11th March 2010 Amarante to Ovar

11 03 2010

Lorna was up at 8am this morning for some reason and whilst I lay in bed she was busy looking at maps and making me a nice cup of rooibos tea. I eventually decided to get up at about 8.45am and after a great shower in the campsite shower block we had egg sandwiches for our breakfast. I went and paid for the nights stay and by 10am we were parking in the town of Amarante for a look around. The town itself was much smaller than we had imagined yesterday but very beautiful with a large church sat right next to the river and winding streets full of long narrow and darkened shops. I think it’s proximity to the motorway, the large bus station and the roadworks on the other side of the river made us think it would be difficult to wild camp there, but at under€10 for a night at the campsite it was not a big issue anyway.

Bird Feeder - Amarante

After a good walk round we set the sat-nav to take us to Ovar, a place mentioned in the ‘Motorhomes Trails Portugal’ book we had, and so we set off on the 2 hour journey which took us into Porto and out the other side. The roads were fine to begin with, fairly smooth but it seemed that as soon as we hit a town the situation got worse. The town of Penafiel particularly had cobbled streets running all the way through the centre and that was the main road, after that there were others that were much worse. Imagine how a road is in the UK when they strip the top layers in readiness to resurface it, now add potholes and you will get an idea of how bad some of the roads were. Soon after we were on the motorway and, on a clean surface made good distance quite quickly though this wasn’t without it’s poor surfaces either, in places. The journey through Porto wasn’t as bad as I had imagined with the motorway taking us around the outskirts but close enough to see Porto’s football stadium.

On arriving in Ovar we quickly found our way to the beach car park (N40•52.10′ W 08•40.41′) and decided that it was an excellent place to spend the night, right on the beach and just outside of town. Not long after we had parked up another British motorhome arrived and so we spent a good couple of hours chatting to the couple, Roy and Mary, who were in it.

Parked up at Ovar Beach

They had come away for 6 weeks and were already 4 weeks in and on their way back to the UK having been as far as Gibraltar. The time spent with them delayed our lunch so, that became tea and we had chorizo with raclette cheese on bread rolls with some salad, very tasty!

Later in the evening the sunset was gorgeous with the sun becoming a red ball hovering over the horizon, eventually disappearing and turning the sky a beautiful shade of deep red.

Sunset - Ovar Beach

We went to bed quite early with the sound of crashing waves continuing throughout the night, a perfect place to be.

Red Skies - Ovar Beach

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