By 10:30pm the minimal traffic had all but tailed off, and we couldn’t have had a quieter night. The morning was great weather so I was straight outside sat on the picnic table taking in that wonderful Douro view again. After giving me an alfresco haircut, Sophie then cooked pizza from scratch for lunch, which we also enjoyed outside on the pristine picnic benches.
My plan for today was to drive the “Port Route” as described in my Dorling Kindersley guide. This entailed dropping down to the Douro, then winding back up the other side. It was interesting, but after the first hour of this, I pulled over to reassess my plans as we’d now seen enough of the Douro, and enjoyed it, but it was probably time to call it a day.
I had been planning a route which would have involved yet another wind right down to the river and then up the other side, right up to a particularly high viewing point. With the anticipated wind down to the bottom again tomorrow, followed by inevitably more winding roads as we headed towards the Spanish border, I could see it being a risky strategy, that might even end up without a meal being cooked. Imagine that.
So I cut out the middle man and took the longer way round using sensible fast routes which took us to Vila Nova de Foz Coa, which is where I would have headed tomorrow anyway. My research had shown a Park4night in the car park of the town’s museum a few km outside the village. There were no photos (now rectified with photos of our van) to guide me but Google Maps gave me a steer. So, after some strong words with the SatNav, which thought it knew best and was determined to take me right through the middle of the small town, which is always a risky strategy, I reverted to the tried and tested approach of just following the road signs that said “Museum”. Some neighbours have now arrived in their motorhome, but have had the good sense to park at the other end of the carpark. So here we are, with the required great views and parking, and the prospect of a lovely quiet night.