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Showing posts from April, 2016

Back on the Adventure Trail. Part Three: Discovering Central Portugal.

What Fun!The last two posts looked at our trip planning and arrival in a sleepy village in the heart of the Central Portuguese mountains. In this post I will share some of our experiences as we explored this most beautiful part of Portugal where we were surrounded my mountains, simplicity, friendliness, and beauty. Monsanto, Idanha a Nova, Penamacor, Pena Garcia. All names and dots on a map until you see real life thriving there as it has done for centuries.
The Surrounding Area.In my last post I described the Quinta da Pedra Grande and the village of Relva This is a short walk from the Quinta as are other villages such as Eugenia and Devesa. Historic Monsanto, built among the boulders, high on a granite hill, was a car ride for us. Leaving Relva and passing huge boulders that overhung the road, we negotiated the switch-back uphill bend and parked up by the cannons which point way over the valley. You could easily see why the cannons were placed on the walls here. The valley stretched …

Back on the Adventure Trail. Part Two: Finding a Gem in the Central Portuguese Mountains.

I am horrified  to see that it is two weeks since my last post but there was a good reason.
My last post asked, 'Is it feasible?' Were our plans to trek one hundred and fifty miles into Central Portugal a step too far, or could we make it work?

It certainly was and we certainly did but not without a few fun and games in the Lisbon sunshine. More on that later.

Quinta da Pedra Grande.We were to head towards the historic village of Monsanto built among the boulders of the granite mountain/hill.(take the N239 and follow signs for Relva/ Monsanto) The Quinta da Pedra Grande on the outskirts of Relva village was ideal with easy access off the N239 on the road to Monsanto. Monsanto itself we had decided was too steep for us – reviews are an excellent way to make informed decisions. The images for the Quinta showed the accommodation to be in newly restored farm buildings. And the price was a good one. Leaving the motorway from Lisbon near Castelo Branco and taking the N233 and N239 we …

Back on the Adventure Trail. Part One: Is it Feasible?

After nine years of being in a Gold Wing motorbike travelling wilderness we are back on in action.. Not, I hasten to add on a motorbike and certainly not on A Gold Wing. Those days are sadly behind us. However, the opportunity arose some months ago to visit Portugal. Our previous three visits to Portugal - Algarve, Lisbon area, and Oporto in the Duoro Valley - were booked with a travel company where everything was taken care off. All we had to do was turn up at the airport.

This time, we were back in charge of everything. This time we were heading for the mountains. Older and wiser, this is the A-Z of how we planned our trip. MAPS A map search with a proper map. A map search on the Internet and Satnav. ( Yes, I still have an uneasy relationship with a  Satnav but have to agree with OH that they have their uses for pinpointing an exact location. HOTELS Internet search of hotels in the area. is invaluable for finding hotels in more rural areas as well as cities. Previously, whe…

Stirring the Cooking Pot of Life.

Hitting the ground running.
Life has been hectic since our return from Gran Canaria a few weeks ago. With the usual round of review appointments at the doctors, dentist, optician etc. we have barely had time to draw breath. We have also been caught up in local issues of one kind or another with writing at the forefront of my mind. I am afraid that the gym and Aquafit sessions have been sacrificed.

Meandering in the Mediterranean Sea.
This is one section of Island Interludes: Just Us Two Escape to the Sun. It includes Sicily, Cyprus and Malta. Sicily, which we have visited twice, follows on from where The Long Leg of Italy ended; Malta and Cyprus are two other wonderful islands that are steeped in history, culture, sunshine, good hotels, and sea crashing against a rocky shore.

My writing research includes re-visiting camcorder film that I made at the time, the inevitable maps, books, and Internet searches to check my facts and spellings.

I watched our 'Cyprus with Mum 2004' video …