Tuesday 3rd June 2008
Sagres -Vila do Bospo – Monchique – Odemira
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!
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!
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…
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
And more generally you can see many of my dreams, nightmares, passions, loves and hates by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”