Course found …
Interesting morning, rain overnight, it was nice listening to it … there was a pine tree outside the window of our room.
We are aware of a train strike or limited services could be a challenge today so we have 3 contingency plans.
- Plan a) catch 7.20am train … fail .. they said bikes cannot go on train;
- Plan b) go to other station where they said bikes could go … yes 8.25am train and ask conductor if there is room for bikes, 5 min before leaving the train is cancelled;
- Plan c) ride to bus station and catch bus … success but not before we get tickets to the wrong destination, thankfully we realise and change the tickets.
- Finally, we are ‘on course’!!
We took the bus at 10.30am … a great scenic route weaving around the terraced hillsides, and this is not the Douro Valley yet. The bus trip finishes at Regua, we have a lovely lunch, I have a small bottle of wine (half bottle) memories of holidays in France and enjoying a plat de jour and a quart of wine for lunch.
Then a boat from Regua to Pinhao. More amazing scenery of the Duoro Valley. The stress levels are immediately gone, then a warm welcome from Pedro the owner of the Hostel where we are staying. Pedro gave us a map of this small village, population of just 500, and a list of things to do … omg … we are only here for 2 nights how will we ever fit it all in?
‘John, we need to talk, how are we going to do all these things?’
A nice dinner … yeah I like it here … advice from Pedro was make sure you eat early, this little village goes to sleep at night. So we are done with dinner before the sun has set, the terraced hills of vines are just surreal as the glow of the last sun rays disappear. This is a wow factor.