Finding old friends, new places, a Bump with the Law,sticking points.

Leaving Guarda geo:40.538927,-7.268101;crs=wgs84;u=0

and hopefully the snow behind, we plotted course around our nemesis ie the Mountain, and tried our luck to the north and east getting to a place where we could find warmer days and an old friend of Amanda’s now living in Portugal.

We are getting used to Mrs Thomas and her quirks, but we haven’t yet sorted her tendency to take us around the side streets of villages instead of just going straight through on a reasonably wide road. Perhaps we need to investigate the Camper version of the European TomTom map? I don’t know…..

Being possibly over cautious the next Camper stop is chosen nr Oliveria do Hospital via Celoriao da Beira. Hoping that Mrs Thomas, Amanda and Destiny get along together taking what should be reasonable roads, no mountains or tiny cobbles through villages.  We haven’t yet sorted out Tolls, but we are wondering if this is something also to look in to…#

Arriving at Camping Toca da Raposa Quinta do Amial, 3405-351. (Bit of a mouthful) We find a rural spot with a few facilities, no washing machines which Amanda seems miffed about but I don’t feel similar emotions.  We are also plagued by the sites six dogs who obviously expect new arrivals to lavish attention on them. Ignoring them all we plan to visit Amanda’s friend who should have been close by?

Now looking on the map we realise we have an hours drive to see her, but thankfully over no mountains. The weather is cool (12 Deg C) and showery. We set out and drive using all the experience we have gained from Mrs Thomas ( you have never truly learnt until you have experienced many mistakes), and arrived in Coja, Praça Dr. Alberto do Vale, Portugal meeting in a great cafe called Boutique de Tuxa

A very emotional meet up after many years followed, with coffee, then a lunch was planned not far away  in a place called

Praia Fluvial de Ortigal.  But as we got started we had a little bump in the carpark, with a small hatchback reversing just as we had moved out with a resulting “BUMP” and the inevitable horror of crunching the car…

Destiny I must point out was some 200 yards away at the time as She cant  park in a space like normal vehicles and needs special attention when parking.


This pic denotes the scene as the Police seemingly have to be called, they turn up with Long tape measures, breathalysers, and fortunately very good English. Documents were found, queried, witnesses including us and our passports were checked and after an hour we had an accord, which none of us understood? and we went on our way.




Lunch was fantastic in a small Portuguese family run restaurant, at Praia Fluvial de Ortigal usually you eat outside by the river but to-day was a little wet so we had the Fixed price menu 10 Euros a great meal great value for 3 courses and wine.

All  in all a great day out only marred by Mrs Thomas having a wappy getting out of Coja taking us up the left of the town the deciding we needed to be the other side and asking us to turn right down a cobbled lane which started as a width and ahalf of destiny, whic is OK but as we turned a corner the width was Destiny plus 3 inches either side and had 2 bends with a exit of a sharp right turn on a street no wider than the one we were on…..

At this point Navigator No 2 left the Vehicle……

It could have been the wine we had for lunch ? or just not wanting to discuss this situation any more … but to my surprise, walked the length of the street, out of sight… Came back! and beaconed me to continue!!!!!!

This I thought we  have to see?!

So with granite walls less than an inch from both sides of the Van, I wiggled Destiny forwards bit by nail biting bit ( English don’t reverse) and got to the point where we needed to turn Left.  No way … Just Noooooooo Wayyyyyyyy at allllllll..!!!!!

Did I say the English don’t reverse, I began to apply for a new Nationality at this point.  But Nav 2 says just move forward, down this slope, which looked like somebody’s drive and i can see a real road at the bottom. Destiny it felt just made a bolt for it as we were other wise stuck not being able to reverse or turn at all. Down the cobbled slope and out on a Double width Tarmac (yes Tarmac) road.  The euphoria was short lived as Amanda “jumped” back in and realised we were back to the starting point of this particular journey.

I decided to give Mrs Thomas a little test …..

Drive randomly out of the Town using the biggest dam road I can see….

Tell her to sort out getting me back on track.

This, after doing the (Alright smarty pants)show me ALL the available routes we found a path on which all Navigators and Drivers were agreed.