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We’d stayed by the bridge at Ponte de Lima last year, and coincidentally on a Saturday night. People were still arriving in their droves way after 10pm, which meant that many slamming doors and engines running were to be expected for the next several hours.
Despite the fact that I was in bed, it was “suggested” that first of all I walk the entire length of the very long carpark to analyse the varying degrees of car and people noise, remembering, of course, to factor in those pesky frogs croaking at their usual high volume, at various concentrations along the river bank.
Once I’d reported back I was to then move our bedroom on wheels, whilst her ladyship remained in her bed, shouting instructions in the dark from behind the curtain. This I achieved, and despite some reduced car and people noise, I slept very soundly, in fact so soundly, that nothing could deter me from my snoring, which fortunately for Sophie is a rare event.
In the morning I was instructed to return to the normal parking area, but we actually soon left there as we began our gradual meander NE. Next, we drove through the centre of Braga, apparently Portugal’s 3rd largest city, and after that there was a castle Sophie had to see in Guimarães.
What we hadn’t fully appreciated, and this can only be the fault of the chief visit researcher, was that there was a whole historic centre to explore too. Very attractive and reminiscent of Dinan, so a visit would be highly recommended if you like old places.
From then on we maintained a north-easterly direction, which took us on a sensible road across the top of some mountains, as well as past some lakes and reservoirs. Our aim was to get to Boticas tonight, as Sophie’d read that it was an attractive little town. We sussed out a few potential Park4nights latterly, but gradually getting older and wiser we took a view to abandon these earlier rather than later when presented with dubious routes.
As we made our final approach to Boticas, winding gently down the rolling hills, we saw a pullover area just off the road and decided to pioneer a wild camp here, and it wasn’t even a Park4night. We’re a good 10 metres from the road, which is not a major one, and the views across the hills and distant mountains are very impressive. Apart from a momentary disturbance from couple of toddlers on incredibly loud tiny quad bikes with their dad, all bodes well for a lovely overnight stop.
*** Just to mention that our blogs tend to be a couple of weeks behind reality, as we’re always in catch-up mode ***