Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Searching for Winter Sunshine

After what seemed (and was) months of uncertainty and waiting for various events to happen and decisions to be made, we set off from home on Saturday 28th December 2013 for our winter destination of Portugal.


Off we go again...wherever you go,
we'll come with you x

First stop was Great Malvern in Worcestershire where we visited some old family friends. We overnighted in a pub car park in the delightfully named village of “Upton Snodsbury” where we had a lovely meal on the Saturday evening. Sunday morning dawned crisp and clear and we set off on frosty roads towards Warwick and met up with Richard and Aoife and were joined by Drew, Alana and Hattie who came down to Warwick for the day. We had a very pleasant day with all the family together for the first time since before Hattie was born.

I was plagued by my usual undermining feeling of the blues at leaving loved ones behind which lasted for several days but it was good to finally be leaving for what we hoped would be warm and sunnier climes for several weeks.

We have now reached Porto in Portugal after 12 days of travelling through the UK, France and Spain and are using our first fee paying campsite, we have been lucky to find free overnight stops up till now and today chose a campsite stop so that we can do some laundry and use the wifi!


Some local lads having a tug of war
on the beach at Anglet

Dash found a "small" stick on Bayonne beach
So far the overwhelming features of the weather have been rain, wind and grey skies. Nigel has not enjoyed the driving conditions, at one point it was so windy that one of our solar panels decided to elevate itself en route, we wondered what the thump was but assumed it was something inside falling over in the turbulence, then when we stopped for lunch we discovered what had happened. Thankfully it does not appear to be damaged. During our journey along the north coast of Spain and seeing the breakers in the Bay of Biscay we have actually been very glad we changed our minds about catching a ferry direct to Santander or Bilbao from the UK!

The sea at A Coruna



The best day so far (apart from the day in Warwick with the family) has been A Coruna in the far western corner of Spain where we stopped for the night under the Tower of Hercules lighthouse. In a brief break in the rain and even the vestige of a little weak sunshine, we had a superb walk with the dogs around the headland with stunning Atlantic waves forming a beautiful ever changing seascape.



Tower of Hercules, A Coruna

The following day was also very special, we left A Coruna and headed south to Cap Finisterre of shipping forecast fame where we spent the night, a lighthouse stop two nights running.

Spot the motorhome...WINDY!!!
Cap Finisterre


The view from the other direction,
 Cap Finisterre lighthouse from the MH

Tonight we are in a campsite just to the south of Porto and tomorrow we intend to drive part way up the Duoro Valley and park the motorhome in an aire from where we can catch a train the rest of the route to the Spanish border and back. The weather forecast is encouraging........it might even be sunny on Friday when we intend to do the train  trip.  The guidebook describes it thus.........



Nativity scene still on display outside
Bom Jesus Church, Valenca de Minho,
Portugal
Regua marks the point at which the Duoro line turns from a good route into a great one, sticking closely to the river from then on, cutting into the rock face and crisscrossing the water on rickety bridges.........




Hopefully, some pictures of our train trip will feature next time. 





Walking round the walls of Valenca de Minho

3 comments:

Jan Gale said...

Lovely Blog again,,,,,,, look forward to every one ! Happy Travelling ! xx

Geraldine Scott said...

Quite an adventure ! And a very smart motorhome ! Bon voyage Margaret !Con

Anonymous said...

Great photos!
Sounds like you're having a really good trip.Hope to see you soon in The Algarve x