September 2017
  • Day21

    PEI to Portugal

    September 24, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Well after the excitement of Sat.Pauli and I thought we'd have a day of rest,but No.Our faithful tour guide Steve had a final destination to take us to The magnificent monastery of Batalha.Nicola wasn't feeling well so she stayed behind. So off we go in Stumpy again.It was actually amazing to see on the hillsides how fast the eucalyptus was growing after the fires. Like a bad weed.It burns way too fast as well,which didn't help in the spring fires.
    Batalha monastery was founded by King Joao in 1386 following a vow he made to the Virgin Mary after the Portugese victory in the Battle of Aljubarratu. It is truly a magnificent structure. Built from solid rock into multiple forms,it made us feel like we were visitors on another planet.The roofless mausoleum holds seven chapels built but not finished in 1437.It is truly a site to see with dramatic views open to the sky above.
    Following our visit there,and after a nice cold beer,we headed out to see Fatima
    Needless to say ,another adventure.
    On our way there we began to meet the occassionally motorbike on the freeway.Then more and more bikes were meeting us.Well it turns out in central Portugal every weekend bikers go on a daytrip to a specified site.This Sunday it was Fatima. By the time we entered the city we couldn't move. There were literally thousands of bikers everywhere. Every parking lot,every side street was loud,crazy,littered with bikes.And,bicycles with support vehicles were fighting for road space.We couldn't move. They were passing each other helter skelter all over the place.It was Nuts!!Get me out of here .So we just glimpsed Fatima as we made our escape through side streets and out of the way country roads.Thank heavens Steve knew his way around .Again more drinks when we finally got home.We picked up Fatima souvenirs at a tourist shop in town
    After all these adventures it was time to head home We hugged the doggies goodbye.Steve and Nicola bundled us into Stumpy and off we go to Lisbon airport. With big hugs and promises to return someday we took off for our Canada and our sweet doggie.
    Our friends who came to look after Geisha had gone back to YYC and our Island friends Karen and Scott had taken over doggie duty.
    It was the trip of a lifetime and we cherished every moment with our dear friends and their new friends and family in Pedrogao Grande .Thank you so much Nicola and Steve.We love and miss our buddies.
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  • Day20

    PEI to Portugal

    September 23, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Sat.Sept 23 Steve and Nicola were to arrive home late night from Scotland,so we thought we'd make a hot meal for their return
    Well it was stinking hot and we walked all over the village looking for ingredients for a cajun chicken and sausage stew.No small feat as I'm sure there is no Portugese word for cajun or chorizo sausage.But with dogged determination we carried on. Our bags were full when we finally reached the house and OMG, we were locked out!!! This place is huge with 8-10 foot walls.What the hell.Steve has showed Pauli where the hidden key was in the side entrance but we couldn't reach it.A neighbor was hanging out her window and saw our distress, but all she could do was laugh at us.Finally another senior neighbor came along.Well with flapping our arms to make it look like an airplane and mimicking climbing up a ladder the neighbor understood we needed help.She got her husband who grabbed a ladder and put it up against the side entrance toward a balcony. He then proceeded to gesture to Pauli that she should climb up and over this balcony to go down to the side gate and find the spare key and away we go.Well Pauli scrambled up that ladder as fast as a monkey. However,when she reached the top there were very long,sharp spikes pointing straight up to heaven. No doubt to deter the Moors from ambush. Poor Pauli didn't have legs quite long enough and just about lost her "unmentionables " on her brave attempt to rescue our dinner from melting and the doggies from starving. Indeed,it would have been embarrassing to be found sitting outside at 1AM when the owners arrived home..So Pauli finally got "a leg up" and got down to the side gate to unlock the iron gate.But No,no deal.She couldn't find the key.Well the neighbor and her could do nothing but laugh at this point as it looked like Pauli was locked inside the entrance,as,of course, we had locked the side door.
    So now the neighbor man goes to get a second ladder.He now puts one ladder up against the side car entrance and pulls the second ladder up and over the "did I mention", the 10 foot iron gate.Now he wants me to go up and over and down the other ladder into the yard.Did I mention also there are 2 very large dogs in the yard.Thank God they know my scent or I would have been cat food. So I finally get a key to unlock the main door and guess what. The friggin thing wasn't even locked-its just a bitch to open.So help me God,we drank that night!!! We were temped to break into Steve's sacred whiskey stash.It took us a few laughs to explain all this to Steve and Nicola.
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  • Day18

    PEI to Portugal

    September 21, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    As Nicola and Steve were away,we were doggie sitting.So we wore them out again playing in the yard.Then Pauli and I went for a walk around the village and picked up some chicken and chips for dinner The next day ,Sept.22,we lounged in the pool before heading out to visit Tia Maria.This senior has her little tavern in the basement of her home.Tia is early 80's and still going strong. The locals hang out in her place so we met some very colorful characters and due to a language barrier we had some laughs trying to understanding each other. Tia Maria makes a "wicked" drink she is famous for. She mixes beer,red wine,7up and sugar and my god,it will just about kill you.Pauli can attest to that!!!Just about didn't make it homeRead more

  • Day16

    PEI to Portugal

    September 19, 2017 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    I am going to backtrack here as it is now Nov. and Portugal is long past,but I have been busy.Lets pick up about Sept 19 when once again we packed up Stumpy - the car - and headed to Tomar. This magnificent castle was founded in 1160 as the headquarters of the Order of the Knights Templar and absorbed a part of the Muslim settlement dating from 9th- 12th century.Walking around this castle I had such a sense of peace -it was almost like you could here monks chanting. Truly a beautiful place.
    The next day we traveled to Serra to have lunch at a certain restaurant but we couldn't find it.What we did find was amazing.We accidently came upon Rio de Viete-the ecological center of Portugal.Located high atop a hill this facility boasts beautiful scenic views of the surrounding countryside smack dab in the middle of this country.There are hiking paths all around and indeed Steve and Nicola were thrilled to find this spot as it would be a great place to take adventurous guests to hike and sit and watch a sunset
    Following this stop we came upon a quirky little Portuguese restaurant which did a buffet - totally different for all of us.I got to pour my own "all you want beer" - a novelty indeed.However,the Vinho tintos de casa- is always best! This spot is also a family park and the owners are creative indeed as every old tire and piece of metal was shaped into some crazy creature like zoo animals,chairs and swings. Not quite as historical as the other sites we saw.
    Crazy Steve loves to play dress up .
    That night we enjoyed a great dinner Portugese style which Nicola whipped up.The locals bake absolutely delicious bread,and Nicola makes great jams,jellies ,hot sauces and ice cream.So we never had to scramble for something to put on the table.Nicola's pantry is full.
    Later that night Steve and Nicola flew to Scotland to attend the funeral of a dear friend.We volunteered to doggie sit but we weren't allowed to walk those furry beasts as they could pull us all over the village.Instead we played with them in the yard till the heat sent them inside,and at which time we enjoyed a cold beer.
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