Peniche, Schmeniche

The fireworks from the nightclub exploded right over the top of the van, which gave Uller a little surprise. Now that she is going deaf, it was only a little surprise – a couple of years ago, she would have been climbing the walls in her panic.

And we were right about it being a long night – the nightclub finally closed at 6.30. On Sunday morning. Seriously? Is that normal?

Our mood on New Year’s Day was not improved by waking up to the sight of a huge tick just above Uller’s eye. Ticks can cause serious illness in dogs (and humans) and need to be dealt with pretty quickly. Fortunately, with the help of the campsite receptionist, we were able to find a local vet that was open on a public holiday, so headed down there after breakfast. The vet was great – I don’t think we have ever seen Uller so relaxed at the vet. The tick was dealt with and we discussed prevention – we thought the monthly ‘anti just about every pest you can imagine’ treatment we give her covered ticks, but apparently not, perhaps because they are not so much of a problem in the UK. The Portuguese version of the same treatment does cover ticks, but not heartworm and some others that the UK version includes. In the end we compromised with the UK treatment and a rather fetching white plastic anti-tick collar. The vet said if Uller is going to get ill, symptoms will probably appear in the next few days, so fingers crossed.

Peniche is an odd place – it sticks out of the west coast of Portugal a bit like a pimple. The coastline around the peninsular is fantastic, but the town itself is a bit…well, like a pimple really. Of course, there was a lot of post-New Year’s Eve party rubbish around, but also more dog poo than we’ve seen anywhere else (and that is saying something), quite a bit of traffic and just not a very nice feel. We had a wander around in the afternoon, but not for long.

Baleal, just up the coast, is a different matter. It is a tiny island village, connected to the mainland by a short causeway, with great beaches either side. Again, the coastline around the village itself is fantastic – jagged rocky cliffs – and the village is a tight collection of little streets and alleyways. We saw a huge motorhome in a carpark on the furthest side of the village from the causeway and couldn’t work out how it had got there – not sure we would have been brave enough to try taking Hans there.

The receptionist at the campsite assured us that the nightclub wasn’t open on Sundays so we agreed to stay another night. We retired to the van and rested for the afternoon, before an early night. This time, the only noise disturbing us was that of waves crashing on the rocks below us. Much more civilised.



The huge motorhome on the wrong side of the causeway was probably parked there before the latest sea-level rise. Or possibly it was landed there during a failed invasion by Irish Nationalists looking for an impoverished nation to colonise.

I think the bird on the right is a dirty Pingu

I had no idea the sorts of things you can learn from a blog. Before this, I had never heard of a dirty pingu. Now I have seen one on youtube and another photographed in Portugal. The Portuguese one looks a lot like a shag don’t you think? Google Translate says Portuguese for shag is “pelucia” but, strangely there is no translation offered for shagged.

Categories: Beaches, Portugal | Leave a comment

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