Beyond The Algarve

Beyond The Algarve

We made it!

The sky was blue with fluffy clouds, the sun was glorious. We had finally arrived at our destination…


It had been a long journey and didn’t my back know it! The beach awaited us!


We were finally in Portugal – the destination of many UK motorhomes and we really could see why it was so popular! It’s early March and the weather is stunning.

Kirsty even took her coat off.

We visited the local supermarket, cooked and devoured our purchased pizzas!

Exploring Portugal

There’s more to Portugal than the Algarve, and we were going to explore it further. A bit of time looking online at lakes in Portugal that happend to fall into Zone 2 of our satellite, I discovered Barragem de Santa Clara, or in English, a great big lake in South Portugal. A little more research suggested this could be a beautiful place!

Let’s go…

Five miles into our day and Kirsty realises she’s left her cup of tea on the kitchen worktop. As you do. We pulled over and thankfully the cup was still sitting where she left it, complete with the contents.

Let’s try again.

Until now, we’ve avoided unpaved roads. Beyond is a heavy beast and bumps in the road don’t go un-noticed.

En-route, we spotted a sign off the main road pointing down an unpaved road towards a camping site, so we thought we’d go and have a look out of interest. What the sign didn’t say was the camping site was a good 10 or more miles along this bumpy dirt track!


The countryside was beautiful, the track wasn’t too bad and by now I’ve got so used to driving Beyond on and off-road that it’s all now just a big adventure.


These stunning views went on for miles. So did the pot holes.


To think I used to worry about swaying over uneven ground along camp sites in England. I think some of the bumps and humps in the Portuguese roads have sent us into mid air.

We never did find the campsite.

A pleasant 54 miles later, we arrived at Barragem de Santa Clara. Another couple of motorhomes were parked up when we arrived, neither looking like they’d moved anytime this year.

Here’s home for the next few days!DSC_0028

Now when you open your door and this is the first thing you see each day, I’m guessing it’s not a bad life!


We have our own private beach on the edge of the lake.

I think I can cope with staying here.


We’re parked next to a large monument. Strangely all the writing is in Portuguese so we have no clue what it symbolises.

We’re parked next to fruit trees, but no idea what type of fruit.


After over 1,700 miles of driving, it’s time to rest up.

It wasn’t long before more motorhomes joined us.

I made use of the lake by doing my clothes washing for the week, and made a washing line across the back of the van using bungee cords!

Some Dutch, some French and some natives.

Some coach built, some custom built, some not built at all. One person is even living in their Vauxhall Nova next to the lake. And I thought we lived in a small space! But if they’re happy, that’s all that matters.


As it happens, none of the motorhome owners speak the same language, but we all smile, wave and say hello in our own language. It’s all very pleasant.

Time to rest.

So here we shall stay for a few days.

We’ll get the bikes out and go exploring. After I cut the bike chain now the combination lock has bust! Good job I brought the angle grinder with me!

The days are very warm, the nights are very cold! We’ll go looking for fire wood while we explore.

Time to relax and recover from the journey.

EMF Safe Haven

Where next?

Where to after this stop? No idea! Any suggestions more than welcome! We’ll have broadband for as long as we’re parked up here so please do get in touch.

Until next time….  Boas festas.

Rich & Kirsty.



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11 Comments on “Beyond The Algarve

  1. It looks absolutely fantastic, so peaceful too. It must be hot if Kirsty’s dared to take her coat off!!! Hope you find some relief from the EMF Rich for a while at least. Look forward to seeing more lovely photos. Cheers me up especially as its so cold and wet here at the moment. Take care you two.

  2. That looks stunning all you need is a inflatable kayak and a fishing rod to catch your dinner enjoy will keep checking how your doing

  3. How wonderful! You deserve your rest and I am sure that lovely view will make up for all your hard labour driving for so long and so far.
    After you’ve soaked up the sun for a few days, if you don’t mind cooler weather, may I suggest going north to Galicia, Spain. This is the green part of the country with beautiful landscapes and the sea and nowhere near as busy as the costas. Just over the Portuguese border you have the wonderful Rias Baixas (or low rivers), which is an area that really deserves a visit. If you feel like going further afield, go all the way to La Coruña for even more dramatic coastline.
    Whatever you do, enjoy! 🙂

  4. we have really enjoyed reading all of your blogs. It brought back some wonderful memories of when my husband and I did pretty much the same thing on a similar route. Oddly enough, we also started in Wales, in many of the exact places you went to. We were lucky enough to do 3 trips to France/Spain and Portugal, each trip lasted around 3-4 months each and without doubt, they were the best memories of our lives.
    The conversion that you have done to your van is outstanding. You must be very proud of it and the envy of many a motor-homer, me included.
    We will follow your travels with interest, not only for the ongoing journey you are enjoying but also for the memories that we are sharing.
    Good luck and happy travels
    Rosie and John

  5. Hi Rich & Kirsty, Sorry to hear you had to go north because of the mobile phone masts. The masts tend to be more numerous close to the roads like the N125, A22, A2 and IC1. If you had headed for the west coast and the Costa St Vincent National Park the mobile phone masts become few and far between and there are plenty of coves where you can wildcamp without fear of mobile masts. Looking at your recorded route you passed within about 5k of my villa. It would have been great if you could have called in for a cuppa. We are out in the countryside and you could have stayed over for a couple of nights we have plenty of parking space. From where you are now you may want to head towards the Atlantic coast. On the coast road from Aljuzur to Odemira there are several roads and tracks leading to coves suitable for wildcamping. But in the meantime chill-out and enjoy yourselves.

    Kind regards, Errol

  6. Am enjoying your travels . The fruit is ‘nispero’ ,in Spanish . In English if memory serves me right it is Loquat ? Edible & sweet .

  7. I have just found your blog and I’ve started reading not only to enjoy your adventures vicariously but, also, to pick up hints and tips for my, hopefully not too far away, future.
    I have spent time camping in France and done a winter stay in Portugal but the dream is to convert a vehicle and just live and travel in it.

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