17th December 2010 – Vilar Formoso to Figueira da Foz

18 12 2010

We didn’t intend on driving the entire width of Portugal but drive the entire width of Portugal we did.

The intention was to visit an aire at a little place called Carregal do Sal and see how it looked for having a wander around and stopping the night, it was only an hour and a half away so we didn’t bother getting up and leaving particularly early. The heating took a bit of a bashing last night as it seemed quite cold, despite our temperature gauge reading 6 degrees and to my surprise the gas reading was saying that one of our bottles was empty, strange. On checking I had mistakenly set the changeover to take from our smaller bottle first so I can only assume that when I filled up the other day it only filled one bottle, thus the small amount needed, so, when we passed a service station that sold GPL I pulled in and refilled again, 10 litres this time. I was served by a very friendly Portuguese fellow who spoke good English, mainly due to the fact that he had lived in London for 14 years.

We found the aire at Carregal do Sal easily (N40•25’52” W07•59’40”) and though it had all the services a motorhome would need the location wasn’t ideal for us, behind a garage forecourt slightly out of town. Great if you needed to fill up and empty out of water though. We decided to have a look at another aire just outside of Coimbra, in a little place called Lorvao which, from the map looked to be up in the hills and on a marked scenic route. We were driving around the edges of the Serra da Estrela, the countries largest protected area and the scenery was breathtaking, huge mountains with clouds around the mid points and huge rounded boulders just sat there looking ready sometimes to fall into the road in front of you.

We pulled off the main road and took a narrow winding road steeply uphill to the very small town of Lorvao which had it’s very own motorhome service point there, waste water dump and fresh water available all free of charge (N40•15’32” W08•18’52”). We parked up and decided to have a look around so, with Jack in tow, we walked up to the large building we thought was a church but it turned out to be a hospital, we think that ‘hospital’ means hospital in Portuguese but I have a sneaking suspicion that it may have been a monastery, whatever, it was very ornate and pretty. We walked through cobbled pathways that led between the houses and past dark bars full of old men playing cards and finally came back to the motorhome where we had a sandwich and discussed our options, to stay or not to stay.


It was a close one, we were quite taken with the small town but eventually decided to head to Figueira da Foz as we knew where to go and that there would be other motorhomes there. We were full of water and ready for a stay of a few days without needing any services so we headed off.

We arrived in Figueira da Foz at just before 5pm and pulled up alongside around 15 other motorhomes enjoying the 17 degree heat that was still apparent despite the time of day. Must be because we were closer to sea level and out of the higher areas. Jack had another walk and we settled in for the night, double Corrie and a pasta tea.




One response

18 12 2010

Crikey – you’ve made good progress! Great to hear your news, especially since we’re in the grip of very snowy conditions here in Shropshire

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