Bliss, a good night’s sleep! Woke to very average weather! Were going to leave and drive up to the service area, but started raining heavily, so drove back down to the river, had a cup of tea and read our books for a while.
By about midday it had cleared enough to drive. Tintin reversed into the service area, really not very easy to get into, but I guess most of the area is sloping, so the best they could manage! I drove on the N222, the scenic route. Well it would have been, but sadly has been low cloud/fog for most of the day. Fair to say that some of the windy roads were quite narrow today! Third gear has been my friend today - we are at 787m - not that high, but was uphill for a lot of today! It’s very impressive at how hard lots of generations have worked on the terraced land. It’s so steep, some terraces have only one row of vines.
Sao João da Pesqueira - free
After avocado salad for lunch, read our books as it was raining. We’ve made the error of being optimistic today - and put a whole load of clothes into soak before we left. I wonder how long we can leave them?! No point in even trying to dry them today...
By about 4pm decided we’d walk into the town to try and find some milk. Nearly two hours later, we’re back! Asked at a small shop if she knew where a supermarket was, and got sent into a room with what looked like two accountants! We sort of got directions! More by accident found the town commerce. The lady in the tourist office must have had a slow day, really happy to help us! Out of curiosity, asked whether you can buy fresh milk in Portugal, she remembers her grandfather having it, but no, doesn’t think so!
Visited the town hall, has the oldest charter of Portugal, given between 1055 and 1065. The walls are decorated with 6,804 hand painted tiles depicting Douro’s culture, wine and landscapes - all from only 1988. This area has the biggest area classified as UNESCO World Heritage in Douro - 20%. It’s the biggest producer of Porto wine. Walked around the old quarter, past Tavoras House and into Cats Street, which was the birthplace of S João da Pesqueria - little medieval streets which was consigned to the local Jews.
Having seen rather poorer looking areas whilst driving around Portugal, here there are large gated houses, some with swimming pools, and just feels wealthier, some of the shops have more than just functional ‘stuff’.
I’m glad we ventured out, but we did get a bit damp! And only about 12°! The visibility is really poor, we’ll just hope for better weather tomorrow! There is a pizzeria behind us, but doesn’t open until 9pm tonight - looks like it’s the rest of the chicken biryani tonight - along with another couple of episodes of Luther!
Just like to say well done J, for completing your Eden half marathon yesterday 😊 - and hope the joints are ok today!