Monsaraz to Evora

Where we were, down by the water’s edge, the sheep roamed freely, making for a very pleasant stop. We also woke up with the herd around us.

Today we would visit the hill-top town of Monsaraz. The motorhome parking is generous there, and right next to the fortified walls, but slightly complicated to work out for us simple folk. As we attempted to squeeze backwards into a reasonable spot, a German lady in another carpark beckoned us over, explaining the secret, hidden passageway that motorhomes could use. It was briefly steep, but the parking and views excellent.

We headed straight into this lovely town, which is right up our street as it consists essentially of three parallel modest roads set within its ramparts, with a castle at one end. Very tasteful and even the souvenir shops were very much in keeping.

We lunched on board, then did whistle-stop visits of four sites where there were dolmens and/or standing stones.

Sophie was keen to visit the town of Sao Pedro da Carval, which is well-known for its local pottery. She popped-in to check out a few workshops, and then we were off, heading for the acclaimed large town of Evora.

We made straight for the motorhome parking at the aquaduct, where everyone seems to park when they visit Evora. The photos of the place always look inviting, with never more than a few vans in an otherwise empty carpark. Don’t believe it, these must be photoshopped images, where someone has cleverly removed the cars that fill almost every other space. Whilst there was a little space for us, we’ve been far too spoiled with great rural parking and so decided against it.

A Google Maps satellite image of the official motorhome aire looked very green and spacious, so off we trundled in the rush-hour traffic. Sadly this turned out to be a motorhome ghetto. No thanks.

A quick check of the Park4Night alternatives threw up a large parking area next to a cemetery about 6 minutes out of town. It’s virtually rural out here, and so far very quiet, and, as far as these two random motorhome travellers are concerned, 100 times better than Evora’s main parking offerings. Let’s hope it’s as quiet as the translated review says: “Good night calm. With the only sounds of crickets and wind in the palm trees.”

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