There are two thousand and one hundred kilometres between the Tramstraat in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and Camping O Tamanco in the small Portuguese village of Outeiro do Louriçal. These 2,100 kilometres form the transition from busy and hectic city life to the calm, almost serene life in rural Portugal. Until September 1998 Hans en Irene lived in the Tramstraat. They then became the proud owners of O Tamanco.
Hans originates from Groot Ammers, halfway between Rotterdam and Utrecht, and has many years of experience as an allround chef. Irene was born in Someren. They met in Schoonhoven, where Irene trained to be a gold/silversmith.
In an old VW campervan with little more than a rough plan to start a beach-bar, we drove down to Portugal in the Spring of 1998, under the impression that life over there would be simple, orderly and most of all less hectic. We only wanted to run a small beach-bar. Somewhere on the West coast and we were very taken with Figueira da Foz. But the local authorities did not share our enthusiasm. They were busy making plans for the redevelopment of the coastal strip. They told us to come back in a couple of years when their own plans had come to fruition.
Back home Hans told his parents about our dream. They also became very excited, especially his father, Dries. They produced a newspaper ad for a campsite for sale in Portugal – O Tamanco. So it was sheer coincidence that we ended up in Outeiro do Louriçal, near Figueira da Foz.
Over the years we have tried to give our campsite its own identity, which is very different from the chaotic beach campsites where you trip over the numerous tent pegs.
The campsite is set up spaciously and the vegetation provides plenty of variety: figs, mimosa, bougainvillea, fruit trees, cacti, etc. A swimming pool is nestled in the greenery.
And last but not least: “A Cantina”, a small bar/restaurant where Hans prepares delicious dishes from the Iberian cuisine.
In The Netherlands:
Senior member of the Dutch Tamanco Promotion Team.
Dries is responsible for all of Tamanco’s maintenance. From simple things like changing a light bulb, to dealing with drainage, paving, planting, landscaping and maintaining the swimming pool. He can do it all. The campsite is small-scale so all team members help each other.