Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Portugal, Map of our Journey to date and Who's Out There!

First of all, as requested by Richard I think, here is a map of our journey to date.

This request was made via the comments that can be left on the Blog. I’ve wondered a few times how many people, and who, are looking at the blog and what they think about it. Also, you’ve been able to follow what we have been doing and what’s been happening but we don’t know what’s been happening back home!

We would welcome comments on what you think of the Blog so far…What do you like/dislike, what would you like to see more/less of etc. Although we sometimes can’t get a good Wifi connection for a few days we usually manage at least once a week and can answer any questions…also it would be good to keep in touch and hear your news from time to time…bearing in mind this is a public forum!

The scenery on the Portuguese side of the mountains is stunning and seems to go on for ever.

We made our way to a campsite called Cepo Verde recommended in the Camperstop book as being motorhome friendly. This is in the National Park of Montesinho North of Braganca. We booked in for a couple of nights so that we could do some laundry. These are a couple of views from our placement looking over the swimming pool (unfortunately empty at this time of year).

We went for a long walk with the dogs up the hills through the woods, mostly sweet chestnut plantations and pines and oaks. This massive old chestnut tree is still alive!!
There were loads of very different flowers here too, I spotted these tiny little narcissi.

These are not cultivated garden ones as they are growing in old woodland areas, and must I guess be the original parents of the ones we buy in the shops. I always thought they were bred that way by daffodil breeders!

While looking at some of the tall lily type plants I spotted this butterfly. Then coaxed onto my hand and it opened its wings! It’s a ‘Spanish Festoon’ and is native to the Iberian peninsula.

You can’t make these out too clearly but they are weird little ‘pitcher plant’ like flowers , again very tiny and a bit like the arum lily.

This was the weirdest thing though…!

It was growing at the base of an oak tree and large rock rose shrubs. I have no idea if it is plant or fungus!!

This hole in the ground surrounded by a pile of sand is the home of a little wasp/ant thingy!

This whole area is coloured by the white and yellow broom bushes, they are smaller and more delicate than the ones in UK.

The next campsite was at a town called Chaves, but meaning ‘keys’ not that it was populated by Chavs or Neds as these delightful people are known as in Scotland! When we arrived at the campsite there was a rally or gathering of old Citroen 2CVs!

It had also started to rain as we approached Chaves and it rained on and off for most of the time we were in Portugal. The campsite here was on the outskirts of town and in a nice wooded area, very pleasant, but a bit too built up for us so we headed for Vila Flor a bit further south.

On the way we stopped at a couple of pull-ins for walks and to admire the scenery, still very mountainous but above all very flowery and colourful. One of the pull-ins had this new watering hole/picnic area, I'll leave you to translate this!

I don’t know whether it’s always like this or that the cooler period of Spring allows all the flowers to bloom etc. but it’s only April and most of the plants that are flowering wouldn’t be flowering until the Summer – July/August in the UK! The roadsides are purple with these tufty lavenders.

We really liked the Campsite at Vila Flor. It is the town municipal campsite set about 2 or kilometres from the town. It is set within a large area of woodland, mostly pines, sweet chestnut and cork oaks; and is hilly with huge boulders, probably from the ice-age left by retreating glaciers. The place resounded with the poo-poo-poo of hoopoes and cuckooing of cuckoos as well as the yaffling of green woodpeckers! That’s more like it! The site has many funny little concrete barbecues. And following a visit to Vila Flor for burgers, sausages as well as whole trout and skewers with salmon, white fish, octopus and peppers on and a folding table from the Chinese Bazaar, the rain let up for a while ‘til we had our barby! At least the rain provides some down time to keep up with the blog!
A little very dark almost black, red squirrel from the campsite at Vila Flor.

There are some more images from Portugal to be added at a later date as it's the uploading of pictures that takes the time and we have to move on now!!

1 comment:

Hobo Chang Ba said...

Nothing going on here. Nope. Got up to about 26 degrees earlier in the week without a single cloud for four or five days. We're paying for it now though. There's a hail storm.
There are quite a few areas with troglodyte dwellings in Spain. The town of Gaudix in Andalucia has about half of it's 20,000 population living underground. If you're heading back to France through southern spain, it's not far from Granada.
That picture of the mountain pass in the Pyrenees looks a lot like the Mexican border at La Mesilla - except less sweaty.
Thank you for the map. I like the landscape shots. And buildings. And people. And storks on roofs.
Adriana likes it all. I think she's checking it even more often than me.