Here we are again and as we download series 4 and 5 of Midsomer we thought let’s do an update of where we are and what we have been up to. This week has all to do with big. We have seen some big bogging statues, a big bogging palace, some big bogging houses, a big bogging let down, been in some big bogging storms and finally a big bogging buckled wheel on my bike. And we also went to a small, perfectly formed village. As always we start with the map of our journey.
Obidos 22/11 – 24/11 2014
For once our untrustworthy guide book got something right. The alarmingly misinformed ‘lost Planet’ put down this as a must see in Portugal and they are right. It is an impeccably moulded piece of stone–based architecture plonked on top of a rock complete with walls and a castle to top it off. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the main drag is trying to offload Cherry Liquor, which is very pleasant, or tat, which isn’t. The restaurants are not too great either. We did eat out and then headed to Bar Ibn Errik Rex for some Cherry Liquor and same face time to the folks back home. It is an interesting bar in the fact it has no bar. It does have chairs and alcohol and lots of bottles hanging from the ceiling. We also did the walk around the castle walls. This is quite hairy as there are no guard rails and an uneven pathway. Obviously we survived.
We stayed in an Aire just across the road from the village by the 16th Century aqueduct that is gradually falling apart. Shame really. We also had a dilemma here because the people who owned the Aire didn’t turn up to collect the money but relied on an honesty box. We are all for honesty but how about turning up for work! So after much deliberation We left € …….. And some pics of Obidos
Buddha Eden 24/11/2014
Wowser Wowser Wowser. We love a story and we love a person with commitment. This story starts back in the day of the Taliban blitzkrieging their way through Afghanistan when they came across some pretty amazing statues of Buddhas. It didn’t matter these ancient statues were a world heritage site they were deemed surplus to requirements to their caring sharing ways, and so they blew them up. So along comes Joe Berardo who has some very deep pockets and a sense of fairness. Not only does he recreate some of the Buddhas here but builds a theme park of statues of every religion and creed as well as some modern sculptures. It is amazing and thoroughly worth seeing and they are doubling the size with an African section. In the pics below just see how tiny Tracy is against the statue. We were so impressed we bought a case of wine to help it along.
We drove quite a long way to get to this place and the view from the gardens. There is no easy way to get there in the Homie and to be fair we wished we had not bothered. The view is fine but not as gushy as the guides books make out,
Tourist Tip: As this is off the beaten track and the gardens are rubbish. Don’t bother going. We have put a picture below so you don’t have to.
Peniche 24/11 – 25/11/2014
We have learned when a guide book describes somewhere as gritty they actually mean another word that rhymes with gritty. We stayed in a car park up by the lighthouse. It is very scenic with a view off to the outlying Berlengas Islands. As it was very peaceful we were looking for a good night’s sleep when our chum the weather decided to place upon us a blowy blowy night.
Tourist Tip: At the Peninsula there is a colony of wild cats. Yes they all look very adorable and there are even tiny weeny kittens to play at your heartstrings. But, do not let your wife feed them with bacon from the fridge you were keeping back for a full English. Some woman comes and feeds them every morning so you don’t have to. Grrrr
Next day we went down to the town which is pretty meaningless. Dull springs to mind and restaurants a bit like Brussels where they stand outside doorstepping you. We went to the Castle where Salazar kept political prisoners up until the revolution of April 1974. It looked like a good exhibition with a lot of emotion but fell short for us being mono tonged. We had done Peniche by mid-afternoon so headed for Mafra but below are some pics of Peniche.
Mafra 25/11 – 26/11/2014
This is a big Palace, 4 sq Kilometres to be precise. It also has a forest attached with wild Boar amongst other things running free. We stayed in the car park next to the Palace. It was free but we were woken by Reveille from the adjacent Military Academy. The Palace is worth a visit. And the Basilica within is might impressive as well.
Surfing town that takes itself too serious. The waves did look good, very good. They look no larger than Cornwall but appear to approach with far more ferocity. Saw the very first Turnstone in our lives (it’s a bird). From here we drove through the most violent storm through Sintra with flooded roads everywhere. We decided to go to the cape and come back to Sintra in better weather.
Homie Help: The Aire in all the aires book for Ericeira no longer exists.
Cabo do Roca 26/11 – 27/11/2014
This is the most Western point of mainland Europe, not as Terry told us. He said it was somewhere in Spain. Anyway we stayed overnight in the car park at this most western place. It has a restaurant and Tat shop as well as a monument with a cross. Is that it? No, the sunsets are the go to events in these parts. Unfortunately we were kept awake by a rabid dog who barked at the moon all night. Here are some sunset photos.
Cascais 27/11 -29/11/2014
This is where Portugal shakes off its hairy overcoat, ditches its extra digits and moves full speed into eurobland. Don’t get us wrong this is a lovely town with fine buildings and a great atmosphere. It is just not Portugal as we know it. There are no gangs of men hanging around caffs smoking, they are in the vape shop. People are of an even structure and no longer wear surgical boots as a fashion statement. This is as sophisticated as anywhere in Europe, very chic. We had a scrumptious frango meal for a reasonable price to boot. We like it here and will coming back after our trip to Sintra and Lisbon. Mainly to collect my bike. I buckled the wheel and it needs a new one. I leave you with a picture of one of the fine Villas here.
Love you and leave You
Homie Help: It is impossible to park a motorhome in this town. So, park in one of the streets off Boca de Inferno for free and walk 20 mins into town. We parked all day in Rua da Pedra da Nau with no problems.