Portugal in the Box #5

Tuesday 3rd June 2008

Sagres -Vila do Bospo – Monchique – Odemira

Sagres in Portugal - by Miki

We spent a wonderful night by the fort in Sagres, in the immense parking, whichin the night evolved into a motorhome colony. As I awoke, the parking was full of them, we all stood nicely in a row like sardines in their boxes… German, French, Belgian, English, all Europe was present here. This is really funny how the sheep instinct follows us everywhere, even amongst the people who call themselves adventurers: they all come back to the herd, in one way or another!

Having noticed that we were very short on water, and not having prepared the trip as we should have,I spent time socialising with some French from Marseille and some Belgians from Liege, to finally get the info we needed:

1, Where could we tank water

2. How late it was in Portugal

Nice people, really, who as usual wondered how it is possible that relatively young people like us (the motorhome population age average in Europe is about 65…) could spend 7 weeks holiday on the road. And the usual answer:

„I work on the road“

provoked the habitual reaction, some decent, but also big „wows“ and so when I explain that I am not a prostitute, but a painter…

Later on we drove back to our little village Vila do Bospo where we yesterday stole the internet from the town hall and spent hours filling cyberspace with our travel stories, answering mails, chatting with family. And the tank with water. What a generous place really!

Rainbow Houses in Vila do Bospo in Portugal - by Miki

I had spotted some cute little terraced houses all in rainbow colours, totally new and modern, but with some charm somehow. They really looked like dolls houses. I normally tend to paint old houses, and the older the better as I don´t like straight lines and old houses tend to lose them, but somehow these attracted my painter´s eye. I went outside with my sketchbook and my colour pens, and rried to find a way of drawing these houses avoiding the boredom of the straight lines everywhere, but keeping the feeling of new and cute. For that I had to quit the vertical and the horizontal, draw straight lines in all oblique directions but trying to connect the terraced houses to each other. Obviously the result didn’t look like houses at all! So I drew some ‚real’ houses in the background and some trees to give some normality back to the whole scene. The result being the quite weird but recognisable drawing which you can see here. But I swear, the real scenery was not that different!

Church in Vila do Bospo in Portugal - by Miki

I made 2 more drawings in that style and finally it was time to leave. Somehow it always becomes suddenly time to leave in the motorhome, and within 5 minutes the whole chaos we have organised with our computers, leads, musical instruments and all my paint stuff disappear somewhere. We have become very good at that. But you have to: it is like in a sailing boat, before you leave, all must be saved in its own place, it is a question of safety. For the stuff itself, but for us too.

Like so often I had the genius idea to make a detour through the mountains. You can be sure, if there is a fast, safe way between 2 points, and another leading through high mountains on dangerous roads full of curves and taking 10 times longer, I choose the second one. Not that I love that kind of danger very much, on the contrary, I am always scared to death. But I can´t resist: these kind of roads always mean wonderful landscapes, and my curiosity and need to see beauty are stronger than my fears. So we drove today about 3 hours through high mountrains, woods of cork tress, breathtaking landscapes, on breathtaking roads. I wondered again how rich the vegetation is in Portugal, and how different. Now, I am as much a dunce in botany as in history, so I can´t tell you which plants and flowers we see, but they are all very colourful and beautiful and the flowers all have strange forms like stars, diamonds, bells, trumpets, etc. I understand now better why the little fishing boats have all these cute decorations, it is just a copy of nature…

Kevin hated the road, but he somehow loved the snakes which crossed the road from time to time. Not that he loves snakes that much, but today, as a form of vengeance I guess, they inspired him to create a new game called:

„The snake game“

which consisted of him hissing like a snake each time we saw a snake in the road and extending his snaky hands to my body and simulating the bite of the snake, shouting „bite, bite, bite!“I hated it! And the louder I yelledthe louder he hissed and the stronger he „bit“ me.

Comfort teasing, I would call it. I forgave him, considering the hard driving job he had to endure! And anyway: I cannot help loving him for being such a pillock sometimes!

