654 – Saturday 11th March 2016: Lost a Day in Porto
Afurdada is a sort of suburb of Gaia – but only a few kilometres from Porto and the Louis 1 bridge – and very near our parking. A leisurely stroll for us – public communal laundry building and very public washing lines! Coffee – of course… and sunshine.
England won – the same thrashing we reported on the wrong day – it doesn’t mean they won twice! Ireland awaits next week…..
655-656 – Sunday 12th & Monday13th March: Vila do Conde
Adieu to Porto, for now…we will be back. Our favourite city in Portugal. On to Villa do Conde – 50+ motorhomes on a very windy free seaside parking – rocking and rolling. Windy walk – any of our cobwebs blown to America, probably. We moved Jez to a much more sheltered car park just away from the sea – but no rocking now. The Portuguese motorhomes largely emptied out … a weekend only excursion for them!
Town perambulation – huge monastery – supposed to be a future conversion to a Pousada – no sign of this happening… Lunch – with(?) no vino – two meals with drinks, soup – for £7.50! Lidl shopping – we like VilldoCondeburgh for relaxing, but very little happening or to see on a Monday.
Our sheltered car parking for two nights.
View along the river up to the once Monastery. Used for some years as a reformatory for unruly boys … a bit smart for them surely!
Lots of life sized statues, quite recent.
Vila do Conde is also well known for its bobbin lace making. We visited the museum in Peniche to see samples of work. Lace making earned monty whilst men out fishing.
999 arches on the viaduct to the Monastery … we did not verify the number … we had better things to do ….
… such as non alcoholic lunch!
657 – Tuesday 14th March
Pont de Lima – turned out to be a stunning little town – we could buy a very decent house here for <£250k….. thinking about it. Definitely requires further investigation.
A lovely free parking beside the river and brand new services – just one other van for company – plenty of Oscar walking space. We met a young Dutch back packer cyclist with a young German girl for company – they just met – later we saw him with a different girl… a lady in every Ponte? Beautiful Botanic Garden – a future Shangri-La for family Jez?
Adjacent to our parking … sleeping to the sound of the water.
The long lane of Plane trees.
More large statues.
Ajuelos on one of the old tower walls. The first King, Alfonso Henrique was about to engage Moors in battle, one when of his Knights said “They’re goats m’lud!”
Rude not to!
Two codgers leaning against the even more ancient olive tree … we like the laid back vibe here.
The oldest bridge in Portugal. The far end is Roman.
… Crossing the River Lima.
Odd statue, amazed it’s not been dragged away in floods.
The Botanic Gardens.
Even had a relica Roman garden.
No dogs allowed, so we took turns. I used my waiting time wisely!
658 – Wednesday 15th March
K ran – both showered – courtesy of free site water. Slight (?) change of future route (you know us) – from Ponte de Lima to – Nice, France!!! A mere bagatelle of 1500 km…… To see daughter Sarah and granddaughter Jade… 275 miles today (Km 400) – motorway travel – very busy aire. But fabulous mountain scenery on the first non-motorway stretch, Braga to Chaves. Another come back too.
SatNavColin took us to a free overnight parking – quiet spot expected. On arrival – medium sized car park – 7:00 pm – packed to the gunnels with more than 50 motorhomes – obviously a super-busy transit stop – we squeezed in barely – a French van had no choice but to park parallel to ours…
659 – Thursday 16th March
K and O running (am I slowing up?) along the canal – stunning parkside with swans. Off again – for 600+ km – 9 hours… Jez is performing magnificently. Campsite stop – in La Belle France for Euro 8.50! At Bessnes Roquefort. Guardien came to lift the height barrier – and food from the freezer, followed by zzzzzs.
660 – Friday 17th March
Yeaahh! St Patricks Day – an omen for tomorrow – Ireland v England in Dublin? Another 600 km – and arrival near Nice – our favourite place in France – Promenade des Anglais, Baie d’Anges…
Campsite at Villeneuve Loubet – nice site – good manoeuvring onto pitch no need for electric hook up as – sunshine all around! K Haute Cuisine from the freezer and rest – the 3 day trip was absolutely splendid and without any problems…