My wife and I are motorhomers. We first came to the Algarve in 2011 spending most of our time at Silves. I would like to thank all of the wonderful people that we’ve met over the years: the regulars at the Bombeiros; John who invited us to gymnastic displays; Casa Velha for superb dinners; the sports bar (I don’t know the real name); the music at Artaska and many more.
At first we stayed on the car park at Silves free of charge. We were informed of a town meeting where the local people said yes to us being there. For those who decry motorhomers let me say: we emptied our toilet cassettes into the sewer via a man-hole cover; we got our water from a neighbouring village. Many of the motorhomers even kept the surrounding area clean of litter, litter produced by local youths. All of this changed when an enterprising person opened a pay aire. He was upset that he had no customers because we were all parked up for free. He complained to no avail. However, eventually he thought about it and realised “put it in writing”, then something will get done. Sure enough we were all evicted from the car park. Other aires were produced for our use; for a fee.
Most motorhomers are retirees on fixed pensions. I now have to pay 250€ a month just to be here. What this means is visiting the restaurant twice a month instead of three times a week; going out for a drink twice a week instead of 5 times a week; cutting down on grocery shopping. The banning of “wild camping” means not even a day or two away for a change. We used to love Bispo and Sagres. The owner of the site we are on is (discounting Covid changes) doing very well but at the expense of other businesses.
The final straw: Brexit. I’m not going to drive my motorhome 1500 miles to the Algarve for just 90 days. Sorry Algarve, we love you very much, but not that much. The Costa Notalotta is calling next season.