27th April 2010 Monsaraz to Marvao

27 04 2010

After a really good sleep we were up and about at around 10am, chatting again to our Belgian friends before they left on their way further south. I am sure we will see them again.

We wandered up into the small village of Monsaraz to buy some of the locally produced wine before we too set off, heading north. The plan was to go to a town called Terrugem where they had both an aire and a market on Wednesday morning. The drive there was a hot one with the temperatures hitting the mid thirties again. We arrived , found the aire and replenished our water supplies as well as emptying all of our waste. We then moved a little into a more shaded area and had some lunch. Because of the market the aire was closed between 6am and 11am and as we didn’t fancy an early rise we decided to drive to the nearest Barragem which was around half an hour away (the half an hour thing was soon to be the subject of the day). The drive to the Barragem was very relaxed, going through some beautiful countryside and the odd small village.

Unfortunately there were no other motorhomes parked up at the Barragem, mainly because the parking was right next to the main road we presumed but it was a gorgeous place to be. We checked the sat nav and the next town along was a place featured in both of our books on Portugal, a municipal campsite next to a natural spring in Cabeco de Vide, about half an hour away. On the way there we passed through the village of Monforte where we saw farmers herding their goats through the main street, all looking at us as we passed through. Arriving at the campsite we were disappointed, it was horribly overgrown and difficult to access so there was no way we could stay the night, despite the draw of the free natural spring water.

From there we decided to head toward Portalegre as on our map we had a campsite marked, always a good back up. We phoned ahead but the number was wrong and so we just decided to head in that direction, as it was only about half an hour away, and see if it was still there. It was in our books but not on the sat nav so with the number being out of order we wondered. It turned out that it was not there any more so we had a drive past Portalegre and decided it wad too big a place to be looking around for a night stay.

The next place on our minds was another fortified town called Marvao which had been mentioned to us by Joseph though he did say that he couldn’t find the place for motorhomes to park. We were only half an hour or so away so we decided to take a chance and have a look. I was of the mind that I would just park anywhere at this point as it was getting on for 6.30pm. The road to Marvao was a hilly twisty affair and we had superb views if the large castle perched on top of the cliffs as we approached. I was on the lookout for parking signs and as we entered the borders of the town we saw signs directing us toward the car parks. Then, just as we turned a corner I spotted 3 motorhomes parked up right by the side of a church so I quickly turned around with the shout of ‘MOTORHOMES!’ and we pulled up in between them, a perfect spot looking out over into Spain and not 10 minutes walk from the main town and castle (N39•23’38 W7•22’25).

A street in Marvao

The box of red wine we had bought earlier in the day couldn’t have been opened any quicker and, after a long days travelling, covering probably well over 170km in exhausting heat, we finally settled down to a dinner of pasta with tuna and anchovies at 7.30pm, pleased with our days achievements.




One response

21 09 2011

I like the photo of Marvão with its narrow cobbled streets, Gothic arches, Manueline windows.

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