Alegrete to Marvao

Each night there is always an element of doubt as to whether we might have made a bad choice and that cockerels, barking dogs, teenagers, cicadas, frogs, or traffic might just ruin the anticipated peace and tranquil sleep. With very few exceptions I wake up each morning extremely grateful for the wonderfully quiet night.

I’d originally had my misgivings about this spot at Alegrete, down to a single review that said that a dog had kept barking all night. Given the low number of Park4Night opportunities in this section of our travels, it seemed worth the risk.

It certainly paid off because other than the usual random barking dog, it was very very quiet, with local traffic disappearing by 10pm. I recall a few early vehicles passing after daylight was with us, but we chalked Alegrete up as a really successful stop.

Having mentioned to Sophie that this lovely hilltop town featured in the Dorling Kindersley’s Portugal guide (thanks Phil – I downloaded the Kindle version to my iPad), and that a quick calculation using suggested that we could get to the top of the castle right at the town’s summit in 18 minutes, Sophie was almost enthusiastic about rising to this challenge.

Always keen for a decent hike, I agreed and off we went. I wasn’t allowed a coffee though, so had to prepare with just a banana and a couple of chocolate digestives. We arrived at the castle in exactly 18 minutes. Amazing. I’ll need to run a training session for Sophie on how to use, because I have to admit that I looked at the distance and altitude and had assumed a much lengthier expedition.

With great sun, Sophie was well away with her photo snapping, and we’d definitely recommend a visit.

We then drove through Portalegre, having agreed that it was too big a town for us to enjoy. I felt vindicated by the fact that DK Portugal didn’t feature this town in its own right. We paid our respects to their Lidl though, and then were out of there.

Next stop was magnificent Marvao. The setting is jaw-dropping, even as you approach. When up there, at such an impressive elevation, the views are remarkable. It’s a beautiful white-washed hilltop town, topped by a great castle.

Marvao has dedicated motorhome parking, which is always appreciated, with some tired, but fully functional services. After an onboard lunch we trekked up our second challenging incline of the day. I appreciate that if you’ve read any of our blogs before then you might be tempted to think we are sometimes a little reluctant to part with our cash. Let me put this right and tell you that today we paid to go in a castle. I’d say that €1.50 is a commendable entrance fee 😉, and the visit was well worth the money.

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