The TB Rattler was up early doors and thought to add his wheezing, hacking and coughing to the early morning chorus of cockerels, scabby dogs, bee eaters/pigeons and praying catholics. Quick breckers of local bread made from ground up scurf bushes, then Christine and CJ arrived sans Mad Bob who was stuffing a mixture of tacks, broken glass and fishing weights into his blunderbuss in case any fergals made some cheeky moves towards his chicken coop.
Then off to Torres Novas, home of the body bag, for carbide and a monster food shop. Left the Webb brothers baking in the sun by the pool, picking at each others lice. Tabbed round numerous hardware shops until we struck gold and a hick sold us 5 kilos of carbide in a cardboard box. However, on route we lost TB Bloom, probably taken in by the local rozzers under the vagrancy act. Got spanked for shorts and sunnies in the local caving/designer gear shop (Is John Smiths a top make?), then off the local Modelo, a local supermarket for those interested in stocking up on vast quantities of salted cod and fire cheese. Blew £100 on lard, crisps, chocy, red wine at 75p per bottle and shag all else.
Back in town we found we had gained CJ for the day and sadly Bloomster as well, so back to Beard HQ for a quick lunch and out into scurf country for some caving (bugger)
"Scurf, scurf everywhere, and not a cave in sight." After a tough morning sorting out the ranch, defending our beer from local hicks and fighting off the bee-eaters we ventured out in search of caves. Armed with a map and GPS we went forth. Tigers 1 and 2 on point, Tigers 3, 3a and Bloomster as wing men.We homed in on our attack point: a small pine forest on the side of a hill, just outside the village. We weren't sure what village, which village, or even if there was a village at all, but the GPS was king. Abandoning the cars as the rutted track turned into something a four-track would have struggled with, we set off on foot. Homing-in, or so we thought. We approached the pine plantation in a classic pincer movement, fighting scurf off at every turn, and took the entire wood by surprise. Actually our surprise, as the cave was nowhere to be seen. Bollox.
Three hours later, much blood shed in minor skirmishes with scurf, all we had found was a trig-point and a minor piss stinking resurgence. We should have known better then to trust the French!!!!..
On the plus side, Dave managed to attract the entire tick population of Portugal and store them in his shorts, keeping them for later me-thinks. We managed to take CJ home without letting him soil our pool (how unhappy was he) and we managed to avoid a night drinking with Bob (how happy were we !)
Andy cooked us some gash. It was ok, which is more than can be said about the wine. It comes to something when the complimentary wine on arrival is better than the stuff you bought in the supermarket. Spending more than 3 escudos might be wise next time, at least 4 ! The port was excellent though (£4 a bottle!). (Ed note: The madness behind the purchasing of cheap red wine is discussed later, keep on reading!)
Further drunken madness on another evening (AP)
Oh, we met Pearshape in Torres Novas, he looked very well and told us of the fun he has been having recently, as featured in the Times "Creature" Section: