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!