Viana do Castelo, Portugal ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น 2019

Date: 1st-2nd August 2019

Travelled: 83 kilometres from Pontevedra to Oโ€™Rosal both in Galicia, Spain, then 90 kms on to Viana do Castelo in Portugal

Visited: A Guarda in Spain and Viana do Castelo in Portugal

Stayed: Viana do Castelo, car-park, free +B. N41.69795, W08.85149

Budget: 54 days @ โ‚ฌ85 per day

As we did not achieve anything vaguely interesting on the 1st other than get stuck in a traffic jam in Vigo for a couple of hours and then not find a parking place in Baiona. Mind you we did find a quiet overnight stop with a view.

Vigo is the largest city in Galicia. We were surprised by its sprawl. They were doing roadworks in the city centre and traffic was a standstill.

In the distance, the fortress at Baiona. By the time we arrived in Baiona the car-parks were full. So we continue south.

Map of O Rosal, the icon on our overnight park.

A few kms short of A Guarda we find a small carpark well off the road. There are 3 other motorhomes so we join them and take in the view. We succumb to a drink and decide our day is done.

In the morning we do an hourโ€™s walk locally, before continuing on to A Guarda. Our guide book indicates A Guarda is fairly ordinary working town, the last substantial town before crossing the Rio Minho into Portugal. However exploring the Celta, a pre-Roman settlement on nearby Monte Santa Tecla is highly recommended.

We drive through A Guarda following the signs to Monte Santa Tecla. The town is shrouded in mist as is most of the drive up the mountain. But we climb through to a sunny view across the mist below.

We drive on a few kms to small village at Camposancos. Our guide book states there is a fortified monastery on a small islet than can be walked at low tide. The mist is so think we cannot see more than 10m, so much for that idea. So we turn the Hymer for Portugal.

This guy seems to have taken the term โ€˜my home, my castleโ€™ to the next level.

We cross the frontier into Portugal crossing the Rio Minho. Portugal has been on our bucket list for years and we are looking forward to a new culture. Pam has been practicing her Portuguese โ€˜vinho branco seco, obrigadoโ€™. We drive on down the coast along the N13, passing the famous beaches of the Minho, which remain shrouded in mist. Less than an hour later we arrive in Viana de Castelo. We have a couple of errand to run, a Portuguese data sim and toll pass.

Map of Viana do Castelo, icon on our overnight park

Jobs done we have our sim (30GB for โ‚ฌ15), and some info on registering our number plate for the tollways. As we walk up this laneway there is a long queue leading to a tiny bakery. Thinking this must be special I ask someone in the line whatโ€™s happening ? A lady tells me locals queue here twice a day for Berlimer Balls…11am and 5pm as they only makes two batches a day, Everyone loves warm Berlimer balls ?

We find a nice bar so Pam can practice here Portuguese (โ‚ฌ4 a round) and enjoy the passing parade. I ask our waitress about the queue at the bakery, she tells me they are the best in Portugal and we must try them.

We make our way back to the Hymer, the car-park at the port is not our sort of place to spend Friday evening, so we drive two kms to join several other campers overlooking the coastline.

Whilst the Berlimer Balls were a delicious desert, Pam insists she can feel her arteries clogging with each bite. So if your ever in Viana do Castelo and your concerned you cholesterol is too low, you can find them here…

Michael and Pam

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