Thursday 30 June … Almeida to Guarda

A carbon copy to yesterday, I wonder if the younger generation would understand ‘carbon copy’ it’s a little obsolete. Anyway quick down cross the bridge over the Coa River then a very slow up.

Lovely weather if not a little chilly first up at 9am, however the hills soon got us warm. We only have 46km today, skirting around and up and down hills on some back roads. Rocky outcrops, vineyards, cherry trees. You have to love the dry rock walls. Little villages along the way. At times our lovely downhills were returned with 11-12% climbs … thanks so much!!!

We are in the real Portugal and the touring I like when …

  • the tiny village is soooo old and the ladies are out sweeping their front path trying to talk to us as we say ‘Bon Dia’;
  • the goats are in the bush and we see dogs by them … the dogs start barking when they see us; the shepherd appears … was ‘he under a haystack fast asleep’;
  • a little village didn’t have a Cafe but the bakery van was pulled up and the 20 something driver is swamped with old ladies buying their daily bread products. We join the queue and have the best and freshest croissant we have had in Portugal, but not before we said no plastic bag we will eat now, a lady went into her house and appeared with paper towel for our purchase. The driver apologised that he couldn’t speak English. He must get more daily gossip than a hairdresser. Off we go and the driver through the village hooting his horn for more sales, he passes us 2 times later on the main road.

Guarda city is at the highest altitude of Portugal. We are staying in the old city, the main square just 100m away, tiny alleys through the town. A fiest for the photographer. It’s exam time and we were lucky to see a group of nursing students in their black capes who were happy to pose for a pic. Those who are Harry Potter fans can relate to the dress. BTW, the dress code came well before Harry Potter, it started at Coimbre University.

A lovely meal tonight. We have wine from the area where we had lunch yesterday. Surprisingly the old town is very quiet and quite cool as we wander back to out dig for tonight.

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