Well we always said that the weather in Portugal is pretty much like England ….It definitely has more sunshine but when it rains, it absolutely chucks it down!
We can’t complain though as we expected the week to date to pretty much be a puddle …. With us trying to swim through the middle. It has however been intermittent, with spurts of sunshine thrown in to keep us happy.
Monday’s run was accompanied by humidity and then possibly the fastest last 1.5km that I have done yet as the skies opened and the cold rain coupled with the wind chased me home…. One way of increasing my speeds I guess 🙂
We left the reservoir and meandered our way through the Eucalyptus forest to get to Avante where we stopped by the river, walking up to the old town and castle to eat our rolls whilst watching the black clouds form around us.
After lunch we continued on through the Eucalyptus to get to our destination for the night of Tomar where we parked up near the bus station along with a handful of other motorhomes (GPS n39 35′ 59″ w8 24’47”). Tomar is a town of three parts …..a beautiful walled XI century town with a convent inside, a lovely historic town at the bottom of the hill and a new town on the other side of the river. The original – containing the convent – was the last Knights Templar town to be constructed in the XI century. Very impressive and well worth a visit if you are close by.
With more rain looming we worked our way across to Pombal (GPS n39 54’30” w8 37’47”) where we caught up on the chores and then back to Coimbra (GPS n40 11′ 58″ w 8 25′ 44″) to visit the market and eat cake…. We really liked Coimbra last year and it presented itself at a convenient time to sit out the torrential rain. I wouldn’t have thought that the cloaks that the music students wear would be quite so useful …. Amazing how they can turn into waterproofs. In addition to re-visiting some of last year’s beautiful sights, we did find the rather spectacular Monastery of Santa Clara which was built in the XII century but wasn’t ever finished and finally abandoned in XVII century as it had sunk below water level and therefore was prone to flooding.
The remains have been recently excavated and it looks like they have protected it as much as possible from the close by river taking it over, but it can’t be an easy task with the quantity of rain we have had and the river so close by.
Now to the real reason we came back to Coimbra ….. Leitao… Better known as suckling pig to the rest of us …. Yummmm (yet another apology to my Jewish ancestors – I blame my dad as I am sure they will appreciate you can’t stand by and smell the bacon without wanting to have a bite…). This time we ventured to a small town north of Coimbra which is known specifically for Suckling Pig, Mealhada. The meat was seasoned perfectly and succulent as it could be – we weren’t disappointed.
With happily contented bellies we set off to Aveiro (GPS n40 38′ 35″ w8 39′ 30″), only to find that upon arriving we had a nice large nail embedded in our front right tyre ….. Yep we had a puncture 😦
The slow hissing sound at least drew my attention to a problem and although it meant we missed out on taking advantage of the dry spell yesterday afternoon to walk around Aveiro, it did enable us to get the puncture fixed and not wake to a ‘surprise’ over the weekend when it would have been more complicated.
Thankfully we are still covered under Fiats 3 year roadside assist and within three hours the tyre and Keith had been whisked away, plugged with a bit of expandable rubber – the tyre not Keith – and refitted ….. All costing us the total sum of 4 euros 🙂