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Portugal!

 
 
Reply Sun 18 Dec, 2011 06:34 am
So we are deep in the planning for our next two month exploration of a country - who has fond memories of Portugal and what we should see/do/experience?

Lay it on us! We are planning two seven day inn-to-inn walks again (no better way to see a country than to walk it!). We'll be there May-June - warm but minimal tourists, yay us!
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 05:35 pm
@hingehead,
Wow. Looks I might be the expert on Portugal! Not many sleeps now.
jcboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 05:39 pm
@hingehead,
On my last trip I wanted to visit Portugal but I ended up spending too much time in Spain because I was having such a good time, I’d love to visit Portugal sometime!
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 05:45 pm
Wish I could help. I'm very jealous if that makes you feel better.
My uncle walked the (can't remember the name) pilgrimage in both Portugal and Spain, I think it took him two months. He loved it, his only bit of advice to me, if I ever get so lucky, was to walk it alone, or with new people each day and meet up at the end of each day at the local inn or hotel or whatever your plan is. That way you don't want to kill your friend or loved one if they walk too slowly or are non-stop talk.
Seemed like good advice to me. Mind you, I know I'd kill mine if we did it together, you probably have a better relationship, or at least one that will tolerate all the potential bitching and so on.. Shocked Wink Very Happy
Any way, I hope you have a great time and take some pics you can share..
Bon Voyage
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 06:00 pm
@Ceili,
Hi Ceili

So glad you're jealous - I actually hate travel and only do it to make other people envious Wink

You're talking about the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage (has so many routes as it depends on which country you depart from). Me and Mrs Hinge did the last 350km of the 'official' route in 2006, from Leon. We walk well together. The Camino was our first inn-to-inn and we loved it so much we always like to get a couple of weeks of the same in each time we take an overseas holiday.

We've got two seven day walks booked with a few days between. One down the south west coast and one along the Algarve. Really looking forward to it but not really sure what to expect in Portugal. Can't seem to find anyone with any sort of knowledge of it. Even the language tips I've garnered from acquaintances have been Brazillian.

Ate logo!
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 06:10 pm
@jcboy,
Hi JC

Yep, Spain was mega cool - after the Camino we had a further month just hooning around in a hire car. Loved Andalusia and Barcelona - and Una Vista in Cuenca was freaky! Seville, Grenada and Cordova were my personal faves.

We're toying with the idea of crossing the border (Portugal is so weeny) - When we drove from Santiago south through Salamanca, Zamora, Caceres and Merida I drove Mrs Hinge nuts with offers to turn right and visit Portugal, she resisted - so I think going into Spain would be unfair - but we'll see what Portugal has for us.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 08:11 pm
@hingehead,
Never saw this when you first posted it. Haven't been there, but since you haven't gotten much response, this may be of help. If you are able to view this site where you are, there is quite a bit of info here:

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/port/port_menu.htm


Some highlights you'll want to pay particular attention to:

Recommended itinerary for a two-week trip:

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/port/portitin.htm

This has a list of festivals in Portugal. These are quite a few that will be active during May and June.

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/port/portfest.htm


Rick's recommended reading re: Portugal:

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/port/port_reading.htm


0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 08:19 pm
The book I just finished whining about on the What are you reading now thread, that nearly did me in from description - and I often like description, to a point - had 45 pages on Portugal.

The book is Francis Mayes' A year in the World; she's the one who wrote Under the Tuscan Sun. What redeems her despite my crabbiness is that she is interested in a lot of things including history and is very observant, tuned to the spaces she is going through and what is happening in them from her eyes. She is heavy into local food and how it's cooked (non tourist), buildings, art, religious practices (though she is not a believer as such), tended to walk a lot.

She does something close to my heart, which is bring books in her duffel (or suitcases) that are literature or poetry or important novels set in the place she's going to. So, in Sicily she read Lampadusa's The Leopard and one of Sciascia's, I forget which, and they're two of my favorite writers. Well, I'll also bring police procedurals, being not always literature-bent. So, given your lack of time, and likely small interest in carrying a lot, this is the kind of situation I might consider buying the book and only packing the 45 pages, tearing the paperback apart, and if you hate it, leave it at the airport as you land. Sigh, one of my dreams was to have a travel bookstore with books from and about the places' history and arts and lit as well as the usual.

On the other hand, maybe hers isn't the one book I'd take.
Two novels I've kept on my keep shelf - Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier, and A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson.


I'm jealous too but very happy for you two.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 08:33 pm
@hingehead,
Quote:
One down the south west coast and one along the Algarve.


