…There is a season – turn, turn, turn… That bloomin’ song could have been written for us today after my 93-point turn in a narrow street. On a hill. On cobbles. But more of that later.
As you know from yesterday’s post we stayed in Benquerença last night; another one of those destinations I just love to say out loud. The rain didn’t let up all night and it was still coming down this morning so we gave up on the idea of a walk and just topped up Vince’s water tank and left. The time difference changed yet again as we came into Portugal so we were awake early and on the road by 9.00am (which is very early for us!)
Today’s was the longest run we’ve done for a while as we want to get to the south coast soon – it lasted about six hours through the less-travelled interior of the country. I’m not kidding when I say less-travelled as we barely saw another vehicle all day, and not a single motorhome to wave to. The landscape was very different to central Spain with many more hills and valleys and far greener than we’d been used to. There was a lot of evidence of Portugal’s Autumn wildfires with large areas of scorched earth and blackened trees. I hope they recover quickly.
This part of the country is all turned over to farming and it’s like going back in time; we even made an emergency stop for a pig wandering across the road. At one village crossing we stopped to let someone cross and I spotted an orange tree in full fruit beside Vince’s driver’s window. Well it would have been rude not to…it was delicious! Here there are vast stretches of olive groves, elderly tractors wheeze down the lanes and we had waves and puzzled looks from weatherbeaten old farmers and their black-shawled wives. They made us feel quite frivolous and spoiled in our pleasure vehicle while they were working hard into their twilight years. Or maybe that’s just my imagination working overtime again.
Today’s destination was Monsaraz, a fortified town overlooking Europe’s largest man-made lake. The guide book warned us to stop at the bottom of the hill and walk up to check out the way to the motorhome stop but no, I had to wing it didn’t I? Hence missing the steep, cobbled turn-off and arriving at a steep cobbled dead-end with cars parked all around and nowhere to turn. I’m pretty sure the audience enjoyed the mad Brit shunting backwards & forwards getting all pink and sweaty but hey – I got us round in the end. Never before has an arrival beer tasted so good.
I’m going to let the pictures do the talking now as Monsaraz is just stunning. As Gill just said to me over our evening sharpener – it could be a film set. I’ll let you judge that for yourselves, as always – a click on a pic will enlarge, chat soon 🙂