It’s been a while since we’ve seen a beach, so time to put that right. The sun’s out, day temps 18-22, cool at night, similar to the UK in about early September, sometimes. I’d read about a town called Nazaré on the west coast, billed as a ‘one of Portugal’s most picturesque seaside resorts’, sounds worthy of a visit. Also we’ve a sack full of dirty washing and as most of Portugal tends to lock down it’s WiFi, it had been a while since we could do any ‘real work’ on the internet without worrying about how much data we have left on the card. The ‘to-do’ list, when we have free WiFi is getting longer, so we kill two birds with one stone and pick a campsite with free WiFi too. It was a short smooth drive over to a very modern, neat-looking campsite, the kind of site that would charge €45/pn during the summer, are happy to take €17/pn in November.
No sooner had we got set up, when Angie suddenly announced, that her wisdom crown had just fallen out! From her description, it was obviously going to need urgent dental attention, so I popped up to reception to find out where the nearest Dental surgery was. The (very helpful lady) on reception recommended a place in town she uses, as it turned out, the surgery was very good. Following an initial assessment, looking at all the options, Angie decided to have what remained of her wisdom tooth removed, so an appointment was made for the following day. The removal went to plan, with only a couple of stitches needed, but understandably, Angie wasn’t feeling too clever for the next few days, we decided to ‘just take it easy’, chill out and relax on the campsite for 3 days. It’s amazing how quickly you get itchy feet staying still for three days, when you’re used to moving nearly every day. The time wasn’t wasted, the WiFi got a hammering and the wash-bag is now empty. No reason to stay so we find a hill-top car park overlooking Nazaré to chill out for a couple of nights more, the Dentist said to return in 5 days for the stitches out. So we hang about in Nazaré a few days longer than originally planned, there’s always a sliver lining to every story…the sun is shining, Nazaré’s a bit like a smaller version of Brighton, we’ve bagged a free spot with a killer view and there’s an Irish bar in town with great Guinness…it’s a tough gig, but some poor sod’s got to do it!
Angie was starting to feel a bit better, stitches are removed successfully, so time for a day trip inland to see the Monastery at Alcabaça. Just in case anyone is wondering, an: an initial assessment, then over an hour in the Dr/Dentist chair for removal, stitches & return 5 days later for them out= €55! We’re pretty sure it would have cost more than that in the UK.
Warning, History lesson: In 1147 the first king of Portugal, Dom Alfonso Henrique’s collective rent-a-mob (aka slave army) assembled and knocked ten-bells out of the ruling Moors at Santarem (just up the road), it was obviously time to celebrate, lets empty the war-chest, (champagne all round) and time to build yourself a monastery at Alacbaça, fill it with more than a thousand monks that will tend to your every domestic request and somehow move you closer to God, after all, you just made a massive dent in a dynasty of Portuguese rulers. It may have been one of the first victories that saw an end to rule (for over 400 years) and governance by ‘The Moors’ from north Africa. The celebrations went on for hundreds of years, the party even out-living old King Alfonso, extravagances so lavish they were described as “monastic excesses both shocking and titillating in equal measure” the mind boggles! (any dirty habits!!?) By 1834, the dissolution of monasteries act put paid to the monks fun and frolicking, but the vast buildings still stand for us and Japanese camera-wielding tourists to snap away at. Well worth another 6 Euro of life credits.
There’s not much evidence left of monkish-lavish-life-style, this place has been so many other things since, hospital, barracks, a school etc.
We’ve just finished the last of ‘Red Dwarf’ series 12. …brilliant. Still enjoying ‘The Orville’, and are saving Peaky Blinders for afters.!
Iv’e just updated all our google maps sleeping spots here
Angie’s gum is healing very well,…wine helps 😉
Nazare Camping, 39.62067, -9.05704 Nice campsite. Large clean, quiet campsite. ACSI €17pn all services. WiFi capped @250kb/s.
Nazare, wild. 39.6046, -9.07839 High on a cliff overlooking the town below. Large car park with other vans. No services.
Foz do Arelho, Portugal. 39.42873, -9.22159 Nice spot next to beach. €4 standard pitch, €6 with EHU@4 amp. Free slow wifi.
Soon be the weekend