These are from Rick's travel show episode on Portugal:









CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 08:46 pm
@hingehead,
Ask Fil Albuquerque - he's a member here - he lives in Portugal and I am sure he can give you good tips.

I haven't been there myself, but Lisbon is on my list....one of these days! Smile
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 11:00 pm
@hingehead,
Quote:
Yep, Spain was mega cool - after the Camino we had a further month just hooning around in a hire car. Loved Andalusia and Barcelona - and Una Vista in Cuenca was freaky! Seville, Grenada and Cordova were my personal faves.

We're toying with the idea of crossing the border (Portugal is so weeny) - When we drove from Santiago south through Salamanca, Zamora, Caceres and Merida I drove Mrs Hinge nuts with offers to turn right and visit Portugal, she resisted - so I think going into Spain would be unfair - but we'll see what Portugal has for us.


I'm meeting with a walking partner tonight to make our final plans for walking the Camino de Santiago - (way of St. James)! We're going May 20 - I can't wait!

My daughter and I went to Portugal one October during half-term break about seven years ago. The scenery and food and beaches were beautiful - but the weather SUCKED- so I think you're going at the right time of the year.

We had a few good days, but it rained so consistently, we felt like we were in England and we ended up getting in the car and heading down the west coast of Spain in search of sun.
I loved that part of the trip - we went to Castille and Seville and drove all the way down to this little village called Terifa where we stayed and then made days trips. You could take a water taxi across to Morrocco for like 15 euros- Gibraltar wasn't too far away..

But in terms of Portugal - we flew into Faro and went up the west coast as far as Lisbon. I thought it was stunning - we just seemed to have picked the rainy season in which to go - our bad luck - but we did find the sun in Spain and if you do want to take a week out of your two months to see that side of Spain - it's lovely.
Castille is a beautiful city!
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 11:40 pm
@hingehead,
I have a ton of Portuguese friends, most of them are from the Azores, the rest from Angola. No help there..
Sounds like you've planned a great trip. Have fun and update us once in a while. Please..
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 11:52 pm
@Butrflynet,
Thanks for the site BF - I'm not going to watch the videos ( i want surprises). I know we've got a great room booked in Evora for 4 nights halfway through the road trip. We start off with 4 days in Lisbon before the first walk so will probably train out to Cintra and other surrounding places..
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 11:55 pm
@aidan,
How cool Aidan - the camino will be fantastic - where are you starting from?

I remember Terifa - we only stopped for a coffee. I really liked the isolated beach at Zahara de los Atunes.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Apr, 2012 01:24 am
@hingehead,
We're starting from Leon. This person I'm going with is an experienced world-wide walker - in the last six months he's taken walking trips in Goa, Genoa and Bratislava, so I feel I'm in good hands as far as all the logistics go - he's seen to all that.
I'm very excited about it.

I LOVED Terifa. I think I remember it's one of the best places to go windsurfing in the world as it's so windy and the beach is so wide, flat and beautiful.
We had a perfect three or four days there.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 07:01 pm
How long before you leave, hinge?
Things are a bit quiet from your end lately.
Maybe you're preoccupied with packing & planning?
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Apr, 2012 03:11 pm
@hingehead,
My sister is there right now - she didn't like Sintra, but likes Coiumbria (sp) and is going back to Porto.

Have fun!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 May, 2012 07:42 am
@msolga,
No hinge again today.
At least, not that I saw.
I think he may have left for his trip.
Without even letting us know! Wink
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  6  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2012 03:19 pm
Yep, I'm in Portugal we had five days in Lisbon and then a week of hiking in and around the Alenjento coast (absolutely marvellous). Now in faro, we transfer tomorrow to a town I've just forgotten - too much red wine and vino verde - where will gradually walk to sagres and the 'end of the world'.

Portugal is the most Amazing secret of southern Europe. The people are delightful, scenery grand and the food and bebidas cheap as chips even with 23% vat.

Very laid back lifestyle from an outsiders perspective.

Grelhado, porch preto, cartuxe. And bootleg strawberry tree grappa, fond of ginja and boot as too. Have eaten every kind of mollusc the sea has, but haven't tried the caceiros yet. Even had frogs legs at 100 manueros in Lisbon, they didn't tell us till after we the them. Dried cod on pegs on. Miniature washing line was way cute and tasty. Wildflowers and cliffs beaches on rota vicentina a site. Pics eventually. My Portuguese is apalling fala inglese? But have never had a problem being understood. Love this country!
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2012 03:21 pm
@hingehead,
iPad autocorrect sucks, but the google maps app rocked in getting us to our hotel and europcar depot.
 

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