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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

If you change your mind

We know, we had said farewell to the Atlantic Ocean over a week ago; but we are travellers and as you can see, we have altered our plans and are back on the coast, chasing the warmth and sunshine. We are camped near Nazare; a tourist resort looked over by a rocky headland. With a sunny day ahead, we set off with a packed rucksack and the tourist information leaflet about a local walk. We followed the marker posts through pine woods and along the beach, enjoying stretching our legs; it all seemed very simple. However, as is the way with these things our simple walk became more exciting. The next marker post was high on the cliff, underneath which the waves were crashing. We had a go at leaping on to the rocky ledge between rolls of surf, but retreated with wet feet and looked for an alternative. This less treacherous route involved crawling through tall bamboo canes, but we made it to the top of the cliffs unscathed.

There are a number of things that indicate that Portugal is not a wealthy country; we have seen families camping in tents on the edge of towns, while on the road we passed a group of ruined huts that were lived in and resembled a shanty town, in a number of towns we have seen the communal laundry facilities still being used, the photograph is of the one in Sitio, above Navare. The notes you receive from a cash machine differs from country to country; in wealthy Austria the ATMs generally only gave out 50 Euro notes; in Portugal your money comes in a wad of 20 and 10 Euro notes.

We continue to meet so many lovely people on our trip; in Alcobaca we spent hours chatting with Gisela and Paul over coffee about places we have seen. They have managed to find a lifestyle that allows them to travel for two or three months in a year and return to work; we envy them and hope we can find employers just as flexible. We will never tire of meeting new people. That said, our next stop is Lynn and John’s lovely house in the beautiful Alto Alentejo, where friends Kayt and Zohra will also be staying and it will be so relaxing to see old friends who know who we are and where we come from.

1 comment:

  1. bert.platzer@gmail.com11 March 2010 at 12:00

    Hi there Carol & Anthony,

    Very entertaining to follow your trail of (well written) adventures around Europe. Makes one wonder how you will ever fitt into 'normal' society again. (Perhaps a good idea for another blog?)

    Anyway, thanks again for the good company in Ptuj and the other place in Slovenia, and off course the schnapps. Make sure you enjoy the last weeks of your trip!

    Kind regards,

    Bert (the single-handed-cyclist from the Netherlands, whom finally (and slightly embarrased on account of his late posting) got to it to leave a message)