VN de C sits on the Rio Minho the border with Northern Spain so a last stop in Portugal, dedicated spot for 5 vans but loads of overspill into the adjacent car parks, cycle paths both ways along the river and this being a lovely little town on the river we had a few days before Spain.
Ten miles North of Porto we found the camping park at Vila Cha, from free to €12.50/night but all the amenities, showers good enough for a double hair wash, luxury!
Met a couple of fellow adventurers, Julie and Martin, having just discovered paddle boarding they have upgraded their boards for “race spec” boards, nothing if not competitive, we will probably see them next doing 30 knots up some Spanish river some place ! Good luck.
After the drive along the spectacular Duro valley, Porto came as a big bustling port with all the tourism that goes with it but we we where looking forward to the famous Port houses to visit and sample their produce !
From the mountains to the Rio Douro upstream of Porto, by a couple of hours, to Peso da Regua, river crossings for road, rail and cyclists also a stopping off point for the huge river boats that defy any possibility of navigating the river !
The official aire overlooking the river is owned by the local fishing club and for a dedicated park with fresh and waste water facilities plus lekky hook up all for 3€, bargain. You can’t park a car in Mansfield for any more the 2 hours for that !
We took a train ride up river, hugging every spare piece of land not being used for grape and Port wine production, landscaped to perfection by Messers Taylor’s, Dow, Sandiman, Grahams to name but a few.
From Lisbon on the West coast to the mountains of the East and the beautiful rural castle of Marvao perched so high up we had trouble with the gas not burning long enough for a hot shower, it transpired we were at such an altitude the gas struggled to gas off ! Should have realised when we had Vultures floating past most days on the mountain thermals. The aire was free the castle imposing with spectacular views over the roof tops of both Spain and Portugal.
Vila Nova is a pleasant stop designated for Motorhomes next to the river with a great water related park complete with free wifi and works of contemporary art. Sleep was hard to come by until you got used to the deafening frog chorus each evening.
Obidos, home of a cherry liquor poured into a chocolate cup and demolished with a smile and a secret wish for more. A walled town with loads of tourism shops and merchandise although we stayed a few mile out on what is basically a big lagoon inlet and the mozzies never let us forget it !
We had decided to do Lisbon for Easter and see what festivities are on offer ? Like most cities loads of food and drink but also a vibrant nightlife and music culture that kept us out past midnight every night. Thankfully Campo Lisboa is only a €10 taxi ride home, bargain !
lisbon is a likeable city that grows on you the more you wander the streets, bars and alleyways so much so we had a week doing just that but didn’t tire of it, which is good for us.