! Long story short, we arrived at A&E again and got one the same day, Friday. Needless to say the scan showed no damage and in fact the lady doctor told jacqui she had the legs of a 32 year old, which she obviously knew! Another confused consultant, but this time we got some decent stuff off him and after a couple of doses the pain has lessened. This doesn't help our next move as the consultant recommended an MRI as the next step, we have even talked about going home early to continue treatment if it doesn't improve.
At least we got to attend Pedro's bbq where one has to eat 3 plate fulls of meat and salads before you are allowed pudding, great food, drinks included @ €12 each, it has to be done.
Another restful day Sunday and try a bit more activity Monday so we'll probably stay another week to help Jacqui recover.
So we have an MRI booked for Saturday and we'll make a decision from then!
We now know that Jacqui has deteriorated cartilage behind her knee cap and on searching the interweb, we can see her patella is not central and doesn't have the full range of movement. Hindsight is obviously 20:20 but couldn't someone have spotted this basic symptom a bit quicker.The radiologist was very good and we got a verbal opinion the same day rather than an 8 day wait.
So treatment is wearing a very fashionable knee brace and trying to get some cartilage rebuilt but, thankfully Jacqui has the pain under control.
We even managed a bit of a bike ride one morning, gentle pedalling from Jacqui on the electric bike.

Posted by cjpolley 05:59 Archived in Portugal Comments (1)

I did it again

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Making assumptions on a person's apperance that is, you'd think I'd learn, especially as this time it was a lovely older couple in a van. Both proper Cornish as Henry and his lovely wife Anne said and so unassuming, then chatting to them over the evening they had travelled to Greece overland with a tent in 1966 a couple of years after Henry had started working with computers! I said one night to Anne, that when jacqui and I grow up we want to be like them, she said they hadn't grown up yet! BRILLIANT
I had assumed quietly retired couple who lead a quite life, I won't do it again.
There were 3 other British couples at Pedro's and we took it in turns at each others vans, including pre-drinks for the soup night, a mistake there! Jacqui even shared our tea one night and it was macaroni cheese with leeks and bacon. The other two couples were Roger and Sue, retired RAF and motorhoming for over 20 years; then Matt and Sharon who had only been motorhoming for a year but were well into it and were taking jobs with the camping and caravan club to continue there experience as long as possible.
So after spending a few days enjoying some British company, Henry and Anne and Matt and Sharon left on their separate ways and let the four of us have a dry day before the weekend of RBS 6 nations, live music at the site and BBQ Sunday, only the strong survive!
Jacqui and I had started to get a bit stir crazy as we were not getting on bikes and doing long walks, as the drugs made her wobberly. We managed a slow walk around the village via the Moorish canal that was built to irrigate crops, we were sitting watching the water rush by when a chap popped out of his garden and gave us a couple of oranges off his tree. They were delicious and as we walked passed his garden and shouted ' muito bom' he ran over and gave another couple, lovely people round here.

Posted by cjpolley 09:48 Archived in Portugal Comments (2)

Friday's Medical History

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May 2015 East Hagbourne New tyres

August 2015 Tralee someone hit our rear light in campsite

November 2015 Marbella mains trip would not stay latched, fixed on site by 2 very helpful chaps

December 2015 Cadiz lost solar panel off roof, ordered correct SikaFlex and refitted

February 2016 Porto scraped corner on wall

March 2016 San Sebastian scraped rear on steep hill on way to mountain campsite

May 2016 East Hagbourne fitted new air suspension

June 2016 Leiden air suspension fails (wrongly specified units)

July 2016 Camerino battery charger failed

July 2016 Lecce fridge over heating, fitted extra fans

July 2016 15 amp fuse melted in the holder with out blowing, isolated and pulled loose.

July 2016 Sicily lost electric step on steep campsite entrance

October 2016 returned from wedding at home with new battery charger, fitted

October 2016 Cartagena lost roof vent cover but didn't realise

October 2016 Estapona water leaking into lights from roof vent, sealed with plastic bag

November 2016 I left the gas hob on and blew up the glass lid, ordered a new one at home but couldn't bring it back in the luggage, cut piece of ply to suit.

December 2016 Conil fitted new vanity unit, repaired floor, fitted new folding door and new roof vent, dried out light fittings with plastic cups and drying agent. Dealer supplied new air suspension units fitted, then realigned by motorhome shop.

February 2017 Albufeira bought new plastic Fiamma step and bike rack cover, finally filled damage from tree on drivers side of van, adding new stripe.

Posted by cjpolley 12:35 Comments (0)

Wales vs England

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So we were up reasonably early on Saturday morning, I showered first as usual in the van as the aire's facilities were not up to much. Jacqui had hers, dried her hair and I started breakfast when jacqui started to complain of a really bad pain running through her leg. She couldn't put weight on it and despite taking quite strong pain relief she could not make it go away. We travelled back to Alvor with jacqui being unable to sit in the front, she had to lie flat to get some relief.
We had both been looking forward to watching the match with the Welsh couple but Jacqui had to stay in the van.
It was still raining and we were fortunate enough to find our old spot which was comparatively dry although the reddy brown river rushing down the hill was only a curb width away from the van.
What a great spectacle the game was, England still didn't reproduce the sort of form that we saw last year but managed to come out on top against a ferocious Welsh side in Cardiff. So we had a couple of beers and then I went back to check on the invalid.
Next morning she felt a bit better although still hobbling and we arranged to watch the Scotland France game, Jacqui was getting on really well with Jo, so while Rob and I had a last beer they walked each other back to the vans, arm in arm for support. Rob and I had one more and then the barman went and bought us another one, we must have been good customers!
We had booked Pedro's for the next day and we stopped at Iceland in Albufeira to buy bacon and faggots and things, Jacqui's leg was still so bad that she couldn't make it into the shop. I also wanted to go to a motorhome shop to buy a new plastic step and a better bike cover, then we spent 1 1/2 hours parked outside a supermarket whilst I did the washing, oh joy!
We arrived at Pedro's as last year on a Monday right in the middle of a petanca tournament and I left Jacqui on the bed whilst I went to check in and Pedro roped me onto a team, Jacqui must have wondered why it took me so long, but there was sangria!
Unfortunately Jacqui's pain intensified over night and we ended up at A&E Portuguese style, but this time in a private hospital, this time the wait wasn't so long and Jacqui was prescribed strong painkillers and had a rai-X! And an injection. Her pain was so intense she was crying and I really did not know what to do. Pedro and his wife, Miriella, we're both so helpful, she in fact took us to the hospital and waited for us; the next visit they lent us their car, really thoughtful people.
Jacqui had been so looking forward to staying here at Pedro's and we had to miss valentines night when a meal out at a local restaurant had been booked and we both were in no state for it; believe it or not we do quite a bit during the day and if one of the partnership is laid low, me broken toe Jacqui head, it is really tiring. The hospital booked an appointment for us with a specialist the next day and Jacqui had a reasonable night, waking the next morning a bit cheerier.
We got on with a few jobs to pass the time until the appointment, Jacqui had a wardrobe cull sat on the bed and I filled various holes on the van we have had for a while after going down lanes or hills that are too narrow or steep or both. I will publish Friday's list of repairs after this blog.
The specialist was a nice chap after we got through the take your ticket system at the hospital reception, the ticket system applies from the post office, butchers and now hospital. But he had no solution as to what caused the intense pain and advised rest and wait and see, bit frustrating but the drugs looked to be taking effect so we wait!
Soup night is Thursday so we bought Jacqui a fold up walking stick from the China bazaar and we get her to it.

Posted by cjpolley 12:31 Archived in Portugal Comments (3)

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