Holding pattern above Lisbon

We stayed around Tomar for a few days sorting out a Bank account, and our NIF number (this is important if you want to buy a Car or do anything that is to do with Tax at all). The Bank we chose was Millennium BPC mostly due to the fact we could use Internet Banking, it had English translated web pages and the Bank assistant, Liliana was extremely welcoming and helpful dealing with the paperwork and setting up a joint debit account. So feeling a little more Portuguese we had lunch in a small cafe by the river, when the phone call we had been waiting for came through……

We have our offer accecpted!

Malin says, “I hope you are both celebrating nicely! I am sorry it didn’t take as quick as Kirstie and Dave.. but it got a good outcome at least!!

NB: for Dave read erm’ whatsis name thingy… Phil! Yes Phil.

Kirstie would be proud…. “one for the Girls”.

So! what now?

We talk about whether this is the end of our travels…. And decide we have about three weeks whilst the paperwork is completed, so we should (sounds bad but) “make an effort” and see some more of at least Portugal or Southern Spain. We get to talking to other Travellers and find most have come up from the Algarve and Cadiz as it’s already crowded. This mostly due to the fact there is no insurance available to Campers because of terrorism threats and no-one is going over to Morocco. One veteran camper said “there are about 6000 Camper vans waiting to go over so the whole place is crowded”. We think this through, and with the heat beginning to have a deciding effect on the day to day things such as keeping the Van cool, the fridge (wine cooler) working, etc, decide to play safe and enjoy the things we have already explored and know to be good.

We left for the coast up the IC9 past Fatima where the Pope was paying a visit avoiding the crowds and across to Nazare where the temps are cooler with the Sea breeze. We moved on to Sao Martinho do Porto did some fishing and swimming in the sea, moved further down the coast on a recommendation of a Seasoned Camper in Tomar, to Foz do Arehlo. Described by the Campsite assistant as “A beautiful Paradise” , which it was, great for fishing (still no luck though), for cockles/ clams, great for wind surfing and paddle boarding and all things beach wise. We were there just before the season really starts so we had a good pitch right by the beach with electric hookup, but I feel any further in the year and we would have not been so lucky with the pitch. It was just 6 euros a night, so people were setting up for being there all the season. Then we decided to brave going to Lisbon as it can be a bit tricky driving around the City with the Camper but we limited the trip to just going to Ikea as we were thinking ahead to moving in the house and needed some Mattress toppers bedding and bits and bobs.

The drive down was stunning , 

taking the road along the N115 and N366 and A8 all without either Navigators getting too ratty with each other…. We have now found the Mrs Thomas likes to “cut through” small villages whereas the Main road now goes around these “navigation obstacles” so occasionally we ignore her requests to Sharp turn right! on the cobbles and just carry on and she sorts her self out in just a few kilometres. Nav 2 can the quietly mumble to herself “stupid woman told you so”………

Ikea was …..well just Ikea but the food was better I thought. We got some stuff for the house, found it very confusing when in the Market place, trying to locate stuff we wanted as all the terminals searched only in Portuguese. But we have found people here generally, under the age of 40 can speak a little English, some speak very well. So asking such a person to help often gets a very good response. I could teach most of them how to use a Web browser efficiently, but that is for another blog…

So we find it’s Friday afternoon and decide not to venture further in to the City but head back up the coast, this time being brave and using a Toll road and drive up to Ericeira costs us about 6 euros as a class 2 vehicle. We caused trouble at both ends of the Toll requiring Toll personnel risking life & limb across the road helping us with first getting a Toll Ticket, then trying to pay with cash at the exit! RHD high Camper Van and Short arms causing problems! But we were pleased with ourselves for doing it.

We enjoyed Ericeira and its Seafood for a few days then headed in-land along the Tejo up to Golega an Equestrian town which was fascinating.