K and A's road trip

Retired professionals wishing to see a little more of the world at home and abroad
Living in: South Wonston, United Kingdom
  • Day143


    October 14 in Portugal

    Travelled here after the storm through areas which had seen much damage,.Many trees down and power lines too. We thought this coastal site mayhave seen some damage but other than a few small branches not much had been sustained.
    We set up, met up with Mike and Kerry who we had previously noticed in St Vicente and enjoyed a coffee with them. We then walked to the Norte beach - famous for its surfing waves and up to Sitio above at the top of the cliff. The sea was pretty spectacular but no surfers out - the big wave season runs through winter.
    We had our first morning of rain for some time so we set off to have a look around somof the surrounding area. The church at Alcobaca attached to the monanstry is spectacular and the town overlooked by an old castle which we walked up to.
    Caldas da Rainha an old spa town.
    Sao Martinho do Porto where in the afternoon we walked along the beach in sunshine.
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  • Day141


    October 12 in Portugal

    We visited the old city of Coimbra on our way to our next stop at an inland site near a town called Lourical.
    Coimbra is the old capital Portugal prior to it being moved to Lisbon after the unifiication of the north and south. It houses Portugals most revered University which is located on a hill overlooking the city. There are two cathedrals - and old one and a new one which was built in the 17th century as well as a plethora of churces.
    We flexed our muscles climbing to the top of the university campus prior to descending to have lunch at a nice tavera in a square below. We then reclimbed the hill to view the botanical gardens which is part of the university estate.
    We arrived at our site in late afternoon and were welcomed by a charming dutch owner. The site was lovely set amongst pine tees and mimosas with geese and hens roaming around and with local produce on sale.
    We drove nto Figueria da Foz the following day where there was a very good covered market where we stocked up. We then wandered along the beach to more sheltered beach at the next town where we lay in the sun for a couple of hours.
    On ourreturn to the site we were urged by the owner to change our pitch as he was concerned about weather warnings. Thankfully we took his advice - at 10.00pm for a period of about 15 minutes very stong winds came through. In the morning 73 trees on the site had been brought down including many if not all of the mimosas. Our previous pitch was covered in fallen branches and debris.
    This site is a returner
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  • Day139


    October 10 in Portugal

    We met up with Alison and Russel who had been touring Portugal for a few weeks at a site very close to Aveiro. On the way we had a look at the hgher reaches of the Duoro where many of the larger Port houses are based. The route to Pinhao was along the river bank and gives a great impression of the scale of the vineyards in this area. Bought a bottle of Calem port at 50% of cost in Gaia where we toured the caves.
    We had two very enjyable evenings with A and R. Russel had perfected the art of the Sea bass open bbq and was generous enough to pass the technique on. The bass was so good we had it for both nights. We had sun downers at a beach bar prior to the evening meals in a quite windy foreshore.
    We had a look at Aviero and the colourful houses at Casa Nova where we walked along the beach. The young girl at the Tourist Information in Aviedo was rather les enthsiastic than our lady in Lamego.
    Aviedo has canals which appears to be its main attraction we didn't stay long.
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  • Day137


    October 8 in Portugal

    We travelled up the Duoro river through vineyards carved into the sides of the valley. The Duoro is quite beautiful and we climbed up high to see some splendid views of it. THere were a few river cruise boats on it as the river is navigable as far as the Spanish border. We reached the beautiful town Lamego and then climbed up and up and up to reach the campsite we were planning on staying at for the next 2 nights. A first gear job to reach the top! What a find! The campsite is situated overlooking the town and is next to a winery that produces fizzy wine. Say no more!!!!!!! We received a very warm welcome at the site from the owner. Not many pitches, and they quickly filled up after our arrival. Fleeces were needed in the evening. Next day we wandered from the back of the site along to a shrine overlooking the town, 689 steps up. We walked down the steps and explored the town, seeking out the castle up winding steep narrow streets. The lady in the information office was so enthusiastic and helpful, and gave us so many things to see - many of them chapels and churches- we did not look at all of them! For lunch we had a sandwich and glass of fizzy wine for 4 euros! Don't usually drink during the week, but we were in a place where the wine is made, so had to be done!!!! After clambering back up the 689steps we visited the winery next to our campsite. Were shown round the winery and saw the 1000s of bottles stored in the cellars. Paradise!! Only the 2 of us and a couple from Denmark on the tour. Of course, we had to taste the wine after seeing how it was made.Read more

