October 27th, 2018

27 October - Évora

Has been our difficult and very expensive day ☹️

Walked over to Lidl for a few bits and pieces. First time away that we’ve actually seen hummus, so had to have some!

My turn to drive - had to pay for water for the first time €2 for nearly three minutes - not full - but will do!

Our Co-pilot was telling us to keep left when going onto the motorway, towards Lisbon, which we did. However it meant we didn’t get a ticket. I’d read that if you failed to get a ticket, lost it on route etc that you’d end up paying double. What we didn’t appreciate - is that you pay double for the cost of the entire length of toll road! We got off the road straight away, and tried to explain to a toll booth with no actual person by intercom. Tintin had to give name, address, phone number AND passport number (would like to know if under data control this should now be removed from their database as we’ve paid!) The ‘fine’ was €85.46. Our brains didn’t compute at first! Next problem, they needed cash - didn’t have enough, tried all our debit and credit cards - nope! We were told we’d have to find a cash machine, and get back on the toll to Mafra where there was an actual person. Took a while! Tintin used an app to find the nearest town with an ATM. We duly paid up, then went back on the same road - and took a ticket! It’s really wrong, the ticket machines are around a corner, so no time to see what’s what - and there is a solid white line nearly all the way afterwards - you have to cut from the right to left hand side in order to be able to get on the right toll road. Ludicrous - and doesn’t seem very safe - but haven’t got over the fact we made a very expensive mistake yet - so bitter!

Drove for over two hours, the wind was blowing hard all day, Dave certainly gets buffeted around! - rest of toll roads cost about €20 too. Oh well, shit happens - and no one died!

However, we did cross the 2nd longest bridge in Europe - the cable stayed Vasco da Gama bridge which spans the Tagus River - 12.3km (7.6m) - and it was free!

We’re parked up at a Park4night space, so free, but no services. After a cuppa decided to walk into town. It sounded lovely in the guide books, but obviously not in the right mood! Felt it was a bit of a rip off.

After getting a map from the tourist office, went to the Chapel of Bones. A surly woman wanted €8 for the privilege. It has the remains of 5,000 monks who were disinterred from local cemeteries to make room for lesser mortals! The translation from the entrance reads “We bones that are here await yours”. Gruesome, and hasn’t enhanced my life! Also included in the price (they should visit Buddha Eden to get an idea of value for money!) was a museum and a show of nativity scenes. Just reinforces the fact that in general, we are not museum people!

Next door was the main church, there had been a wedding going on - but managed a look inside. Gawdy! Best bit was builders bum on the man rolling away the red carpet! I have said before, but the churches here seem so ornate that they look tacky. The outside looked clean and new however! Each to their own I suppose!

The cathedral wanted about another €9, so gave it a miss. Even to see the university would have been another €6. Maybe the Dutch we were talking to yesterday have the right idea - avoid all larger places - charge too much, and too many people!

Walked to the Roman Temple (Diana’s) - was erected between 2nd and 3rd century AD. There are 14 columns remaining - very impressive.

We are parked right by the Aqueduct of Silver Water - 9km long, with a height of 26m. In some parts along its length, shops and houses have been constructed within the arches. All the streets throughout the old town are cobbled - Dave would not do well, especially as most of the streets are very narrow, with gouges in the walls where vehicles didn’t quite fit!

Might be in for a noisy night, the wind has picked up even more...

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About Us

Martin and Kay Dumont from Guernsey, first time motorhomers and ready to travel. ‘Dave’ is our Mobilvetta K Yacht 85, purchased in 2017 and travelled all the way from Italy. After following Jason and Julie Buckley’s blog 'Ourtour' for years I just couldn’t get the name ‘Dave’ out of my head. So the Mobilvetta had to be another 'Dave’. More...

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