Cows Pigs Chicken…
This could be titled …Mrs Thomas peaks, Cobbles to Portugal, or Downside of using Satnav.
I’ll let you decide…
So.. leaving the Campsite in Salamanca we checked out, then pulled up outside and set Mrs Thomas’ co-ordinates using the tried and tested Latitude and Longitude. Driving again on the Spanish motorway for most of the Journey along the A62 about 35 km before Portugal Mrs Thomas directed us off the Motorway and on the SA-200, which give her, her due was a delightful road driving through acres of ancient Olive trees having heard s of cattle and black pigs roaming freely under the trees. Then across the boarder the road surface changed from a well maintained tarmac to something akin to a bumpy broken surface road with more patches than actual road surface.
Anyway we were enjoying the scenery and the slower pace was fine heading towards Nave and then Sabugal. After then we took the EN-233 then heading to Perboa. The scenery was now more granite outcrops similar to the ones we know around Minions Cornwall, also below is a picture of some stone piles again similar to the ones seen on the Tors of cornwall.
? We couldn’t see it any where! Also it seemed to be not quite where we thought is should……
Parking up and checking the Map…. Both navigators again at odds…. Now we find the Camp Site guide book has an error in the co-ordinates and we are the wrong side of a pretty big mountain.
Being (in retrospect ) Ni-eve, British, Overconfident (take your pick) we just reprogrammed Mrs Thomas for the correct place and carried on driving up (we found literally) to Covilha a pretty impressive Town set on the side of this Mountain. To go up we had to go across left, right across, down, up across ….. it seemed we were getting nowhere very fast, until you looked down of course…. How people live here is beyond me, hardly a flat surface in sight, and most streets as we have now found to be the norm, are COBBLED!
Destiny, sitting at traffic lights at a 45 Deg angle facing up ,having to do start stop literally hundreds of times or so it seemed, but eventually we emerged on a road we thought would take us to our destination.
Well the road in question should your Mrs Thomas ever decide you should take it is N339 in the Paque Natural da Serra da Estrela.
It rises up quite steadily along steep inclines, steeper U type bends through the odd Village! And mountain type Hotels with us thinking around each bend would be the top…… and the (thank full) decent back down from the heavens.
Did I mention to-days weather was Cloudy with Showers?
Well with Amanda doing the Mrs Thomas impression of “At the next opportunity do a U turn” and Mrs Thomas boldly cracking on, we found showers, at this altitude, tend to be Snow.
Here is the place where the Chicken bit of the title comes in to play.
The snow plough really made my mind up,also the car in two feet of snow in front of us… And yes the sign is height in Meters not feet. 1600 Meters.
We were about here on the Mountain Snow plough Station roughly 4km from the top.
Doing the U turn as directed by Navigator No 2 and ignoring Mrs Thomas altogether we went back to the torture of Covilha navigating down to the N18. Parking up and realising what we had just done!
We since found out from Portuguese residents Nobody goes up there if there is rain…Nobody.. and Why did they evevrlet up up there in the first place? Didn’t any one Stop you?
We did think it was a peaceful road with very little traffic but to be honest we have taken this as the norm in most places we have visited……
So a very quick decision for an overnight stop (with we thought) no mountains, we drove to
Guarda which as it turned out was still fairly high up but we got camped and settled for the night. Outside it was Minus 2 Deg C and snowing.