Macao to Tomar

That turned out to be an excellent spot for the night. Great scenery & very peaceful. Maçao was just 3km up the road, where they have free services and adequate parking too

In this region of Portugal the prolific natural regeneration of trees everywhere, for miles on end, were the clear evidence of the forest fire tragedy of 2017. It’s impressive to see how you can’t hold nature back and how two year’s growth can really make a difference.

Avoiding the SatNav’s pleadings to join the toll road, we stuck to the very pleasant N3 country road, all the way to Abrantes, where we came across our first sub-€1.30 diesel. I’ve also worked out how to overcome the SatNav’s unusual lapse re tolls. It lets you scroll through your entire route, turn by turn, and every time I see what I know to be a toll road, I ask it to avoid that turn. Seemed to work. As this toll issue has never really happened before, I’ll put it down to confusion re Portugal’s electronic toll system. Didn’t happen last year though.

From this point on, the drive became more urban based, which, whilst interesting to a degree, is not our thing.

We dropped in at Constancia’s riverside parking, which was very pleasant. We considered the hike up into the town to see the historic centre, although there was ample and generous roadside parking much closer, and this on a Saturday afternoon, but decided against. You can’t visit everywhere 😉.

Just a little further on is the Castelo de Almoural, which unusually sits on a rock in the middle of the narrow river. Access is by way of a €2 boat trip. Good motorhome parking, which is on Park4night, where it is pointed out that the railway runs past, but it’s OK because it doesn’t run between 11pm and 4am. That’s OK then 😉.

Soon after here, after we narrowly avoided being directed over a bridge with a 2m height restriction, the drive took us through much urban sprawl. I took a detour up to some caves, more in the hope of finding decent parking away from it all, but it was misty, and “no view, no stay” tends to be our guide.

I’d seen a Park4Night up amongst some old windmills further on that sounded promising, but the steep ascent on rough roads, with a little wheel spin, unnerved Sophie, and it was still a bit misty, and so less inspiring than it could have been.

A quick check on Park4night threw up a wildcard option for us. Tomar, which was next on our agenda anyway, showed that it’s campsite was in the middle of being remodelled into a dedicated motorhome park. Whilst this was going on, it was a free for all and you could use the site and all its facilities for no cost.

As the photos looked enticing as it was set amongst trees, we thought we’d go for it. After the initial shock of finding ourselves in a very busy campsite, which is something we have not done in very many years, we found a quiet corner, and settled down to this rare concept for us. It’s definitely not us, but as long as we get a good night’s sleep it’ll be fine, and in any case we’ll be well set up to walk into Tomar in the morning.

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