Sunday, 26 February 2012


We started the day well when we went off in the opposite direction to the way we needed to go (we were ignoring Sat Nav’s weird and wonderful route); so an hour later having turned around three times we were back where we started! Believe it or not we are learning how to use the Sat Nav effectively – we’ll have cracked it soon.

We had lunch parked at a service station just off a motorway, next to a Barragem (reservoir); apparently in Portugal you are allowed to camp over night at Barragems. But we were going to an aire in a little village up in the Mountains, LORVAO. There’s a very impressive monastery here; the aire is in the car park in the centre of the village. It’s not a big village; a few shops, bars and houses with mountains as a backdrop – very striking.  

We went for a short walk around the village; a very short walk – we were glared at as if we had signs above our heads “STRANGERS!!” it was very disconcerting, we tried saying “Ola” but nobody replied, they just kept staring – so we scuttled back to the van!
The sim card that we bought especially for using in Europe (Story Telecom) isn’t working properly, Lots of the texts I’ve been sending haven’t been received (or I’ve got very rude friends and family) and it won’t let us make calls (which was the main reason we bought it) and of course we can’t sort it out as there’s no internet access (and we can’t make calls!!!). Fortunately we can receive calls and texts (I think we’re getting all the ones that are being sent).
In Portugal most of the houses in the countryside have vegetable plots, all that they seem to have growing in them is cabbages on very long stems (sometimes over 6 foot long), I think it’s called walking stick cabbage (I’ve seen it in seed catalogues).

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