The beginning of our Roadtrip
Viana do Castelo Travel Blog› entry 4 of 14 › view all entries
After our slightly uncomfortable night in the hut, Pablo came to pick us up and with no time for breakfast, we drove to Ferrol. Well, appointed drivers, Ben, Alex, Lori & myself. Pablo had hired us a huge 7 seater SangYong for us to treck around Portugal & Spain for the next few days. We had two disappointments, the car was standard (manual) which only left Ben as driver. Bugger! Havent been behind the wheel in nearly 6months and I was looking forward to my first european experience of driving on the wrong friggen side of the road. Didn't get the chance to find out if I would fail though, as Ben was 'Deso Dave' for the next 3 days. Oh yeah, second disappointment, we only had the car for 3 days, not 4.
We drove back (slowly, much to Pablo's frustration) to Cedeira, Ben getting a feel for the car. When we got back to Pablos we had a little brunch and shots of homemade liquer as it was Alex's birthday! After that we were pretty happy to all wander to one of the coves we'd seen the day before for a swim! It was beautiful. You had to climb down a huge wooden staircase to get there, but we had the little sandy cove all to ourselves. It was great! There's also a crumbling fortress type construction around the corner that we climbed to and explored.
By 5am he seemed a little better but insisted he was ready to rock and roll, so we packed up, and following Pablo to the correct motorway, pissed off to Portugal! It was fun crossing the border even...simple things hey. We knew we wouldn't be able to go too far as the sun would be nearly set by 10pm so we drove, taking a lot of service stops along the way (*chuckle, chuckle*) to a little town Pablo wanted us to head to, Viana do Castelo. Our first annoyance in Portugal was the tolls. Tip for future car treckers through Portugal - don't go the motorways. They flog you in tolls. Eventually after draining our cash kitty we got to Viana do Castelo and our first stop was the beautiful church on the hill, the Cathedral Santa de Luzia.
Somehow we found our way up there and as it was late, we were practically the only tourists there as we watched the last buses leave. The church itself is beautiful but the view from that hill is what made us all stick around to watch the sunset. It was stunning!! It overlooked the town, harbour and ocean. The lights twinkling from the darkening town made a gorgeous contrast to sunsetting over the ocean. We noticed though that there was a chill in the air and it was quite windy. Hmm.. definately sleeping in the car tonight. Once the sun had set, we wanted to find food as we were all hungry. Lauro was keen for McDonalds (this is a reoccuring theme, the fast food addiction). Lori was pretty sure she'd seen a sign for Maccas at the Estacion (train station) so we headed back towards that area.
It was now time to find somewhere to crash for the night.. and we really werent sure of where to go. We drove down to the waterfront, and parked up in the harbour carpark. But it just didn't feel safe, so we drove around looking for the campgrounds Lori had spotted a sign for earlier. Eventually we found it, simply an area you could legally park up and stay for the night near a park.
We pulled onto some gravel on the side of the road which overlooked the town, and felt a lot safer. Lori though was pretty freaked out by a little shrine across the road from us, which held burning candles in red jars. 'Devil Candles' as she labelled them. I thought they were quite pretty but Lori was having none of it and it was entertaining to spook her out for awhile.