Saturday 11th May
The sun was shining but there was a cold northerly breeze keeping the edge off the temperatures and England were playing the second ODI against Pakistan. It was definitely a good blogging day.
A, L & W went off on the bikes to give me and the dogs a bit of peace and quiet. It seems I missed out on quite an adventure.
First the frogs were hosting the Portuguese under 21 rowing championships on their pond. The lawns along the side of the lake were crowded with excited rowers and their support teams. The public address system was blaring and there was lots of cheering and applause as race after race was completed. Then at the town’s beach the local fishermen were just coming ashore in their distinctive traditional high-prowed boats. These were once towed up the beach by teams of oxen but now they use tractors. Once safely up the fishermen began to sort through their catch and to Wendy’s initial dismay and then her delight, they threw the unwanted fish on to the beach for the sea gulls! This sparked the forager in her, and she dived into the sea gull melee, keeping the birds at bay with her elbows as she gathered up all the biggest ones. Much to the amusement of the locals.
She was so pleased with herself (as our girls can picture) that she even led the cyclists back to tell me her good news.
While we settled in for a drowsy afternoon of gentle blogging, listening to cricket and sun bathing in the lea of the vans, Wendy set up a fish-gutting operation, the like of which hasn’t been seen since the heydays of the fish wives of Great Yarmouth in the early 20thCentury.
In the early evening we wandered back to the lake to see the final stages of the rowing championships and we began to hear music coming from the town end of the lake. Good music, music with a decent bass line and melody! Andy and I were drawn to the sound like Hamelin’s rats. Outside a bar a five-piece band had set up and were playing to a crowd that had spilled out of the bar and into the street. In the evening sunshine it was as if we had stumbled into a Bacardi commercial (other white rums are available). It would be rude not to stop and listen, and have a beer, wouldn’t it?
That evening we booked our ferries for our return to the UK. Lesley had been keeping an eye on the prices and they were beginning to go up. We are going to cross from Cherbourg to Portsmouth on Tuesday 11th June, but that is still a month away!
Anyway, the mercury is rising this week and tomorrow we drive to the Douro.