Day 218 – Friday 12th October 2018
A very breezy morning as we set off from Santander to Gijon.
After about 30km of twisting and turning the motorway calmed down and so thankfully did the wind. As we neared Gijon I thought fuck it, why not make the most of the calm weather and head straight for Santiago de Compostela and get the mountains out of the way.
All went swimmingly for an hour or two and then the winds really did return.
Nelly was being blown all over the place on the high bridges. I was gripping the steering wheel so tight I was losing the feeling in my fingers.
After one particularly hairy moment crossing a wide estuary I thought this is absolutely fuckin’ ridiculous and reduced my speed down to 35 to 40mph. That did the trick. I was a rolling roadblock and it added an hour and a half to the journey but years to my life.
I have to say though, bad as the buffeting was, I felt much safer on the Spanish high bridges than I ever did on the Italian ones; the safety rails on the Spanish bridges actually looked like they’d stop you going over the edge. That wasn’t always the case on the E10.
We arrived in Santiago de Compostela to biblical rain. Great.
Treated ourselves to some campsite chips. I’ve never had paler or limper chips in my life.
Day 219 – Saturday 13th October 2018
Overcast and windy morning in Santiago de Compostela
The town is a place of catholic pilgrimage and people walk something called a Camino de Santiago, a way of St James.
There are many caminos but he most popular is the Camino Francés which is 485 miles long from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz.
People collect stamps on a little passport along the way and when they get to the end if they have enough stamps they can get a little certificate, a compostela
Ridiculous that even though we’ve come all the way from Biarritz and I did have a word or two with God yesterday apparently I don’t qualify for a certificate!!!
For the custom fridge magnets you could either be pilgrims or witches because…
Galicia is also Celtic so naturally they have bagpipes.
Day 220 – Sunday 14th October 2018
After a very wet night a wet morning in Santiago de Compostela. We set of for a site near Caminha, just across the border in Portugal. No problems on the journey, the weather improved too. Settled into the site for a lazy day.
I was soon bored and yomped into Caminha
Day 221 – Monday 15th October 2018
It was another wet morning as we set off for Porto. Apparently this is the tail end of storm Lesley.
It was very wet in Porto when we arrived
Weather cleared in the evening and tomorrow is supposed to be good sightseeing weather 🙂
Day 222 – Tuesday 16th October 2018
Nice dry morning. I didn’t fancy taking Zippy into Porto so we opted for the bus and the ride into town was pretty insane.
We are staying just south of Porto in place called Vila Nova de Gaia and while the seafront is okay the old part of the town is very old and very run down.
Some of the streets are so narrow they only just fit a single decker bus, maybe 6” clearance either side and there aren’t any pavements or front gardens so the front doors open on to the road. If you stepped out of them without first checking a bus would certainly kill you because the buses do not go slowly. It’s absolutely unbelievable.
Oh and the streets are cobbled so everything shakes and rattles like buggery. For €1.90 the No.15 bus certainly is an experience.
Once off the bus we headed for the Ponte Luis I to take some pics of the Riberia which I read was the most instagramable part of Porto. Not that I use instagram.
They nearly all sell the local speciality, a Francesinha…
The last item on the day’s itinerary was a visit to a port house.
Day 223 – Wednesday 17th October 2018
Nice dry start to the day and we set off for Nazare, halfway between Porto and Lisbon.
Like everything in Portugal the road toll system is a little confusing. I have been going through electronic tolls without a box. I’m told I can pay them online but the website has no record of my journeys.
Today I came to get off a toll road and it asked me for a ticket but I’d driven on the road without being offered a ticket. I rang the help button and the bloke told me I owed €48 for a 50km trip. Presumably I’d been charged the maximum because I had no ticket. I was vexed but what can you do, the barrier wasn’t going to be raised until I paid….. but as luck would have it the card machine was broken and wouldn’t read either of my cards. I wasn’t going to get my spare cards out and I told I hadn’t got €48 on me so what was he going to do? He had to let me through for nowt. Result 😀
Nazare is a pleasant enough tourist town with a very big beach.
Day 224 – Thursday 18th October 2018
Pleasant enough morning. Made the trip down to Lisbon. After a quick lunch we took the bus into the centre; what is it with cobbled roads in Portugal?
Going on a free tour of the city tomorrow. We could probably spend a week looking around the city but the trip down from Amsterdam has been tiring and I want to hit the south coast and put my feet up till January.