As a general rule, while we have found the holiday spots and surrounds disappointing, the one thing that has amazed and shamed us is the standard of English everywhere, even a mostly toothless old fisherman in Sagres Harbour spoke enough English to say good morning and explain a gutted Moray eel and a bucket of Octopus, as did the lady that ran the meat counter in a local supermarket ... while I moronically pointed at the meat I wanted held my hands in a cup shape to indicate portion size and oinked to indicate I wanted pork ... Oh the shame when she said `Half kilo of Pork Ok’? (to be fair this had been the international sign language of supermarkets off the beaten track in Spain, so I could forgive myself for assuming it would be the same here ... just). The Portuguese speak good English and are generally polite and friendly ...except the git in the post office in Sagres, he was a nob ... give a man a uniform and a f**&%@ing peaked cap, and you’re one step away from eugenics and concentration camps.
For the drive inland we avoided the toll roads and motorways, in part because you miss so much on the major roads, in part because the toll systems in Portugal need an induction course, so you know where and when you should pay, lest you run foul of the law because you didn’t. And finally because the tolls are expensive relative to the quality of road ... one other thing that proves the Portuguese tolls system is a balls up is the fact that quite often the split times to arrival at destination can be measured in very small amounts of minutes; if we’re paying for a road it has to be significantly quicker and flatter.
|A Long Straight Road|
|Pigs (hilarious video to follow)|
|Moho has a Shiny New Floating Compass (by Stanley of London)|
|The Centuries Can be a Little Blurred Here and There|
|A Dam that Feeds an Aqueduct|
|A Dam in the Distance|
We finally arrived at Alvito around 4pm after three and a bit stop start hours of driving, along what felt like one long straight road with a few wibbles along the way (wibbles not wobbles). We actually drove on three separate roads that intersect each other seamlessly. This was just a lucky quirk for our particular destination if you look at the map, which Amanda discovered was truer than the Satnavs circuitous route to what it has had programmed as a primary non-toll route (or as we call them idiot proof straight lines).