As I said in my last post we were sad to leave this site after just the 1 night, but we had actually booked our next site, and with only 2 weeks to get back to Bilbao we feel under a bit of pressure now!
When we left we headed back to the town in order to follow the road to find the Historic fishing port, that we had seen signposted from the town centre. It turned out that Calv was right when he said he didn’t think we’d be able to walk it!
It was actually a good 3 to 4 miles along a back road (although there was a cycle path a good portion of the way). When we found it we parked outside what we think was a coastguard station. When we got out though we found out that the road did go to a parking area where there was also a restaurant (closed though).
We have no idea what the fishing port was called but it was absolutely charming. The harbour must be quite something to navigate into with the waves that we saw! Calv noticed that the fishing boats themselves had metal skids and he’s thinking that perhaps they haul them up onto the slipway – although he then noticed that they were all tied up so maybe the tide does come all the way up the slipway!
There were numerous cages of varying sizes, from which we deduced they were fishing for crab, langoustine, lobsters and perhaps even octopus!
In any event we were glad we made the detour. Not least because we saw a pair of nesting birds, very similar to storks but we’re not 100% sure if that’s what they were. Perhaps someone could let us know??
But back on the, back, road we realised this wasn’t an unusual sight as we saw numerous pairs along the way. The locals clearly thought we were very strange for stopping and taking photos!
I have to tell you we were trying to avoid the toll road as much as possible, which we managed, but, oh my word…..!! The roads are, shall we say, not good. We went on the main IC1 for much of the way and we’re surprised that the van survived. What with the potholes and Calv having to watch out for kamikaze Portugese drivers (and therefore not seeing some of the said potholes), it was quite an experience. We were almost relieved to get onto the toll road – until we paid 7.10 to go about 8 miles, and also found that not all motorways were charged electronically as we had originally thought….
On the approach towards Lisbon we went over the Punte de Abril 25, a rather long suspension bridge (at a further cost of 5.25 or so). There then seemed to be a period of toll free road and then just a further 2.70 to pay before the end of the motorway. We had to pay this in 2 hits as we came off too early and had to come back on – then the machine wouldn’t accept my credit card for some reason so I had to scrabble around for change…
We also then came off the motorway a bit early and ended up negotiating back roads (using google maps) to get to the campsite. It’s another nice little (well not so little) campsite. You can see, and hear, the sea from here, but you can’t get out to it from the site. But there is a cycle path that takes you safely down to the coast, about ½ mile, from where you can see the dunes and the cliffs and the angry seas below.
We cycled down there yesterday evening and took the steps down to the beach. Thinking that the tide was going out we went up to within about 6 foot of the last water line, only to have to run out of the way of a racing wave!
There are also Boris bikes (well the equivalent anyway) available here, outside the campsite and also on the seafront, which we wouldn’t have expected to see.
There were lots of people watching the waves and photographing the sea – locals as well as yokels!
Today has been spent doing housework and updating the blog (for me) and Calv has done a few jobs, but also been out to find a Lidl and going for a long ride exploring this afternoon – he made it to Cascais and beyond (not quite sure where he got to!!). We’ll probably follow the same route on Saturday, if we decide to stay an extra night – we probably will as it’s meant to be the best day weatherwise and tomorrow we’re going to visit Sintra.
Calv took these photos when out on his ride and it seems I missed a treat as we ended up leaving on Saturday as originally planned as the campsite wanted to charge us 28Euro to stay an extra night…. so we’re near Figuera da Foz now. I will post about Sintra shortly – it was a beautiful, almost magical, place and we only saw a bit of it!