A bit of tranquility … 6/1/15

Where does time go? We have spent the last few days not moving very far, but enjoying some beautiful scenery and making the most of the weather which on Friday and over the weekend was getting up to 16 / 17 degrees during the day and only going down to about 7 degrees overnight – perfect.

Whilst in Batalha we met an English couple who recommended that we visited a tranquil little reservoir called Barragem de Pego do Altar, so whilst in the area we thought we would stop by for a night, it was definitely beautiful and tranquil….

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As it is still Christmas holidays we joined a selection of other motorhomes who were also seeking out tranquillity …. a handful of Brits, Germans, Dutch, a couple of French and a couple of handfuls of Portuguese. It is apparently one of those places that people keep going back to year after year and has built up a bit of a reputation within the motorhome community. Unfortunately, despite being a beautiful and tranquil place in the middle of nowhere, you couldn’t walk very far unless you wanted to walk on the roads, so that – and slightly too many motorhomes in a reasonably small area for our liking – led us to take the decision to only stay one night and move back towards the coast to a little town called Porto Covo.

Porto Covo is a small Portuguese holiday town with good surf which meant that it had lots of car parks along the cliffs. Although there is an Aire in the center, it was busy and not particularly attractive so we parked up in a car park just at the edge of the town where there were a handful of other motorhomes and stayed for three nights. The sun sets were beautiful and there were two long ‘trails’ that start in Porto Covo, one for walking only (fishermans trail – running 120+km) and the other for walking/cycling (Historic Trail – running 200+km). So we relaxed, walked and ate – enjoying a lovely traditional Portuguese dish called ‘Arroz de Tamboril’ (monkfish and rice stew, although this version had prawns and a couple of clams thrown in as well).

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The restaurant we found was actually a patisserie and the guy serving us was the butcher – a bit of an odd combination, but we happened to have bought some Morcilla (Black pudding) and Farinata (Spiced pork fat and flour sausage) from him earlier the same morning, so we can only assume that his wife ran the Patisserie/Restaurant and he, the butchers. Despite not eating any meat from the menu, the food was delicious from the ‘Chocos’ (Squid), through to dessert 🙂

Needing to move the motorhome to empty and refill, we continued along the road towards the Algarve where we are still uncertain as to what we will find and whether we will like it. But for now we have stopped in in Aljezur for the night where we are preparing ourselves for the last 40km or so when we will hit the southern coast of Portugal. The town itself has a castle dating back to the early 11th Century (although there is proof of artefacts dating back to the iron age) and it used to be the only ‘safe’ Port between Lisbon and Sagres, but as it is no longer on water (the river appears to have dried up) and judging by the traffic passing through it, it looks like the main attraction is a stop off point before you get to the Algarve coast…

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