I’m now running out of ways of saying “what another wonderfully peaceful night”. That was night 52 of this trip. There can only have been 2 of those where we had some disturbance. Tranquil nights are just the norm with this style of travelling, as endorsed by pretty much anyone else doing the same anywhere across Europe. We also significantly increase the odds of the occasional non-ideal stopover because we very rarely stay anywhere more than the one night.
So we‘ve had 50 peaceful and picturesque stops since arriving in Europe on 1st March, and last night near the modern archaeological museum at Vila Nova de Foz Coa was no exception. Perched high up above where the Rio Coa meets the Rio Douro, the views were again spectacular.
The town also has motorhome services which were greatly appreciated, and after stopping off there we were back on our way. We were now heading in a Salamanca direction and despite the SatNav trying its best to put us on the fastest roads with a dog leg South, I intervened and insisted on the scenic and more direct route.
Let me strongly endorse the N222. It’s a very comfortable road to drive and the views as we edged closer to Spain continued to be amazing. So that was three weeks exactly in Portugal for us, and we’ve covered plenty of ground. It has been helpful to see much of the interior of this lovely country, because our previous experience has been mainly coastal.
After yesterday’s excessive winding roads, before long we found ourselves on lovely straight roads again. I’m sure they’ll soon lose their shine as is the norm with too much repetition. We’d held off topping up with diesel so as to benefit from Spain’s better value fuel prices and it gave me great pleasure to only pay about €1.20. I would have filled her up, but Sophie recalled that we’d paid less previously in Spain and so suggested we leave some space for a better deal somewhere else.
En route to Salamanca I’d seen an interesting Park4night just outside the little village of Villasdardo. This entailed a 5km minor diversion, which brought us to an ancient church with lovely flat, solid parking in a very rural location. The facade had four storks’ nests in close proximity on top, occupied by three pairs, with there being some sort of battle taking place between three birds over the fourth nest. Storks are very common in these parts, but this is probably the best view we’ve had of these fascinating birds, and with the most activity.
When we crossed the border from Portugal into Spain we lost an hour as we returned to usual Continental European time. After a lunch break of home made crushed avocado and garlic, mashed, and spread on crostini (toast 😉), then topped with baby tomatoes (thank you Sophie), and given that our next stop will likely entail a stroll around Salamanca, we elected to stay at this great location, and to do our town visit tomorrow when feeling fresher.