It is late now, and we have finally come out of the mountains, to a bigger town called Odermira, where we are parked up for the nightby a lovely river full of fish, ducks and geese. No snakes here though, but I guess they will haunt my dreams tonight…

Odemira in Portugal - by Miki


Well, we thought we would have a lovely, quiet evening by the river, but an incident held our concern for two hours. A nutter, surely doing his evening walking along the river, stopped by the motorhome and started shouting. When I say shouting I mean grunts of some kind:

Hun, ho,… guttural, like a caveman, quite primal and scary!

He stood 2 hours in front of the motorhome, first standing then sitting on a bench, without stopping one second in his shouting. We felt very uncomfortable and closed the shutters, but I could not help observing him from behind the curtains in the front. His behaviour was fascinating, a repetition of extreme gestures including driving maneuvers, counting with both hands, chasing away, pointing to the far distance, furiously describing a circle, windmilling his arms, flying, etc… We thought that we might have interrupted his routine and that he was stuck now, somehow, short circuited in this new situation of this strange vehicle parking by the river. After 2 hours, we decided to go out just for some seconds and see what would happen, hoping to give him a new start, or at least a reset. And in fact he at once stopped his sounds and gestures, and looked at us. After we re-entered the motorhome, he sat silently on the bench for further 5 minutes and then went away.

We had done it! But very sad though…

You can purchase prints of these paintings (on paper or canvas) in many different sizes, or a greeting card, in my online gallery. Just click on the widgets below

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

Art Prints

Art Prints


And more generally you can see many of my dreams, nightmares, passions, loves and hates by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”


8 Responses to “Portugal in the Box #5”

  1. Susan Cornelis Says:

    I’m enjoying reading both yours and Kev’s accounts of the same day. And I’m trying really hard to pretend I’m experiencing all of this vacation with you – definitely the kind of adventures I love. Especially your description of the flora and fauna, the interesting plants and animals. Your jumbled up village scene is delightful, containing so many of the sights that delight the eye.

    I was wondering – how much does gas cost in Portugal? We Americans are becoming overwhelmingly gas conscious (finally!!) Do you have to pay to park your Boomobile for the night or can you just stop anywhere that works for you?

  2. helenl Says:

    When Worlds Collide

    A church stands on the hill behind the action.
    We look up at the belfry, the steeple.
    The sky is blue and normal enough. In it,

    a trail of white, perhaps left by a jet.
    The side of a building is pictured on the right,
    but the rest of the town is a different world.

    Tumble-down toys form the junk-yard world:
    blue, purple, brown, green, yellow, orange.

    A fence stops plastic town—sliding down the hill—
    from crushing yellow flowers. Blue cardboard
    in front of the fence forms a monument to
    childhood. All houses are playhouses made from

    colorful plastics. They wear tags like Playskool
    and Little Tykes. I love this world, where we
    are only old ghosts.

    also posted on my blog

  3. When Worlds Collide « Windows Toward the World Says:

    […] also posted on Miki’s blog in response to Portugal In the Box #5 […]

  4. Portugal in The Box, The Sketches - #5 « Infinity + some + 2 Says:

    […] Miki, Portugal painting, Portugal paintings, watercolour travel sketches Read here the corresponding travel […]

  5. Nice Portugal Travels photos | Hot Tour Guide Says:

    […] Houses in Vila do Bospo Painting Portugal Image by Miki, Queen of Planet Goodaboom You can read the corresponding travel text in my blog, under mikiaboom.wordpress.com/2008/06/08/portugal-in-the-box-5/ […]

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  7. Nice Traveling photos | Real Dads News Says:

    […] Houses in Vila do Bospo Painting Portugal Image by Miki, Queen of Planet Goodaboom You can review a analogous transport content in my blog, underneath mikiaboom.wordpress.com/2008/06/08/portugal-in-the-box-5/ […]

  8. 5 Biking across Yangshuo | Pozaction Travel Blog Says:

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