Quinta do Bomfim

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    • Day 8

      Duoro Valley

      May 19 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      The Duoro Valley blew away all expectations. Beautiful hillsides of grape vines, a snaking river through the valley and wineries that have been producing wine for 2 thousand years! It is the smallest of the wine regions in Portugal and is the only place in the world Port wine can be made!

      We booked a wine tour through Get Your Guide. We wanted to find a tour that would be less busy as often large tour buses will bring tourists out to this region. Our day started out with the 1.5 hour drive to the Duoro Valley. As we got close to the region, we began seeing the amazing sloped vineyards. Before visiting our first vineyard we hopped on a small boat and cruised down the Duoro River. It was a great way to see some of the wineries and how expansive the wine region is while enjoying sparkling wine from here! Our first winery was Quinta do Beijo - we tried a few table wines and 2 port wines. Kevin also had a chance to see what the inside of one of the wine barrels looked like! They explained, sentiment builds up in the barrels and someone’s job is to chisel it off so they can continue to be used.

      The second winery we went to was situated high up on the hillside with a beautiful view of the valley. They also had 3 dogs! After tasting a few wines, we had lunch here! I had the most delicious cod with potatoes and eggs and Kevin had braised beef with roasted veg. There were also many delicious tapas shared with the table. The wine did not stop pouring!

      Most of the tour guides were either friends or family of the wineries which made for a family/community feel. We also had a couple friends join us for the tour which made for a very fun day!
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    • Day 4

      Day 3 - Pinhão, Alijo, Portugal

      September 1, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 31 °C

      So today was quite interesting! It started off with an uber trip to the train station to head to Douro valley for the day. The train ride was 3.5 hours each way which makes for a long day. The scenery however is absolutely beautiful. One of the most picturesque in Europe they say.

      So the winery I wanted to go visit Quinta de Bomfim was in a little village named Pinhao. I some how missed that and ended up in Pocinhos, 1 hour away. Apparently I wasn't the only one going to the wrong place; these two Romanian girls had also missed their stop. After realizing the next train back to Pinhao wasn't passing until 2.5 hours we decided to try to hitch hike and ask locals for a ride. Not enough that we all had language barriers but locals were looking at us like we were crazy. Apparently no one from that village goes to Pinhao. Ever. Oh well. A few hours went by with absolutely nothing to do and we were back on the train 2.5 hours later. To my surprise my missing my train turned into quite a nice encounter. This man noticed my shell on my bag and said oh you're walking the camino! One thing led to another we ended up talking the entire way back to my stop in Pinaha. He gave me tips about what to do, what not to do on the trail and the most beautiful life advice. " You do not come to Portugal with Canada in mind, or else youre not truly travellig. You don't shed a tear from the past or plan for the future - you only live in the present moment".

      Needless to say missing my winery tour and running into this wise man was probably meant to happen. We said goodbye and he drew a cross on my forehead and wished me a buen camino. I assume that was some sort of act of blessing.

      In Pinaho finally! I get to visit my winery! I missed the tour but get to enjoy the beautiful terrace with a glass of red wine and a glass of port (I have to taste both of their selections, right? 😂). These two Italian boys sitting next to me start asking me if I'm travelling alone. I tell them I am. They asked me why and I responded that I needed to do this at this point in my life. Their reaction surprised me. They said that I was very courageous for doing that and that they wished they had the guts to do that. Coming from a 25 year old guy who moved from Italy to live in Portugal for a year! Ide say that was quite the compliment! They gave me tips about where to visit next, we talked travels and countries and I headed off to catch my train back to Porto for tonight.

      First night spent in a hostel - please no one snore! Please.

      Camino day 1 starts tomorrow! I'm excited! And also found out there is bag carrying service from town to town should I get tired of hauling this 20 pound backpack around. Now that's good news! Let's see if I'll need to use it.
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