Day 107 – Praia da Luz to Cadiz

Packing up was just about the smoothest yet. We had only put up the Safari room, and I’d loaded the bikes the night before. The roof came down a moment after I left the upper berth. Clare took the boys to the site’s bar for breakfast and I packed the van undisturbed by boys eager to “help”.

It was probably the right decision to take the toll road along the Algarve. A pleasant and fast return to Spain.

For several days the add adblue warning had been bleeping at me, steadily ticking down from a range of 1900 Km remaining. When full, the 13 litre tank indicates a range of 9000 Km.  I cannot recall if it starts ticking down immediately, or if it stays saying that for the first few thousand Km, but once below 2000 Km range remaining, it certainly lets the driver know – every time the ignition is turned on, and every time another 100km of range is depleted.

i was prepared. While Clare went shopping with the boys in Aldi – Lagos, I found an adblue pump at a motorway service station – the Spanish side of the border. 11.5 litres went in at 75 cents per litre – the most I’ve paid so far for adblue.

The lady in the garage gave Ben a lolly and two Respol balloons, and once the ignition was on, the van showed a reassuring 9000 Km range remaining. Off we went – then horror struck. I’d forgotten to replace the adblue cap. We’d have to come off at the next junction, turn around, drive back to Portugal, turn around again, back to Spain and return to the filling station. As dad would say, “What a goof!”

So we came off at the next junction. Clare insisted I stop and check the cap. Even though I knew this would be a pointless exercise, the way she said it made me do as instructed. The cap was securely in place. I still have no recollection of putting it back, it is a complete void in my memory. I can remember taking it off; I can remember putting it on the side by the pump; I can remember it falling off the side by the pump and onto the forecourt concrete; I can remember shaking the last few drops from the adblue nozzle and fumbling with the somewhat peculiar process required to replace the nozzle under a hatch at the pump; I can remember opening the passenger door to close the flap. But I have absolutely no recollection of picking up the cap from the forecourt concrete or screwing the cap back in place.

Once on our way again I dropped the cruise control speed to 100 kph and relaxed. Dropping speed from 120 kph to 100 kph improves indicated fuel economy by about 30%. At a steady 120 the display shows an average of about 10.5 km per litre, at 100 about 13.5 km per litre. At 90 kph it is even better, but at that speed I get the big trucks overtaking me. 100 kph (62.5 mph) is my preferred motorway speed.

We arrived at the campsite at 5.30 pm. It has none of the holiday buzz of the previous place – and although the temperature is high 20s the pool is closed. It is, however, right on the beach. We will explore tomorrow. And tomorrow my parents arrive for a week in a bungalow on the same site, or moving elsewhere if we have had enough of this campsite.

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