Portugal (part one)
25.04.2009 - 27.04.2009 17 °C
Landed in Faro and waited for Hywel, who was late. Then Hired a car, spending 200 Euros to take the insurance excess from e1280 to e96. Well worth it. Drove West, since we´re heading for Barcelona, bought chocolates called Filipinos, and arrived at Sagres, which is where the most South Easterly point of mainlan Europe is. Dramatic and loud ocean waves boomed beneath us. Then we visited a closed attraction, missing "a large cirlce on the ground". Sad. Ate, whatever the restaurant owner felt like bringing us (was nice). Slept. As we dropped off in our tent, Hywel remarked that it would be terrible if it rained. I commenced raining immediately.
Awoke and washed. Tent, being lightweight summer tent, had soaked through. This is because our pitch had recieed a small new river during the night, and flooded to a depth of 1inch over an area of about 10 feet square. Bundled it away and left. Still heading East to Barcelona, so drove North towards Lisbon. Visited Sintra, where there is a large Moorish Castle (windy), a small town palace (full of stuff) and a bizarre fairytale palace affair, rather like a visit to a Disney Cartoon. Travelled to Capo del Roca, mainland Europe´s Westernmost point, and then to a village campsite to sleep. Loud: dogs, cats, sea, wind and birds. Also cold. Visited beach in half light of evening, beach was a long way away and required crossing wasteland. Tide being in, beach was largely underwater, so wandered around in dark and went back to tent. Excellent day.
Rose early and drove into Belem. Stuck in traffic, jokingly suggested that there had been an "accidento fatalisimo". Found out later there had been. Visited Belem tower (interesting but quite low), the explorer´s monument (high and awesome), which Hywel didn´t want to leave, and the (closed, but impressive) Jeronimo Monestary. Chatted to some Americans about trams, they changed a note for me, and went to Lisbon. Ate "porco Alentejana", pork and clams, except that there were no clams (discovered via long conversation with waitress conducted mainly in French, not sure why but maybe accidental), so served with prawns ("gambas") instead. Very tasty.
Plan to head East tomorrow to look at looted bones, ruins and other things, and leave portugal soon after.