Week 34 - With Scary Bits

Sunday 16th March 2014.

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Sue had seen mention of a reservoir worth a visit in one of her guide books and we went looking for it today. We didn’t find the one we were after but we found a very acceptable substitute don’t quite know where it was or what it was called but it was obviously popular with locals who were fishing, swimming and generally having a good, and noisy, time until 12.30 when all the activity and noise stopped and the serious business of lunch began. On the way back to the camp site we came across a field covered in yellow lupins. It looked quite stunning. We took a photo but it is poor compared to the original sight.

Monday 17th March 2014.

As I’ve said before Portugal, from a tourist point of view is closed. We hung about the van and relaxed for the day.

We phoned the management agents about our tenants today, Were they still there despite the lease being terminated and no rent having been paid? We were informed that they have been given notice to quit (it has to be two months notice) but this came into force not as we thought on the 1st January but the 1st February so they are not due out until 31st March. There was no rent paid in February so you can bet your life there will be no rent paid in March. Oh! well such are the joys of being a landlord. 

Tuesday 18th March 2014.

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Off out again to a place called Marváo, another town built on a hilltop with we were told commanding views over the surrounding countryside. The views were indeed spectacular but for us that old chestnut Portuguese Health and Safety was at its most interesting. The town wall was walkable for almost its entire length but in some places it took nerves of steel to continue but the sense of achievement at the end was great. Not far from Marveo was the Cidade Romans de Ammaia -  Roman Remains. We had a chat to one of the archaeologists there who informed us that they know there had been a city with over six thousand inhabitants that covered a very large area but so far less than 2% had been excavated and at present with the countries austerity measures there is no money to do further study of the site.

Wednesday 19th March 2014.

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We went posh today and visited Vila Vicosa and its palace, the last residence of the Portuguese monarchy. We had certain misgivings as Trip Advisor reports were not all favourable, one saying that you must be accompanied by a guide during your trip and the guide would only give the tour talk in Portuguese unless he/she was telling you off in perfect English. Well; the guide is Portuguese, the palace is Portuguese and you are in Portugal why should the guide not speak Portuguese? We were clearly told at the reception desk that the guide would lecture in Portuguese only and that the priceless treasures could not be touched. As it happened we listened carefully to the guide and when we caught a word we understood relayed that to each other, the guide picked up on this and asked Sue if she spoke Portuguese she replied no, hardly a word. From then on after giving his lecture in Portuguese he would turn to Sue and I (although mainly Sue) and give a quick talk in English. The other Brits quickly learned to stand near us and by the end of the tour there were two lectures one in Portuguese and one in English. A great afternoon.

Thursday 20th March 2014.

By gum Brits abroad can be sad. We spent today washing the car - how sad is that?

Virtually every supermarket and butcher in Portugal sells Quail. We determined to try these tiny birds before we left so the last time we went shopping we bought some, one for a starter two for a main, we were told. Even two seemed rather small for dinner so we bought some Quail eggs to go with them. After spatchcocking and seasoning them we popped them on a hot BBQ griddle plate expecting them to take no more than 15 minutes to perfection. After the due time they were cooking but not ready. After another ten minutes we realised we had run out of gas to the BBQ, a quick bottle change and fifteen minutes later we were sitting at the table wondering how to eat them. There is only one way. Fingers. With the eggs, a fresh salad and a bottle of local wine they went down a treat. We will most definitely repeat (without the gas fiasco) this easy and tasty meal.

Friday 21st March 2014.

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When we went to Marváo and the roman remains on Tuesday we had intended to stop at Portalegre to visit the Tapeçaria de Portalegre which displays tapestries from the 17th century to the present day and shows the methods, materials and tools used to create them. It was a very worthwhile visit after which we went on to Castelo de Vide a super looking little town, unfortunately it was market day and the whole town was chocker block full and although we drove round found nowhere to stop - a pity as it looked a great place to explore so it’s on our list of places to return to.

Saturday 22nd March 2014.

Like last friday today was washing and housework day. Oh yes - thank you to all those who emailed Sue with tips to get me doing more of the housework but please remember, listening to music and operating the computer is VERY hard work.

Last Updated - Sunday 27th April 2014.             © Seve  Ghost 2014