15th March 2010 Figueira da Foz to Fatima

15 03 2010

After a good nights chatting with Chris and Leslie we slept well and woke up to another glorious day. Jack was walked the the beach and after another visit from our British friends to swap books we left Figueira da Foz with some great memories, not before we had said goodbye to Fay and Gerrard, the German couple who we had parked next to, Fay giving Jack some more treats.

We took a slight detour to the hypermarket just outside of town to get some tea for the evening and I eventually managed to pick up an external hard drive so I could back up my failing laptop……at last! The drive to Fatima was a slow and relaxing affair and having missed one turn we were sent through a small village with narrow streets and then uphill, and uphill, and uphill. At the height of our journey we got out and had a look around at the wonderful views, looking down on what seemed to be quite high summits themselves.

Arriving in Fatima we eventually found the car park with the motorhome facilities on it (N39•38.03′ W08•40.17′) and set ourselves in a bay surrounded by maybe six other motorhomes. Lorna cooked a big pot of chilli and we had a late lunch. After this we had a wander around the town of Fatima with Jack, unfortunately he was not allowed into the main square as it was of religious significance so we stayed away from there and had a look around the shops. What a very strange place to be, if you wanted a portrait of Jesus, some roseary beads or a statue of virtually any signifcant religious character then you were quids in, virtually every shop was selling religious stuff including books, priests clothes and anything and everything to do with the Christian faith. We wanted a loaf of bread but could we find a bakery? Ok, you could buy really overpriced ‘religious’ bread (€5 for a small loaf) but to be honest I would have been scared to eat that as it was obviously for some sort of communion, not for general consumption. Eventually we found a small cafe and bakers shop on the outskirts of town and bought a couple of croissants and some rather nice apple tart, no bread left and I’m not suprised as it seemed to be the only place it was available.

We walked back to the motorhome and whilst Lorna stayed with Jack I had a walk into the main square. The size of the place was quite overwhelming with room for thousands and thousands of people, it was fairly quiet but there were many Nuns walking to the evening mass as well as a largeish group of people all congregated in a smaller building which looked to have a statue of Christ in it, some were kneeling down whilst others were just sat in silence. Out of respect I stayed away with my camera preferring to photograph the main church in some lovely evening light.

Fatima

 

Fatima

I returned soon after and started the long job of moving my files from my sligtly jittery laptop onto my new exernal drive. Now at least I will have a copy of all of my stuff should the laptop die on me again, which it did part way through the process…..grrrrrr.

Later on in the evening we watched TV with an English audio track and subtitles in Portuguese, a National Geographic program about brown bears in Alaska which held our interest for a good while before we retired to bed.

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