Week 35 - In Pleasant Company.

Sunday 23rd March 2014.

We are moving on tomorrow, we came here for just a week but have enjoyed the site and surrounding area so much we stayed for 17 days. The problem when you overstay is that the longer the overstay the more there is to put away when you finally get moving again, so we stayed on site today, did laundry and packed things away.

Monday 24th March 2014

Having spent yesterday getting ready to move on you would think we would be early away. Not a bit of it. Sue had heard of a “cork shop” just 12 km up the road and wanted to have a look before we left, unfortunately the shop - in a cork factory - was closed when we arrived and one of the workers rang the boss who said he would be there in ten minutes to open it. Oh dear! A Portuguese ten minutes could be a couple of hours but the chap had been so helpful we felt we had to wait. Fortunately not much more than ten minutes later the lady who ran the shop arrived and we were taken in to look around at all the cork items ranging from shoes to hats, post cards to chairs, fruit bowls to pepper pots. Having bought some cork bedroom slippers and some cork post cards we got on our way, we never did get to see the boss who still had not arrived when we left.

The journey to the next site was no more than 250km but Desmond Dezil (the sat-nav) got in a right state as he did not have road data to tell him if our 12 plus metres was too big for the roads we were travelling but still did well (even taking off the motorway just before the electronic toll barriers and bringing us back just after them) until we got to less than a mile from the site. Here he took us down narrower and narrower roads with sharper and sharper turns that it got to the point where we did not see how we could continue further, we should according to him go straight on though several barriers etc., while the actual narrow road turned sharp to the right where I had to put the caravan on the pavement to get round. Fortunately looking carefully around we spied the site (which in another age would have been straight on) and after another two minutes of heart stopping turns we arrived. It turned out that the access roads to the campsite had recently been changed and some of the old ones pedestrianised.

Tuesday 25th March 2014

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Did no more than walk into town today. Being on a municipal site we are close to the town centre, just a short walk from all the shops, restaurants etc., it is a pleasant town but seems to have just one street (from a tourist point of view) and, sadly, even that street has empty shops etc. We will look forward to exploring in greater detail later.

Rosemary and Frank have arrived on site. We had arranged to meet them here but thought they were coming later in the week.

Wednesday 26th March 2014

Up early enough, for the second day running, to get fresh rolls for breakfast from the bread van that visits the site around 9 am every morning. After a leisurely breakfast set off with R & F to visit the Castelo Templário (Templar Castle) and Convento de Cristo (Convent of Christ) at the top of a very steep hill. This UNESCO world heritage site is an absolute must for anyone visiting this part of Portugal - it is simply magnificent, and far beyond my poor pen to describe - you must visit.

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Went out to dinner tonight to what was billed as a medieval restaurant. All candles and pottery plates. We were having difficulty choosing so the waiter suggested he bring two starters to the table and he would get extra cutlery so we could share then then if we wanted he would bring two more. We tried “Bacalhau and chick pea salad” then “Gizzard Skewer” both were delicious. We then went on to main courses. First we shared “Game Pie with Apple Mash, Nuts and Rasins” then “Fish Pie with Apple Mash” finally we shared a ham hock dish. We know that’s only two starters and three mains between us but we were full, not even having room for pud. The bill (including five half litres of beer and two bottles of wine was a very reasonable €66 (£54.61) just €16.50 (£13.65) per head.

Thursday 27th March 2014.

After the festivities last night we got up a bit later today and missed the bread lady. Still muesli was fine. We planned to go to Torres Novas to visit the Museu Municipal de Carlos Reis and then on to Environs roman ruins, however by the time we got to Torres Novas it was lunchtime - again: so with just a half hour before the museum re-opened we went for coffee before what was planned as a quick visit. The quick visit turned into a long visit and that was it for the day.

Friday 28th March 2014.

Friday is market day in Tomar and a top rate market it is with everything on sale from fruit and veg to seeds and hardware, from bootleg DVD’s (we bought four) to tractors, one of the best markets we have encountered.

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From both the campsite and the Castelo Templário (Templar Castle) and Convento de Cristo (Convent of Christ) we could see a long flight of steps from Tomar town up the other side of the valley to a 17th century chapel -  Nossa Senhora da Piedade. The flight of steps, numbering 300 (we read we didn’t count), is impressive, the chapel at the top, built in a plain and simple style, less so. Having climbed the 300 steps and then descended 300 steps we visitd the Tomar Synagog and although interesting the lady guide (Rabi?) was fascinating and despite not speaking English gave us a lot of interesting information.

Saturday 29th March 2014.

This evenings meal was Paella cooked on R & F’s Cobb BBQ. There were two problems 1) as soon as the BBQ was lit Frank produced two bottles of beer, then shortly after two more, we then had several more while waiting for the heat to build. This all led to problem 2) we had put the paella pan on the fire before it was properly going (see problem 1) and choked the fire, so we had to relight it and, of course, had to drink lots more beer while waiting for it to heat. Directly it was hot enough for the paella to be put together and on the pan we felt we had had enough beer so started on wine. It takes quite a while to cook paella but not very long to drink wine.

I shrinkk it wassh a good paewa.💀

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