A Travellerspoint blog

Friday 8th January

Headed along the coastal roads trying to avoid potholes! After a lot of driving back and forth, we ended up parked by the sea at Praia de Quiaos. It was a lovely sunny day, although with the wind it was cold. After a walk along the lovely long beach and back along the wooden walkways, which seem to be on most of Portugal’s beaches, it was back into the motorhome to sit in the cab with the sun warming us through the glass.


Posted by marklorna 08:43 Comments (0)

Thursday 7th January

The box was put into a wheelie bin and off we went back towards Porto on a mission to buy a replacement. After some driving around and a wrong turn onto a toll road, we found a very long roof box we hoped would fit all our stuff in and parted with 130€. An expense that needn’t of been. I suppose lessons are learnt hard and I will be in no rush to drive down small roads with overhanging trees. We headed off back to the coast and stopped in Praia de Mira, a lovely coastal town with a long sandy beach. The sun was out but so was the wind and as we needed to fit the new roof box, we headed down the road to a car park behind some dunes. When we pulled up we also realised the kayaks had shifted on the roof due to the bent bar. So the rest of the day was spent getting everything off and trying to straighten the roof bar. Before fixing everything back up, in cold strong winds! The joy. Still all sorted again now, apart from a lighter wallet and me feeling annoyed with myself.



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Wednesday 6th January

Drove along the coast through villages and over cobbled roads, they seem to like them here. Although the main roads aren’t the best to drive on either as you are constantly playing dodge the pothole! Anyway as the day was getting on, we were driving around through the coastal streets of Valadares trying to find somewhere to park up for the night that wasn’t in front of someone’s house. As I turned into a small street there were some low trees overhanging the road and suddenly there was a crunch! In a stupid moment on my part, thinking it was just a small branch catching the top, I carried on and a much bigger crunch came. Lorna was looking up through the sky light horrified, I then finally stopped and looked up and I saw our roof box curled up. I jumped out and the roof box had been ripped open by an overhanging tree trunk. The box was a mess of twisted metal and broken plastic with all our belongings hanging out and over the roof! We were blocking the small road, so there was nothing to do but get up there and get all our bits into the motorhome. By this time a few local Portuguese had come out to have a look at the stupid English and one was taking a picture on his mobile, as I was handing stuff down to Lorna from the roof. What a stupid move I had made, I wanted the ground to swallow me up. Let alone what we would actually do next? Our roof box was massive and the motorhome inside was now full of everything from it, as there was no storage room left inside anyway. One of the locals went and got some rope for me so I could tie what remained of a roof box onto the roof racks, as it had been ripped off them. They then helped us reverse out the road and told us which way to go so we wouldn’t come across any more low trees. I drove sheepishly away, with the wreck tied on top and we then found a spot we could park up in for the night. I removed the box off the roof and also found a roof bar had been bent. With the box on the ground I started fiddling with it, in the vain hope I could fix it, but it was no use as it was no longer a box. Lorna finally called me in, telling me to leave it, as the roof box was now dead.
Portuguese Tree 1 - Mark’s Driving 0.


Posted by marklorna 08:41 Comments (0)

Tuesday 5th January

Now with clean clothes and fixed toilet we continued our journey to the coast. On arriving in Agucadoura, we drove along small cobbled roads for a couple of miles. Either side of us were loads of vegetable fields and poly tunnels. It seems that they have a big industry of salad and veg on what seemed like flood plains. We then found a parking spot next to a hotel, right on the sea front. At the sea it was a nice day but very windy, the best thing though was no rain!


Posted by marklorna 08:39 Comments (0)

Monday 4th January

Today we headed for the city of Braga in search of a motorhome shop and maybe if we were lucky finally a laundrette. We had a wonder around the city found the tourist office, they told us a location of a motorhome shop and off we went. The shop was run by a great character that had taken ownership of a vagabond dog that just wouldn’t stop jumping up at him. One thing we have noticed about Portugal is there seems to be a huge amount of stray dogs everywhere. Anyway, we purchased our toilet seal and headed back to the city. After driving around near the University we finally found a self-service laundrette, for our now huge amount of washing. The only problem was in the amazement of seeing the laundrette we carried on driving down a road and wondered why a man was running beside shouting at us! Turns out as we were looking at the laundrette we had missed the no entry sign and had driven the wrong way down a one-way street. After the laundry was done we found a spot to park near a Religious building called Bom Jesus just on the edge of the city.

Posted by marklorna 08:37 Comments (0)

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