  • Day134


    October 5 in Portugal

    We stayed at a site 8k from the city for three nights. Plenty of space for us to pitch up.
    On arrival we had a walk down to the beach in the evening to walk along the coast path - many more pilgrims on their way to Santiago. We made it to a bar and each had a vey full glass of local wine which was very pleasant. We were taken aback at the cost when we left - 2 euro total - our faces must have been a picture to the bar man.
    Took the bus into Porto - again well priced at 1.60 euro each for a 1 hour journey - along the coast and into the city. It is a city which is a world heritage site and we can see why, we very much enjoyed walking around up the many hills, over the historic bridges and mooching in the old city. We took a Port cellar tour (Calem)and sampled some of Porto's finest on the other side of the river
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  • Day133

    Viana de Castelo

    October 4 in Portugal

    We travelled south out of Spain through beautiful scenery, stopping in Pontevedra, a very elegant town to refuel and stock up prior to entering Portugal.
    We had an overnight stop at a Camperstop motorhome site adjacent to the marina and a famous Eiffel rail and road bridge in this large town on the Limia river.
    The town a short walk away was very interesting with an old historical section.
    Trying to get to grips with the auto toll system on some of the Portugese motorways. Apparently we will be able to set up payment for the electronic tolls at the first service station on the motorway. Because we stopped so far north in Portugal we had not yet reached this point. Hopefully tomorrow it will be resolved, as we only have 5 days to pay any charges before being fined!!!Read more

  • Day129


    September 30 in Spain

    A wonderful seaside location where we stayed for 4 nights taking in the views during the day and walking on the beach each evening. We arrived in mist and thought we might move on quickly but it lifted quickly and the beauty of the place became apparent. The site was almost full when we ariived, but a large group of Dutch campers were leaving the next day. As they left we moved Hazel onto a pitch right next to the beach, an idyllic location. As ever there were all nationalities on the site, including many British vans and cars. Several Yorkshire couples on the site, who we chatted to.One elderly couple were staying in a very small van with an awning, and clearly travel regularly to Spain.
    We replaced Karen's faulty gear shifter cable and cycled off around the coast road for a look at two of the local lighthouses and found more great beaches.
    Great bar overlooking the bay where we watched a pod of dolphins hunting and playing in front of us. The dolphins put on quite a show for us, swimming back and forth and leaping into the air at intervals. Great!!!!! A definite place to return to sometime.
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  • Day128

    Santiago de Compostela

    September 29 in Spain

    Travelled over the mountains through mist rising above the clouds into bright sunshine before descending back into the mist. Met up again with Sue and Neill, who had saved us a pitch opposite them.
    Santiago was very busy with pilgrims who travel to the cathedral by foot and cycles from all over. Many had travelled the length of the north coast on the Camino de Santiago which is a path that we have crossed many times on the way.
    We took a tour on the noddy train but the cobbled streets made the commentary very difficult to hear. A beautiful city, with a buzzing vibe.
    We enjoyed a nice meal in one of the plaza restaurants, chatting to 2 women from Canada on the next table who had walked some of the route. They were both clearly enthused about their experiences, and were planning on attending the pilgrim's mass in the cathedral later that evening.
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  • Day127


    September 28 in Spain

    Stayed on a nice site next to the beach. However a mist had come down as we arrived, and it did not lift for two days. We met up again with a couple from New Zealand, Neill and Sue. We first met them on our visit to Gaudi's house in Comillas. Once they found out of our intention to visit NZ in February they were keen to give us advice of places to see and visit. They are spending 6 months travelling in Europe, and have bought a brand new motor home to export to NZ when they have finished here.
    We came to see the Cathedral beach, which has spectacular rock formations and can only be accessed at low tide. Luckily for us low tide was at 1 pm, so we cycled along the coast to do the visit. Well worth the effort. The beach is spectacular even through the mist.
    Later in the afternoon A took a ride along the coast and K did some sewing.
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  • Day123

    San Vicente de la Barquera

    September 24 in Spain

    Travelled along the coast through magnificent countryside - Switzerland by the sea.
    The coast road is a good one and we made great time so got there early afternoon.
    We walked to Comillas town through the nature reserve for a mooch.Big fish feeding on fly in the river mouth as we walked along.
    There is a great early Gaudi house (El Caprichio) there which we cycled back to the following day so we could catch english speaking tour. Well worth the effort. we then cycled the coast road to San Vicente which was very hilly and enjoyed a look round the town which is on a beautuful river mouth. Fortified ourselves with a lunch to face the hilly ride back.
    Wednesday was a beach day on a very underpopulated beach with very soft sand a short walk from our site.
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