Farewell Portugal – and the Pilot…

This is my first private blog post, available to subscribers only! Assuming I’ve got this privacy malarkey setup correctly… Fingers crossed!!

If you’ve not visited Portugal – I highly recommend heading to this amazing and beautiful country.

The Portuguese are lovely people. I met a gentleman 93 years of age working in his allotment. He didn’t look a day over sixty. He didn’t speak a word of English, but my Portuguese friends filled me in with the details after we met him. Being British and not having a clue how to speak their language, I stood and smiled whilst “we” chatted to him, then shook hands with him as we bid him farewell.

In Portugal, you have the best of everything – great weather, beautiful scenery, glorious coast and a great feeling of safety. More often than not, the Portuguese don’t even close their car windows whilst shopping. Try that in the UK… The general consensus is if it belongs to someone else, it’s not for you to touch. That’s how the world should be!

Mental note for me: When I set off travelling, leave Portugal until last otherwise I won’t want to go anywhere else! This was my third visit to Portugal but far from my last.

Breaking news: I have sold the Pilot. After 7 weeks away, I’m now back in the slightly damp UK and my lovely van has gone off to her delighted new owners. Whilst in Portugal, I made the decision to travel on a full time basis, but in my Luton. The Pilot was the most perfect travel van I could have created but realistically, running three vehicles isn’t viable (I also have my beloved 30 year old Land Rover Defender 90). My Luton is like a house on wheels and with a few planned modifications it’s going to be great for travel. More on this soon!

I advertised my lovely Pilot online whilst in Portugal. To say I was inundated would be an understatement. If I had ten of this van, I’d have sold every last one. Her new owners phoned me and the sale was agreed for whenever I returned to the UK. Marc and Jo are a lovely couple who I will be keeping in touch with and catching up with on the road soon. Very much my kind of people. I wish them every happiness with their new found freedom. The Pilot couldn’t have gone to a better new home.

Sitting in 43 degrees of sunshine, I randomly decided to head back to the UK. Yeah, I’m mad. Once I decide to go “home” I don’t hang around. Over three days I covered 1200 miles, the longest day being 500 miles long!

From Portugal, I headed straight up through Spain, into France, and was warmly welcomed by friends Mark, Alison and family to stay for a few days at their delightful home near Pounce. A quick trip to the vet for Ted’s worming tablet and a ferry booked, we were UK bound. Dieppe to Newhaven via DFDS Seaways was by far the cheapest route.

When I returned to England, I had a rather happy daughter awaiting me…

As well as a delighted Mother (and Father, but he’d never admit that)…

I was, and still am, very sad to see the Pilot go. What a fantastic van, a delight to drive and overall a fantastic travel experience. Of course, my Luton is just as lovely to drive (essentially the same vehicle on a larger scale) but slightly (hugely!) heavier on fuel.

I have some exciting modifications to carry out on the Luton (next blog post will cover all this!) before the ferry at the beginning of September…

The next adventure shall then commence…


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8 comments on “Farewell Portugal – and the Pilot…
  1. Linda says:

    Well it worked Rich, it worked on both sides, glad to say. Look forward to your further adventures in your updated Luton. Nice to go on adventures but always nicer to come home to those who love and miss you too.

  2. Alf says:

    Nice to read Rich and good luck for you and Ted back in the Luton, look forward to reading about the ad ons to the Luton and your new full time adventures,all our best for the future Alf and Marianne.

  3. Terry says:

    Hi Rich,
    I did send you a reply the other day, but I think it may be lost in space somewhere. I have been talking to Kirsty and she said we should meet again soon. Next time I am in your area I will give you a call and we can have a face to face chat. If Kirsty says she is coming to see Linda and I, catch a lift here with her. Would be great to see you again..

  4. Will says:

    I loved your small travel van,just a pity it was written off by some ‘blind’ driver!

  5. Simon F says:

    Tow ball and trailer for the Landy? or to much on the fuel consumption?

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