In Faro Animalcouriers met up with Nuno and his dog Zigg. Nuno’s girlfriend has already moved to London, and now it’s Zigg’s turn to make the journey. Nuno will follow on soon. Both Nuno and his girlfriend are moving for work.

We were pleased to have the chance to call in on Heather and Alan, old friends of ours who run Barking Mad Kennels near Lagos. They’ve been looking after Rikki, a holiday romance for Sandy. Sandy found stray Rikki while on holiday in the area — she’d been injured in an accident. Sandy decided to adopt Rikki, and asked Heather and Alan to look after her until she was well enough to travel, and her passport was ready.

We enjoyed a real treat that evening, when we joined Heather and Alan for a meal at a little local bar-restaurant — not at all the sort of place you’d usually stumble on as a tourist. It was in the delightfully unspoilt village of Barao, which has become a popular haunt for a community of arty folk. As a result, various murals, statues and other artworks have popped up around the village. The restaurant served an inexpensive, delicious meal which included fishy starters and a main course of wild boar and beans, rather like a cassoulet. The experience gave us an interesting insight into Portuguese village life.

While in the Algarve we collected Yellow Lab Shelley, who belongs to Louise and her daughter Rebecca. Originally from Belfast, they’re now leaving the Algarve, as Rebecca has a place at Loughborough university to study sport. Rebecca is very excited about going back to the UK. Shelley being a Labrador is calmly taking it all in her stride.

We then crossed the border into Spain, where we hooked up with Lorna at the La Canada shopping centre in Marbella. Her Poodle Louis is a frequent Animalcouriers traveller, but usually goes by air. This is his first road trip with us. So far, he seems to be enjoying it.

Zigg in the arms of Nuno

Zigg in the arms of Nuno

Zigg looks out from his bedroom

Zigg looks out from his bedroom

Zigg is a lively fellow, who likes to think he's in charge of everything that goes on in the dog area of our van!

Zigg is a lively fellow, who likes to think he’s in charge of everything that goes on in the dog area of our van!

He's also a very affectionate hound who loves a cuddle

He’s also a very affectionate hound who loves a cuddle

 Heather from Barking Mad Kennels with her dog Pixie. Heather rescued Pixie after an accident, had her patched up, and decided to keep her. Then last year Pixie ate one (or more) of those terrible caterpillars and nearly died. She spent three days on a drip with a swollen tongue, but fortunately recovered and is once more in perfect health.

Heather from Barking Mad Kennels with her dog Pixie. Heather rescued Pixie after an accident, had her patched up, and decided to keep her. Then last year Pixie ate one (or more) of those terrible caterpillars and nearly died. She spent three days on a drip with a swollen tongue, but fortunately recovered and is once more in perfect health.

Heather with our passenger Molly, who belongs to Fran

Heather with our passenger Molly, who belongs to Fran

Heather and Alan with Rikki, who's had the good fortune to be adopted by Sandy in the UK

Heather and Alan with Rikki, who’s had the good fortune to be adopted by Sandy in the UK

Rikki walks beautifully on the lead

Rikki walks beautifully on the lead

We stayed at a very nice guesthouse in Barao, Lagos, called Monte Rosa. We enjoyed watching the resident hens enjoying their breakfast, not long after we'd enjoyed our own breakfast of fresh eggs.

We stayed at a very nice guesthouse in Barao, Lagos, called Monte Rosa. We enjoyed watching the resident hens enjoying their breakfast, not long after we’d enjoyed our own breakfast of fresh eggs.

The doorway to the little restaurant in Barao where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner

The doorway to the little restaurant in Barao where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner

One of the murals in Barao — a bit whimsical maybe but does give a sense of the overall feel of the place

One of the murals in Barao — a bit whimsical maybe but does give a sense of the overall feel of the place

Out on the tiles! Another interesting artwork in Barao! Perhaps the sculptor intended it as a warning to cat owners to have their pets neutered! If so, it hasn't worked, judging by the number of cats we saw in the village.

Out on the tiles! Another interesting artwork in Barao! Perhaps the sculptor intended it as a warning to cat owners to have their pets neutered! If so, it hasn’t worked, judging by the number of cats we saw in the village.

Louise and Rebecca with their lovely Lab Shelley

Louise and Rebecca with their lovely Lab Shelley

The mark on Shelley's back is a tick wound. Many people don't realise how serious these can be for dogs, so it's a good job her owners realised what had happened. Shelley's on antibiotics, supplemented by cream. Being a Lab, it's not affecting her appetite at all!

The mark on Shelley’s back is a tick wound. Many people don’t realise how serious these can be for dogs, so it’s a good job her owners realised what had happened. Shelley’s on antibiotics, supplemented by cream. Being a Lab, it’s not affecting her appetite at all!

Evidence of our final egg custard tart opportunity before leaving Portugal

Evidence of our final egg custard tart opportunity before leaving Portugal

Louis gets a goodbye hug from Lorna

Louis gets a goodbye hug from Lorna

Gentle Louis enjoying his morning walk

Gentle Louis enjoying his morning walk