|Date||28 - 30th September 2018|
|Venue||Figueira da Foz, Coimbra, Portugal|
|Players||Hamster, Baron, Little Dave, Ricktion, HammerTime, MrP, Rocket, Silent BOB, Gibbo, Juice|
|Hangers on||Jim Warped, Daniel (Hostile Intentions), Lima Bravo, Mandy, Jenna|
|Result||Win / Win|
As per usual, Rick's workhorse transit was the preferred method to transport the gear from the UK to Portuguese shores. This is a solid 24 drive, so the plan is was to leave early, take plenty of stops at along the way, and to soak up some culture.
First stop: visiting family in France. The yearly visit involved enjoying the Normandy culture, which is primarily poverty, farming and cider. Normandy is effectively the West Country, except there's less Tories and a bustling sexism and racism scene.
After a few days of avoiding dodgy meat and people who think that MTV is the newest thing for the kids, it was time to move on.
Reiner from Lima Bravo was also doing the drive this year, and the logical place to meet was at the pinch point between France and Spain. This is, conveniently enough, the surf/party town of Biarritz. It is a top town, with bars, decent food and is a decent place to unwind after a 9 hour drive. After finding each other and locating a campsite to stay in, it was time for some hard earned food and a few beers.
The next day was business time. We needed to get a shift on, as the next time to stay was in Porto. For those of you who have been to Spain before, there are three main parts. The cities would be the most familiar, which are your usual European affair. The second is the mountain regions.
This is the best Spain has to offer.. amazing views, beautiful vista, micro-climates and awesome driving. After 2 hours of traversing the Pyrenees, the roads settle down to the final part of Spain; boring trucker filled desert. For a dull 6 hour drive, you face straight roads surrounded by scorched earth and serial killer style motorway services.
Eventually the drive starts to hit hills, and it was time to enter Portugal. The main motorways followed, which lead us through the mountains to Porto.
Rocket and Mandy had already flown in to stay with family, so the next morning we met up. We spent a day waiting for the rest of UE to show up, enjoying the harbour, and rinsing the local shops for cheap booze and tat souvenirs. It was soon time to pick up the crew, who all piled in, and we drove the 2 hours to Figueira da Foz.
Immediately we went to the pub, where a drunk Dutch man was waiting for us. Many beers were drunk and bollocks was spoken in various languages, mainly concentrating how cool we all were. We felt very cultured, and that's because we don't know any better.
This was the standard Portugal Vs rest of the world scenario. Weirdly for this one, the Rest of the World team was ready before the Portuguese team, and it started on time. There were 3 objectives to hold for 30 mins each. The home team had an easy run down a road to everyone, while those pesky foreigners had to slog it through some thick bush (and not in good way either).
Predictably the home won by quite a margin, but that's what is supposed to happen isn't it?
We did the usual T-Shirt give away, with the locals lapping up our incredible fashion items. Did you know that some of us have been cover stars for Cosmopolitan?
No, wait. We were drunk on Cosmopolitans when we designed it. That's right..
Saturday Night Party
This year, the party was run by the local scouts and had a free bar. What could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out, not a lot. The party did take place a good 30mins from where anybody was staying, in some local council club/working men's club style location. It was in the sticks, but it didn't matter. But fair is fair - the food was wholesome and turned up in short order. After a chow down, our thoughts turned to the free bar. Predictably, and after a good effort from all, they ran out of the two pallets of beer within an hour. Lucky there was a bar/nightclub next door... However, on closer inspection, this was simply the another room of the same building.
Supposedly they had security on the door checking we all had tickets but the 'door staff' had an average height of 5 foot, which was a little funny given that a typical UE player is a 6'6”, with many having cover starred on Men's Fitness.
Sorry. Men's Fatness... typo there.
After the doorstaff and locals looked scared, we all bought them a beer and our diplomatic immunity was restored.
A band came on, with some of the teams/organisers taking part. The party literally started and we were ready to get involved! We got so involved, that we left and went back to town to continue drinking somewhere more lonely as all that fun seemed a bit too loud for us.
Thankfully, we were on the main drag which was busy and party central. Most of us had a few more drinks retiring at a sensible time. However, several members of UE went on a side mission to liberate their wallets of money and some were not seen until 7am the next morning. However, as team rules dictate, all but one made it to the game the next day mentioning no names 'Daniel for hostile Intentions'.
This game was a strategic 4 hours of pitch battles. UE were given the job of looking after a central timer, which we held for most of the day. We got kicked off a few times, but some clever counter attacking got it back after hard fighting. In the quieter times we also managed to take the enemy timer too. Play of the game goes to MrP & Hamster who managed to get round the back and sneak in.
This year the terrain was great with no major hills and for Portugal that's a rare thing. There were a few mounds of 5m or so high for cover and objectives, and with the appropriate foliage we had little trouble getting around.
A quality game this year - well done to all at Paintugal!