Nazaré—Lisbon day 1

Tuesday 2 July 2013 When we woke, our view of Nazaré was no longer obscure; it had vanished altogether. The mist blowing in from the Atlantic had completely blanketed the town in an opaque fug that was so thick you needed a raincoat to walk through it. And walk through it we did. After packing…

Nazaré day 3

Monday 1 July 2013 On Monday we woke to find that we were looking out over a completely different view of Nazaré. The terracotta roofs of the town below were shrouded in a white mist that was blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. It left a cool, wet kiss on our cheek as we walked…

Nazaré day 2

Sunday 30 June 2013 On our first morning in Nazaré we tried breakfast in one of the cafés in the Sitio. We ordered a croissant, a coffee, and orange juice and a fresh roll with egg. What arrived on the table bore little resemblance to any of these items. We were learning one of the…

Porto—Nazaré day 1

Saturday 29 June 2013 Whenever we mentioned that we were going to Nazaré, we seemed to get an equivocal reaction from locals. We knew that there was some kind of stigma attached to it, but our language ability was too poor to figure out what kind of stigma it was. We had mentioned to the…

Porto day 3

Friday 28 June 2013 Friday in Porto did not get off to a great start. My respiratory infection had morphed into a nasty secondary infection in the sinuses which created a crescent of pain in my upper jaw along the top of my teeth. At first I thought this was a side-effect of the pseudoephedrine…

Porto day 2

Thursday 27 June 2013 Our first day in Porto was a challenge because I was both sick and sleep-deprived. Nevertheless, we were determined to explore this most interesting city, so I just traipsed around behind Susie pretending it was “walk like a zombie” day. We headed off down Rua 31 de Janeiro where Susie and…

Santiago—Porto day 1

Wednesday 26 June 2013 Our day began early. At 6 a.m. I bid Ruby farewell as she got into a taxi outside the vast portal of the Hospedaria San Martin de Pinario. She was heading off to begin her adventures in Morocco and, later, Malaga, in Spain. On our way out of the old city,…

Santiago day 3

Tuesday 25 June 2013 On our third day in Santiago de Compostela Ruby slept in, so Susie and I spent a few hours competing for bandwidth with pilgrims in the common room of the hospedaria. When Her Ladyship finally rose to displace the sun, we breakfasted on chocolate-filled crêpes in the plaza Quintana dos Muertos….

Santiago day 2

Monday 24 June 2013 Santiago de Compostela is the final destination on the famous Camino de Santiago which has been traipsed by pilgrims for thousands of years. The old city is yet another example of careful preservation of architectural and cultural heritage. The whole place has a slightly cheesy aspect to it, however. There are…

Cudillero—Santiago de Compostela day 1

Sunday 23 June 2013 Today was the second leg of our road trip across the northern coast of Spain. Our aim was to drive from our base at Castañedo near Cudillero to the airport at Santiago de Compostela near Sigüeiro. So, for the last time, we pulled onto the “skyway” that soared above our valley…

Cudillero day 4

Saturday 22 June 2013 Our accommodation in Cudillero is promoted as an “eco lodge”. It is located in a sturdy colonial building that has been divided into four apartments, two upstairs and two downstairs. We are in one of the downstairs apartments, which have very little light. The renovator’s options were no doubt limited by…

Cudillero day 3

Friday 21 June 2013 After our walk along the coast the previous day, we reserved a morning to explore the town of Cudillero, which is a short drive away from our base in the tiny hamlet of Castañedo. As we drove along a road that snaked down to sea-level and around a charming marina, the…