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Au revoir EU

Discussion in 'Personal Cali Tours & Travel Blogs' started by Amarillo, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. Jay586
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    Jay586

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    Glad to hear the beach is dog friendly. From just reading around before, it's all sounded problematic.

    I'd like to come down where you are one winter, so very helpful!
     
  2. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    We haven't had much of a problem since leaving Scandinavia. Some other beaches restrict dogs, but it is only Scandinavia where we felt dogs were unwelcome nearly everywhere.


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  3. WelshGas
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    WelshGas Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life. Top Poster VIP Member

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    Only during the wildlife breeding period from the 1st April to the 20th August each year. Personally do not see anything wrong with that. Of course you might be a perfectly responsible owner but many are not so a law has to encompass all, not just the irresponsible few. No different to banning dogs on beaches . All have to suffer because of the irresponsible few.
    A little harsh tarnishing the whole Scandinavian region as being unfriendly towards dogs, just because you didn’t agree with their Law regarding dogs being on a lead during the wildlife breeding season.
     
  4. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    P


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  5. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    As far as I know, of the Scandinavian countries, only Norway has a complete ban on dogs being off the lead (with limited exceptions) in all areas where the public has access, during the tourist season. However, our feeling of dogs being unwelcome was pretty universal throughout Scandinavia and Finland. That feeling went as soon as we entered Estonia.

    The protection of breeding wildlife and livestock as a reason for preventing dogs being properly exercised in Norway seems particularly lame as the ban extends to all breeds (including toy dogs and hearding breeds) and is in places where there's no likelihood of breeding wildlife or livestock, such as a pedestrianised city street.


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  6. T6 CFO
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    T6 CFO Mike VIP Member

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    LOL will do. I've also now got a perfect excuse to be looking and talking to the pretty English girls. When my one catches me I shall tell her I'm only trying to deliver a message for a friend.


    Mike
     
  7. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    Day 100 - Porto

    It is, perhaps, fitting that we spent our landmark 100th day away with our van doing something different. We visited Porto city centre. Not since the previous power of 10 landmark (Day 10 - Copenhagen) have we attempted a city visit. On that occasion, and being in a somewhat less dog friendly country, we left Meg and Jess in the car in a multi storey shopping centre car park, then took the train into the city centre, restricting ourselves to leaving the dogs for no more than four hours.

    Similarly, on this occasion, we drove to the car park of a local shopping centre, leaving the van in the open. This time we took our dog with us, free on the train, to the city centre. We walked along the Duro, under many spectacular bridges, to the historic centre.

    [​IMG]

    Once there we stopped for an ice cream, then took a short boat trip along part of the Duro, seeing from the boat all we had seen from our earlier walk - plus a bit more, with commentary in Portuguese, English and French.

    [​IMG]

    On our return to the shopping centre, I returned to the car with Ben, Jack and Meg while Clare went shopping. After a surprisingly short wait Clare appeared with matching Crocs for Ben and me -What fun!

    Had we still two dogs, I am not sure we would have had such an easy and fun day. We wouldn't have been able to leave the dogs in the van in the sunshine with the roof down for more than a couple of hours. And taking a puppy on the train, walking through a city centre, on a boat then back on a train again, with two toddlers and another dog would be difficult.

    We missed the sunset that we enjoyed yesterday (pictured below) and went for dinner at the local restaurant where we were served by three generations of the same family: paternal grandmother, mother and daughter. They all took a shine to Ben and Jack.
    [​IMG]
    Our Dutch neighbour
    [​IMG]
    Ben, Jack and Meg playing at sunset

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  8. calimera
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    calimera VIP Member

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    Thanks Tom for your blog. It’s such a good read & illustrated with great photos.

    We did Segway tour of Porto ,which was interesting/scary.
     
  9. hirsty
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    hirsty Two Seat Beach DSG VIP Member

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    I'd missed the Grand Depart part II whilst I was away & glad to see things have resumed smoothly.

