MINOR disaster, our bloody roof fell off.



We normally write this blog one or two weeks after the event but this little hiccup was worthy of a mention and it happened last night We’d had a lovely day out and just finished dinner sat out under our awning and retired inside for a glass of wine to do some reading. There was a massive crash outside and I knew immediately it was the awning coming away from the van. A few very concerned and kind neighbours ran out into the rain and helped me man handle this damn heavy thing off poor Grigio and onto the ground. After giving them each a bottle of  wine for there very kind assistance we retired ready to survey the situation at daybreak. After a very bad nights rest I could see that a rivit on one of the legs had let go and the entire awning was ripped off the side of the van. I cleaned the brackets and made some running repairs and am now waiting on a local tradesman to offer some suggestions. Result will be on blog in a week or two. Pinot and Grigio appear to have survived the ordeal with only minor scratches haha.

UPDATE 2 hours after staring to write this Mon dieu  , 2  chaps arrived to review the situation only to tell me the obvious, not repairable and €50 to take it away C’est la vie it’s only money so move on. 

OK here we go back to normal service

On our way up to Porto we stopped in Costa Nova for a few nights. Very chilled spot, weather was cool (no bloody surprises there then) and had a bit of rain but we forged on with our chins in the air. We really are spoilt with the weather back in Qld and forget what Spring…….late spring mind you in Europe can be like. So we planted ourselves a few k’s out of town , pulled the bikes off the rack and road into town to see what was on offer. It’s quite a quirky little place with fabulous beaches and a lot of very brightly painted candy stripe homes as you can see, nice enough to look at but you’d be mortified if your next door neighbor decided to do it. Boom there goes theneighbourhood  ha ha.

Met the lovely Monika & Martin from Germany, who made the campsite look a whole lot brighter when they arrived with all their colourful flags from around the world from countries they have visited. I think he had over 40 in the boot and without knowing where we live, out came an Aussie flag. They gave us maps they were not using any longer and a plethora of areas throughout France to visitand more tips on places to see on our trip North. They also gave us a tin of local produce from their home village. Maybe we should start dressing a little better and look less like gypsies haha. We will save this till we hit UK because I think it will marry very well with a pint or two of British real ale. Thanks guys, we are meeting such lovely people throughout this adventure and long may it continue.

Felt at home with the Aussie flag amongst them.

We may not have had a round of golf on the Algarve, but Al won the mini golf !

Best little coffee shop with THE BEST Portuguese tarts. The Lady owner warmed them a little and it made them even better. We had twoWent into Averio one day On Grigio. Sometimes described as Portugals little Venice, bit of an exaggeration but enjoyed our time there. Well the boat ride was ok , but the little train, well Al Pal was so bored he had a lovely nap … I managed to keep awake just. Amanda is being polite here.

Pink Power

No, definitely not a mini Venice …but cute

Award for the most bored passenger on the little train around the town.

Not like Al Pal ..ha ha the waiter insisted he try it. It’s called Francesinha a sandwich with Ham, Cheese, Steak and Chorizo with a spicy sauce, topped with a fried egg !


Just gorgeous….
We stayed in Gaia just across the river where most of the Port Caves and wine tasting Bodegas are.

A work of art ..at this Sardine shop

Livararia lello below book shop, supposedly inspired J K Rowling for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. She taught English in Porto in the 1990’s it Is a feast for the eyes, unfortunately, a queue a mile long to get in (4 Euros) and rude Chinese tourists trying to take pictures from the outside with out paying put Allen off …. peeked through and did look something special.

Bolinhos de Bacalhu .. salted cod fish cakes served here with a twist.

This takes parking where you feel like it to another level ! Everyone had to get off the tram as it could not get through.

Public laundry ..drop it off, collect when dry.

Hand washed by the lovely ladies, now time to dry on the dock.

The interior of the Sao Bento railway station.

Enjoying the port tasting .. lie .. do not like port, but Allen enjoyed it.

Heading off to the next spot ..

plus a few more extra bottles of wine…….oh and a very nice flag in of lovely port woohoo I can feel a serious headache coming on πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Douro Valley

Our first sight of the Drouo.

Could not pass on buying lots delicious fresh fruit

Fabulous… vines, vines and more vines

The beautiful Douro…

Stayed in an Aire, 8 Euros … with a view.

This weeks room with a view.

Evening stroll.

Port tasting time again for Al Pal

More tiles depicting the region.


So until next time be good be kind and be careful….. and don’t sit under dodgy awnings 

Ps I no thur is pur speling an bad grammer in these blogs but it’s tuff doin it on me I fone on the run….so don’t stress x

Love to all

Allen and Amanda x

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. Looks fantastic Amanda. We are going to Grasmere tonight for dinner.


  2. Beautiful photos…poor Grigio….hopefully he (she??) will get a new coat soon. Loved the coloured houses…


  3. Once again great photos and entertaining blog. Love to you both cant wait till Oct. xx


  4. Bugger eh, So have you left the awning behind??


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