Watched the ritual humiliation that is The Apprentice last night on iPlayer - do they actually want the investment, or just the publicity! Brave or stupid people, not sure!
Woke to fairly sunny weather. Tintin took a leisurely, laid back approach to his 40 minute drive today! Arrived at:
Sao Pedro Do Sul - free
Aire is located above a pleasant riverside park, 750m from a thermal spa town.
Nice walk into the town, lots of ducks 🦆 on the river Vouga. Air temperature is warmer today. The central part of the river looks like it’s trying to recreate the lake in Geneva! Is very pretty, feels restful.
It looks like people come here for treatment, and stay for weeks at a time. Lots of hotels. There are two places for treatment, when we walked into the first, we definitely lowered the average age considerably! The smell inside was not pleasant! Looks like you pay €40 for an initial consultation, and then add amounts for various add-ons. They ‘treat’ arthritic conditions and respiratory ailments the most (apparently not good for treating cancer). At the other place, you could go just for a treatment without consultation. We asked the tourist office lady if she’d been, and she hadn’t! Neither of us fancied putting our bodies in hot smelly water! Outside, there was a thermal outlet, the water is at 68°! The sulphur causes the horrible smell!
Bel, the wooden sculpture of Cupid’s arrow through the heart was only €192!, sorry, didn’t buy it for you - very artistic though.
Went into the pastry shop, and the lady spoke some English (with the help of Google translate!) - we bought some Beijinhos de Vouzela (as recommended by tourist office lady). They’re a bit like choux pastry, but quite dry. We gave some to the French people at the Aire later on, not impressed, in France they would be filled with cream and be fresh!
After lunch, we dithered for a while - we don’t know which direction to go in next. Gave up and went for a ride. Only ten miles today. The Ecopista (cycle path) is work in progress, with only about 2.5km done - and very nice it is too! Not bumpy, with a man busy with his leaf blower on the path (blowers seem very popular over here!) - clean and tidy. More annoying ‘gates’ with a few rumble strips too! A lot of expense for the community, but for what return?
Went into the main town on Sao Pedro do Sul. Very hilly! Saw a Pingo Doce supermarket, which I’d read about - so wandered in for a comparison. More of the usual ‘stuff’ we would see in our supermarkets at home with brands we recognize, however, not paying €4 for a small pack of mushrooms! Also can’t get past the revolting smell of salted cod! However, they sell fresh milk, so had to buy some!
On our travels we also saw the remains of what look like our ‘Battle of Flowers’ floats. And I thought that was unique to the Channel Islands!
On the way back, saw a delightful non-barking dog. He was behind the fence around his house, but put his head through - and seemed to love any attention. Herc, maybe he’s a better size companion for Stevie?!
Wherever we go in France, most of the towns/villages we go through seem to be ghost towns. Here in Portugal we see lots of men working, either on road works, on the land, in their gardens (when not sat in groups chatting!) - seem to be more industrial! Feel that it must be harder living here, so hilly in the parts we’ve visited so far
We’re now drinking some boxed rose wine, so doubtful we’ll be able to make a decision about where we go next!
As for my hair, well - it could be worse - but it could be much better, and the only thing I have to say is that it will grow again! Yesterday was the first time in nearly 7 weeks that we’ve been apart for more than an hour! Well, Tintin did lose me yesterday! I’d said I was off to look at the fountain, but he didn’t hear me! Decided I ought to call him, so he had my Spanish Digi number, meanwhile he’s on his UK Vodafone - basically neither of us could contact each other if we needed to! Not very intelligent!
Off to try cooking a Thai green chicken curry...