Off to Portugal for a few days and a tale of two uncrossable rivers.

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Europe » Portugal » Northern
June 19th 2014
Published: June 21st 2014
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A simple drive today. Head due south from Santiago in Spain until we come to Portugal. Easy.

Well it was until we got to Pontevedra. Now Pontevedra is on the estuary of the river of the same name. A big river and a big town and lots of little beaches along the way. We got into the town very well and were just admiring the sights when we realised that we shouldn’t be seeing little beaches as our route went south not round the peninsula, following the river estuary. We were almost in Marin by the time we spotted our mistake so I suggested, given the width and general congestion on the road, it would be easier to follow the road we were on, round the peninsula to the other side rather than attempting to turn round. Quite often a challenging task in the Tandy.

So that is what we did. We drove a picturesque route round the headland, up and down and winding round, past the odd village or two and pretty glimpses of beaches.

At Bueu we cut the corner off, headed straight across and at some point a mistake was made. Now Clarissa Tomtom had been screaming at us in her posh voice since we first mistook the way (which she had failed to point out in time) but I had instructed Bob to ignore her as she didn’t know where she was going. At some point Bob spotted a road he fancied and we were off the route I was following and also off Clarissa’s.

The general result of this parting of the ways was that we found ourselves somewhere we recognized.

Oops Pontevedra.

This time Bob found the correct road out and headed off towards Vigo on the other side of the river. The main problem all along was that the bridge to Vigo was a motorway and we were not using motorways and with our useless map and incompetent Clarissa Tomtom we didn’t really realise there was only that one, motorway, route acoss – and we were avoiding it !

I am happy to report that after only about an hour wasted and a couple of days off Bob’s life expectancy through stress, we managed to get to Vigo via the motorway and only had to pay triple the tolls required as Bob decided to pull off too soon and we had to go round again for another try.

So back on track and heading still for Portugal. We followed the coast road from this point and arriving at La Guardia were pleased to find that we were to take a ferry across the river Minho to Caminha in Portugal and our campsite. Not so.

We found the ferry port and were just contemplating it, when a white van arrived, a man jumped out and kindly informed us the ferry was not running, maintenance for last 2 weeks or so.

So our unexpected boat trip was not to be and we had to drive all the way up river to the bridge and round until at last, we made it, into Portugal.

Our campsite was on the mouth of the river on the south side and Spain was on the other. So close we could have swum across but we didn’t as it was a grey day, sun had vanished and the river water looked anything but inviting.

Felt the same about the campsite. Very roughly laid out so we had difficulty finding a pitch we could use. Very little attempt at any landscaping, quite a lot of bungalows and chalets and quite a lot of permanently set up caravans and awnings which resulted in a very unkempt appearance to the site. We suspect that a lot of the touring pitches may have been given over to permanents as we couldn’t imagine how the 300+ touring pitches quoted could possibly be fitted in.

There was no pool so very sadly no daily swim but we took a walk along the beach. The beach at the river mouth, which is the border with Spain. is the the most North Westerly point of Portugal. We admired the tenacity of the life guard who sat there guarding the enomous sandy beach against invasion. Obviously most successfully as only Bob and I were there.

Over dinner we decided this campsite was not for us (though I must comment that the staff were extremely friendly and helpful and there was a little shop and a bar) and we would move to Plan B which meant we would only stay one night and go further south the next day.

Campsite = Camping Obitur Caminha

Our rating 7/ 10

Price – Asci €16

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