    Looking forward to some sunny beach pics from SW Portugal which I only visited for the first time this May, lovely part of the world for vans & families (and still €2.50 a pint too :thumb).
     
  10. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    Day 101 - Porto to Cabo da Roca

    Before saying saying farewell to our friends on the campsite we had a quick last walk with Meg along the beach.

    So far, we had generally avoided the motorway in Portugal, passing just three automatic gantries, each of about 1 Euro. However, Porto to Lisbon was indicated twice the speed on the motorway by the Sat Nav, so we decided to use that route. We duly collected a ticket as we entered the motorway. When we came off just before Lisbon, we were charged 43 Euros as a Class 2 vehicle. In France Class 2 is over 2 metres and our van in 1.95m. I argued. I shouldn't have. In Portugal Class 2 is over 1.1 metres. 43 Euros was the toll Porto to Lisbon. Trying to keep costs for *everything* below an average of 100 Euros per day, to keep Macawber happy, a 43 Euro toll is quite a hit.

    We arrived at the car park at Cabo da Roca at about 6pm - it was full of tourists for the sunset. We quickly checked at the tourist information that we could park for free for the night, and went off for somewhere to eat.

    Cabo da Roca is the most westerly point of continental Europe, and so the most westerly point of the European Union mainland. We had already visited the most northerly point full of naked Finns sitting in mosquito infested woodland outside a sauna (day 42) and the most easterly point, a delightful lake with a boundary stone on an island (day 47), so this is our third compass point of the European mainland. The forth should be in just a few days' time. According to "Vote Leave" the Southern and Eastern points will be changing shortly when Turkey joins the European Union.

    So here we are, camping for free, Clare asleep on the bench seat, Meg on the front passenger seat, the child seats piled high on the drivers' seat and the boys and me in the roof tent under the four flashes then a pause every 18 seconds of the Cabo da Roca lighthouse (I'm praying fog doesn't roll in.) 15 Euros saved on campsite fees, spent three times over on the motorway toll getting here.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  11. T6 CFO
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    T6 CFO Mike VIP Member

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    Interesting about the tolls. Bit you've been on is about what we missed so interesting. We hit Portugal from the SE. Went North a bit then dropped back down to the Coast travelling some way along the N125. We were warned it was a nightmare and sure enough it was so when we left heading to the very SW. West of Lagos I adjusted the satnav to allow tolls. Cut the time in half and avoided Albufeira so well happy. It's the only toll I've been on in Portugal and there was no toll booth. I'm told it's free to foreign registered vehicles and locals get picked up and charged by camera. Anyway moral is avoid the N125 especially travelling Into the Sun.

    NB: you and your kids will love the beach at Burgau if you get the chance.

    Mike
     
  12. BerndRos
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    BerndRos VIP Member

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    Mike

    The electronic tolls are NOT free to non Portugal registered vehicles. It’s just a little difficult to find a way to pay. On entering Portugal as you did over the bridge at Ayamonte there are booths to enter payment card details. Plus at Olhao services.

    In reality I have never known anyone get caught out or written to in the U.K. re fines etc.

    Were there hot showers at Burgau ?
     
  13. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    The electronic toll management in Norway have tracked me down. I've had two invoices, one for 33 GBP and one for 21 GBP.

    It's a simple matter - the nationality of the vehicle's registration needs identifying then the registration entered into the DVLA database and an invoice issued to the registered keeper.

    I expect to be invoiced for the two or three electronic tolls passed in Portugal - about 4 Euros for Class 1 so double that for us.


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  14. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    Day 102 - Cabo da Rico to Praia da Luz

    Set the sat-nav to our destination, fastest route avoiding tolls.

    About 30 minutes after setting off, with the backdrop of a spectacular Moorish castle, Jack said, "I have a stomache ache". This should have raised alarm bells as Jack is very stoic - unlike his big brother who moans and groans at anything. Sure enough, in the Lisbon suburbs, Jack vommited, the first vomit of our trip, which in itself is somewhat surprising. Probably not travel sickness, as Jack was right as rain immediately after being sick. After cleaning him up we had a coffee in a local cafe then bought groceries for the next few days.

