We drove down to Sagres which is the most south westerly point of Portugal and just with England’s Lands End it is a very popular place to visit. As we pulled into the car park that was going to be our stopping point for the night all we could see was a huge, modern looking castle on what looked like the cliff’s edge and on another point further across a light house that was definitely “lands end”. Elaine said that she had visited here with the family many years ago. We walked up to the castle and paid the small entrance fee. What a surprise, the castle is now abandoned and in itself, is not worth visiting. To my joy I found the headland extended a long way passed the castle and the walk all around the perimeter was well worth the couple of euros. The views over the rocks were magnificent and from the furthest point we got views of the coastline that we had just come from. As we got to the furthest point we started to see fishermen dotted all along the edge fishing in the sea way below them. I watched as one chap hauled a fish up and asked him if I could take a picture of his catch.I can only wonder how he would have dealt with something a little bigger. At the most south westerly point is the lighthouse and I had every intention of walking over to it but when we got back Elaine and I decided to drive off and try to find a nursing colleague that had moved to a place not far from where we were so all I could do was to take a picture of the lighthouse across the bay from us.
We didn’t have a phone number for Elaine’s friend And the Portuguese post code system didn’t get us to her house. We tried our best Elaine knocked on a few doors in the village but nobody could help us. We drove back down the hill and we parked up for the night in a car park behind the fish market in the lovely little town of Aljezur and we kept in touch with Tom and Jo who had stayed in the car park in Sagres.
26th, 27th, 28th February……..Odemira district.
The weather forecast was giving us dire warnings of high winds and lots of rain so we all decided that we should head for a special Eco campsite inland that we had been told about. We arrived there shortly before Tom and Jo and we both got there before the really high winds had started. The first thing we discovered was that you cannot spend money here on the camp and we were told that we had to put money onto a card for anything we wanted to spend there. The nearest I can come to describing this camp is to compare it with a Centre Parks. Amongst the facilities there is a very long outdoor and a large indoor swimming pool complete with wave machine equipment. There is a gym and a spa with a sauna, hydromassage, a steam room and a jacuzzi. You can pay for lots of activities like archery and all around the huge campsite area was a long trim trail and through the trees there was a “Go Ape” adventure trail. The very strong winds and the heavy rain arrived as expected so it was the indoor activities that were going to be of interest to us. Anne and Glyn arrived; they were the couple that we had bumped into quite a few times and they had told us about this site. on the second evening all six of us enjoyed a great meal in the huge restaurant there whilst a group entertained us with typical Portuguese music.
The wind buffeted the vans throughout the night and the next day Tom and I went off to the gym and then we all went for great swim in the large heated pool and when the wave machine was turned on then Elaine and Jo had great fun being dragged backwards and forward by the waves at the edge of the pool. Elaine and Jo went to the spa the following day which cost 12 euros a session and it was well worth every single cent according to them. Elaine now: We had been told to wear swimming caps in the spa. Just as we were about to get in we remembered we needed the caps so Jo went back to the lockers to get them. I got in the hydro pool – turned on the lounger which was immersed in the pool and got on it. Well, the force of the jets from under the bed nearly sent me flying and as I lay down my swimsuit ballooned, not only did I look 9 months pregnant but my ‘cup’ size had increased to a double E!! I laughed so loud that Jo could hear me in the locker room but thought it was kids acting about. Luckily at the time I was the only one in the hydropool. The hydromassage from the forceful water jets certainly relieved muscle tension for backs, shoulders and legs. There was a whirlpool in the large pool also. We used the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. We came away feeling relaxed after a very enjoyable and laughable session. Now back to the blog writer.
The bad weather cleared so we were to move on the following day so we had a pleasant evening with Anne and Glyn, in their van, chatting about the different places we had all visited.
We stayed inland and headed north to Evora and we parked up in a large car park just south of the town centre. Jo reluctantly took charge of the map having been persuaded to be our tour guide for the day. Once Tom had explained that it was a good idea to hold the map the right way up then she led us around the town and we did get to see most things the town had to offer. Like a lot of other places, it is fascinating to see Roman ruins in one street and Moorish influences in another like this entrance to a roof garden on top of a house in the town.
1st-3rd March….Costa de Caparica (just over the Tagus river from Lisbon)
Toll roads are prolific around Lisbon and it would be very difficult to get around Portugal’s capital city without using this sort of road. We headed off to a campsite that was on the area separated from Lisbon by the huge River Tagus and we knew we could visit the city from there by use of a bus journey and then a ferry ride.
Just before the 3 kilometer bridge we should have pulled off the motorway to get to our destination. Unlike Tom, I got it all wrong and ended up driving over the bridge and couldn’t turn round to come back over the bridge again for quite some way. Wow, was it worth it? The view over the city from up there was magnificent and I am really glad we took this diversion.
We took full use of the trees just behind the motorhomes on the camp and Tom pulled out a slackline and set it up between 2 trees. We all needed the cord tied higher up to get from one side to the other but still…..practice makes perfect.
Later on we walked down to the beach and saw that there was a really good surf going so Tom decided to forgo a visit to the city and instead take his paddle-board down to the beach.
So the next day, whilst Tom prepared his board the three of us headed off to the bus. We only just got to the ferry before it set off and I took lots of pictures of the city as we crossed the wide river.
Lisbon is a very large city with lots different areas with places to see. The three of us took the option of taking a hop on-hop off bus tour and in this way we got to see most of the tourist attractions. There are modern trams but the city still uses the very old, original tram cars.
I like to try the local foods wherever we are and at lunchtime I chose what I was told was a typical Portuguese meal. Jo and Elaine chose the same because the waiter said it was a pork, sausage, rice and vegetable meal. Elaine hated the look of it as soon as she saw it and picked at the meat rejecting the fatty parts.
We all three left the cabbage because it looked like it had been stewed for a week. Elaine went off to the loo and I turned the meat part of her meal over to see if she had left any decent meat and that is how we discovered that Elaine had been picking the meat off a pig’s trotter. Jo started laughing, fit to burst and tears were streaming from her eyes. When Elaine came back I made and excuse about why Jo was laughing so much because I was worried about her reaction if she found out what she had been eating in the restaurant. I was right considering the way she reacted when we told her.
We enjoyed the long day we had in Lisbon but it will be remembered for one thing……..Elaine with a pig’s trotter on her plate.