Last 2 days in Portugal – then a little gem – Ciudad Rodrigo :)

We had considered staying an extra night at the Orbitur Guincho, but decided against it when they wanted 28Euros for the night.

So we used the extra night to just go a few hours up the road to a site near Figuera de Foz, Orbitur Gala in Vila de Sao Pedro.  This site wasn’t as nice as the one at Guincho although many aspects were the same.

We set up and then went off for a walk down to the beach, which is just about 1/4 mile from the back gate of the park.  When you arrive at the beach there is a steep dune to negotiate to get down to it!  It is another beautiful beach though.

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Steep dune down to the beach…

 

It was, as ever on the West Coast, very windy and 1 minute you think you’re paddling in the shallows and the next a wave has rolled in much further than the last and you’re running to keep from getting your shorts wet!

We walked along the beach and had to clamber up a fallen rock walkway to get up onto the promenade.

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Beach at Sao Pedro.  A bit windy!

 

We wandered around the town for a while and eventually found a mini-market.  A mini=market like none I’ve ever seen before – it was absolutely crammed – you had to pick up baskets of items to open a freezer., and there was stock on all the floors of the already narrow aisle.  There was even a toilet in the corner of the shop.

Amazing mini-market in Vila de Sao PedroAmazing mini-market in Vila de Sao Pedro

Back to the campsite to eat the leftover chicken, mushroom and butter bean casserole that I’d made the day before, and eaten the day before accompanied by the pleasant aroma of ‘I let the water boil dry on the steamer’.   Today we ate it accompanied by the aroma of ‘I warmed it up on too high a heat’….  Tasted okay though!

The next day we thought that the sun was going to come out, so in the morning we went off for a cycle ride to the edge of the estuary, from where we could see Figuera de Foz on the opposite bank.

The sun hadn’t appeared by 1pm so we decided to move on.  At these Orbitur sites you can leave at any time up to about 5pm, which is very useful 🙂

We headed just an hour up the road, and so able to avoid the toll roads, which is always a bonus in Portugal…  We ended up in Vigueiro near Vagos, about 10km from Aveiro (which we thought we might go to see, but didn’t in the end).

This too was an Orbitur site and was much more like the one at Guincho and we were happy here.  We were on our own for a while until another British van turned up – with just 2 vans staying overnight the free internet was absolutely brilliant!

Talking to the other couple they told us about a site near Salamanca that they had just come from, and this helped us make the decision to change our plans and head out of Portugal straight away.  So we headed east towards Spain straight away taking the hit of about 30Euros worth of tolls….

When we stopped for lunch Calv pointed out that we still had 150 miles to go so we looked on the map, found the 1st town in Spain with a green box around it (denoting that there is something interesting there) and then went online to find a campsite.

This was an absolutely brilliant move!  The campsite was Cat. 2 and was on the other side of the river from the Point of Interest, in a very poor area.  But we felt perfectly safe there, with the locked gates etc.  This was the view of the town (which we weren’t expecting as we didn’t know what to expect!) from the campsite.

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After a cup of tea and sitting out in the sun, that we’d finally caught up with, we headed over to the town.  On the way we walked through the local area where I was chased by 2 loose dogs.  How I kept my cool I don’t know!  I didn’t make eye-contact (I’ve read that somewhere) and managed to act like they weren’t bothering me, before turning round and finding Calv to tell him we weren’t going that way any more!!

We crossed the local bridge and the view got better the closer we got.

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This is classed as one of the prettiest towns in Spain and it most certainly is.  Every corner you turn you see another old building.  The tower that you can see above is actually a Parador meaning that you can stay in it!

Here’s a selection of our photos from the evening walk:-

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Let me out!!

We then returned to the main square to a restaurant that we’d decided to eat in.  We had the menu of the day at 12.50 each.  We noticed that there were lots of photos on the walls featuring bull fights and a bull run.  I did a little research and found out that a bull-ring is erected in the square every year for the Festival of the Bulls and there is a bull run from the pens to the ring.

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Some of the bull pictures in the Cafeteria Arcos

We were actually the only tourists, we think, in the bar so we felt like we were finally doing the fully authentic Spanish experience!

Today we have moved onto Salamanca to the site that was recommended to us, Don Quijote, right on the river.  It’s a very nice site and started really filling up a short while after we arrived!

We’ve been out for a walk this afternoon, and made it up to a viewpoint in the rain, walking along some of the trails made by trails bikes and mountain bikes.  We’re expecting a day of rain tomorrow so will be van-bound, making soup, stews and updating campsite reviews no doubt 🙂

As you can see it’s getting colder again and we can only head north after Salamanca, although I think we’ll be staying here for a few nights.

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Author: MandoraTheExplorer

I'm a middle aged accounting tutor looking for my own mild adventures with my other half before it's too late..... I've taken the plunge and organised a year long sabbatical (a year with no pay!!), sold the house and my car and am ready to go :)

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