Thursday, May 15, 2014

Anniversary in Aveiro 14/5/14

El here this time …
Today is our 7th Wedding Anniversary!  Seven years ago we nipped across to Las Vegas to get married at the Little Chapel of the West and when we got back to Oz we picked up Bombo from the pound!  So, we have had Bombolicious for almost 7 years now !

Back to the journey …
We left Caminha this morning but not before having a reasonable brekky!  I allowed Paul to get some sausages yesterday on the proviso he shared them with the dogs … however, he seemed to get some mega spicy ones which only he can eat … hmmm!  Here he is cooking himself some snags this morning (on our 12 quid cooker that we got from Millets before we left !)  Another reason he had to cook them outside was because they stunk!!

So we programmed the Tom Tom (with the new European maps in it) and set off, passing through Ancora on the way – which was only 5 km from Caminha.  Lovely spot with a lovely beach … very tidy …

It was the first day we felt hot today and drove for most of the day with the windows down, which was lovely.  We haven’t seen any rain since we left the UK!  We decided not to go on any toll roads today  as the smaller roads are more interesting (and also the toll roads here in Portugal are electronic and we are not share how you go about paying for them … or how much they are!!). 
Not much traffic about …

Paul likes these signs … they show the minimum speed you are supposed to do in the lanes – good idea …
It seems like there are little sections of the motorways that at ‘tolled’ here in Portugal, so Tom Tom kept taking us off of random bits of motorway in order to avoid the tolls.  She can be a bit too efficient with her ‘most direct’ routes though …at one point she turned us into a dirt track and then she took us through a little village with a lot of cobbled roads … which shook us all up a bit!

After getting back on the main roads again we stopped for diesel (again)  … first lot since Spain and it seems that it is more ‘exy’ here.  We were paying about 1.27 /litre in Spain as I recall.  Still a good price though!

So, with our plan of avoiding toll roads today, Tom Tom guided us down a lovely road along side a mega ‘lake’ around Torreira which was absolutely stunning.  There were lots of little fishing boats out and about doing their thing  but this one was having a rest …

We spotted this mega bridge along the way, but carried on down our little road … oh, did I mention that Tom Tom had told us there was a Ferry Crossing in our journey today?!

Just stunning …

We stopped off at a little marina, mainly to let the dogs do a wee and for us to have a sneaky ice cream …

It’s a fishing boat marina too …

We set off again .. nice little beachy bits along the way …

Still not much traffic about … the road seemed to go on and on (and so did the ‘lake’) …

We got to the end of the road and Tom Tom announced that we were now to do the ferry crossing!  Oh dear … there wasn’t too much of that going on at all!  There were no ferries about and the gate at the end of the ramp was all locked and taped up! 

We couldn’t see any obvious signs about the lack of ferry services and there was no-one official hanging around to ask, so it seemed that the ferry plan wasn’t to come off after all.  We reprogrammed Tom Tom … she told us it would now take us 1 hour and 15 mins to reach our destination (as opposed to 10 mins if we had gotten a ferry!!).  Oh well, it’s only diesel!   We turned around and drove back along the lovely lake (not quite so appealing under the circumstances!) …

We had to go back to that big, new bridge we had seen on the way down !!  Once across it, we spotted this little horse and cart amongst the traffic …

We carried on and then came across this old farmer trying to get along on his old tractor !  He was looking very concerned, like his wheel was gonna fall off or something !

Then we made it to the other side … where the ferry would have carried us to!

Here is our litle detour around the lake, shown by the blue line (in autoroute) …

Finally we reached today’s Aire, which is at Gafanta da Encarnacao, which is in Aveiro it seems!  Nice parking right on the beach front (but no services here) …

It is an odd little place, with loads of stripey buildings …

This house is having a face lift … looks like they have just kept the lovely, old facade ..

After we parked up, a few coaches turned up and loads of Portuguese families jumped out, got their eskies out of storage and commenced picnicking everywhere !  We have got no idea what it was all about and it was kind of frustrating not being able to communicate with anyone to see what they were all about!  It was quite late in the day to be stopping for a picnic, really … guess we will never know !

We took the dogs for a walk when we parked up – mainly to check out another Aire which is about 300 m away, but beside some sand dunes – just to see if it was any better!  I was getting a bit anxious because we seemed to have a trail of ‘strayish’ dogs following us, so we took the dogs back to the van.  The dogs just seem to be wandering around here, not attached to anyone but they don’t looking scraggy and are really friendly, so they must belong to someone – they must just let them wander – very sad.  (Yes, if I could I would kidnap them all!)
More stripey places on the beach front road …

After we dropped the dogs off we called into a little cake shop, which also sold beer – so we decided to have a couple of ‘Super Bocks’ (beer), which is really nice (and cheap!).  Oh, also we bought a couple of little cakes as they had been recommended to us by some other ‘campers’ – Paul liked them but they were too sweet for me!

Back in the van, I spotted an opportunity for an ‘arty’ shot !  This is a photo taken in the window of the motorhome in front of us …

… and this is the ‘real’ view from our front window …

The furry pen marks where we are today and the yellow marker shows where we were last night as we forgot to do it in Caminha!

Driving today we have noticed the scenery change a lot.  It is getting ‘drier’ looking and bit less lush but there is a lot of farming / agriculture going on in every little nook and cranny! Every little house seems to have a veggie patch going on with various animals installed in little fields along the way. 

It has been a drive of contrasts today  … little villages, towns, cities and big industrial areas.  Within the towns we have also seen contrasts in the housing  … with mega flash buildings built next to virtual slums.  The tourist hot spots we have driven through have been worlds apart from the traditional villages which are just down the road and we wondered if these communities ever meet !
We both felt at points today that some of this part of Portugal has an almost ‘asian’ feel to it, but it is probably the ‘poorer’ / farming parts that have given us that impression …

Anyway, I won’t go on !  I will just add this last shot which was taken a couple of days ago when we were on the way to Mondonedo and which we forgot to put in the blog.  So here it is … just some random steam train in the middle of the street, as you do ..

Paul is consulting with Tom Tom regarding tomorrow’s journey as I write … wonder where we will get to !!!