    The next thing the sat-nav did was take us over a toll bridge - fortunately only tolled for northbound traffic, and we had a delightful drive south to Praia da Luz and a wonderful campsite with the most amazing toilet block - including seats, paper and soap. The pool was open when we arrived, but by the time we were ready to swim, having set up camp, it was about to close. We explored the campsite by bike instead.


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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  15. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    Day 103 - Praia da Luz

    We all had a quiet moment at midday, today being the funeral of Rosemary Brockman, grandmother to four of my nieces and nephews.



    Great campsite - loving it! We might stay here until the 16 October then drive all the way to Cadiz for a date with my parents on 17th.

    The pool is unheated but after bathing in the waters off Lofoten we can cope. We spent most of the day next to the pool.

    There's an enormous undeveloped plot of land next to the campsite, perfect for exercising Meg and playing frisbee with her. Just perfect.


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  16. T6 CFO
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    T6 CFO Mike VIP Member

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    Thanks for that. If I come across a payment booth I'll probably pop in or wait to see what arrives.

    Showers weren't hot at Burgau but fine after a hot day on the beach

    Mike


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  17. hirsty
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    hirsty Two Seat Beach DSG VIP Member

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    I found the Portugese toll road system to be a complete mystery - wandering up & down from Faro airport past Lagos & on to the red lighthouse in May I saw no toll booth / barriers as common in France & Italy.

    We had a SANEF-type bleeping tag in our hired Polo & Europcar recharged that back to us (having also charged to hire the tag!) but I've no idea how a wandering Brit is supposed to do the right thing.

    Later in August the French speed camera operators near Nice were able to get my name from Hertz & send me a €45 fixed penalty to my UK address, so the authorities are generally getting more joined-up in their efforts to extract what's owed ...
     
  18. bigmac77
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    bigmac77 VIP Member

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    To pay the Portuguese tolls you go to a post office 48hrs after you've used the toll road supply them with your reg number and they tell you how much you owe and you pay them.
    We always used to hire a car and drive from Faro to Praia da Luz we'd pay the toll in Luz but on our return to Faro there was no way to pay so we didn't. We were never contacted by the car hire company over the unpaid tolls. The system seems a bit poorly thought through to me.
     
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  19. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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  20. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom VIP Member

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    Loads of swimming and not much else.

    This really has been a wonderful campsite for us, apart from exercising Meg, we've hardly ventured off the grounds. The temperature has been upper twenties in the daytime and upper teens overnight with the pool temperature 22 in the morning and 26 by the afternoon.

    Twice we've eaten the three course buffet lunch in the campsite restaurant: 10 Euros for adults, 3.50 for children 2-5 years. Salad starter, cooked main and pudding. During the evening there has been live entertainment. The "Dixie Kings" one night, then a somewhat curious Italian Night on another night. The singer they employed for the Italian Night well known Italian classics such as The Beach Boys, Surfing USA, Stevie Wonder's I Just Called..., and La Bamba.

    We did manage to go on a family foray towards Lagos on our bikes, there's a service road running alongside the main N125, but nearer Lagos the service road ran out, and the main road is far too busy for Ben on his bike.

    Tomorrow we drive to Cadiz. We are taking a gamble by going on the toll road. The toll itself is 15 Euros, but we have no means to pay. We don't have a transponder which would cost 20 Euros, we can't pay at the post office 48 hours after travel as we will no longer be in Portugal, so all we can do is drive along the road, and see of the 15 Euro toll plus 25 Euro penalty turn up sometime in the future.

    [​IMG]
    Breakfast at Camp Amarillo

    [​IMG]
    Ben dancing to the Dixie Kings

    [​IMG]
    A mystery photo taken by someone illicitly messing with my phone while sitting on the lower berth in the van. It is taken through the sliding door, showing all our gear and the car child seats in the safari room and my profile through the safari room's window.


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