Wednesday, 27 May 2015

North East to France

We venture northwards following the coast north of Obidos and discover some crowded seaside towns buzzing with Portuguese and very few tourists 

Just north of Praia de Pedrogao we set out on some excellent cycle routes totally unused at this time and miles from nowhere…..heaven

Pendleton in full flow…

Checkout these gadgets..

The sap is drained off but for what? Turps perhaps?

Man made and real…

The sun sets next day over our night halt south of Coimbra
The Aire was really quiet and just the ticket to ride in to Coimbra next day on a scooter yet to be acquired
We are missing it already!

Cheap sausages courtesy of Iceland in Albuferia but you get the message…..more heaven!

We discover a superb spot close to a little village called Arganil in the hills inland and stay for two hot days

Our cycles take us further up the hills and we return to the second of our evening meals at the Aire cafe/restaurant

This place surely offers the best we've ever found in hospitality and will return many times I'm sure
Are you ready?

Two nights free overnight stay on a large secluded Aire with usual facilities all free
1 Euro for 1 day's electric (Scrooge!)
Prato do Dia which was:
Olives and breads
Homemade veg soup
Spicy chicken and chips with tomato salad, huge double portion of chips and a plate of fragrant rice
Choice of sweets
Half litre of red wine

The whole meal was 7 Euros each, yes a fiver!
The pictured main course was the second day's offering of savoury pork with clams and pickled veg
Tim, get this place written down my friend, you will not be disappointed 

Next stop up was Belmonte, a favourite a few years ago

Sheep Island, pretty much the same

That Fireman...

Check out the evil eye on the dog on the right

The hills above Belmonte

Its just me of course but this landscape really does it for me

Portugal has its varied landscapes and the North is just beautiful

A real find this, atop a big hill at Torre de Moncorvo. All gratis with hot showers
A steady walk in to the local town was customary as was the sampling of the local Vino Tinto

So thats it… Portugal for another winter….superb in all respects

Our route through Spain is fairly direct taking in some less than notable towns namely Zamora, El Burgo do Osma, Calatayud and Arguedas

This is Zamora

Surely the biggest G & T you've seen...

It was quite nice in Zamora but the locals decided to fire up the street disco in town at 2230hrs and after being nicely situated on an Aire next to the pleasant park all day, we moved on...

Next day saw us reach Burgo do Osma which was a real pleasant day and overnight quiet stop

This was Arguedas and our last night in Spain

Very interesting Troglodite caves overlooking the Aire

Anyone for Cricket?

Nina discovers her Des Res…

With all mod cons...

What more could a girl ask for?

A nice little town this with free WiFi in its small Town Hall square
Better still it was deathly quiet overnight at the Aire…

So that was Spain…
As ever the mid country towns lack appeal for us. Probably because they are off the beaten track a bit and non-touristy. Its as if no one is bothered about making them more attractive to visitors which is a shame as that are steeped in history and interesting
Nina summed it up by saying 'Spain doesn't really do it for me, when do we get to France?"
I can't really argue with her
In Spain's defence we've found some really nice areas along both coasts and on the French border, basically, the Tourist areas that have had money invested in them….