With our walking tour finished we were ready to start the second half of our holiday. Next up was a trip to Portugal, then through Spain to Madrid. From there we’d fly to Morocco, with a tour into the Sahara Desert. After that it was more or less straight home, with an overnight stop in Singapore.
Decades ago I had visited Spain, twice, for a few days each time. I had always been sorry to have missed Portugal though so now, finally, decades later, I was about to make up for that.
16 September 2015: Having stayed in Fisterre for the night, I was keen to walk the 3 Km to the lighthouse this morning. Once-Tropical Storm Henri thwarted my plans because I’m a wimp and had no interest in getting utterly drenched just before spending several hours in a car, since we were leaving early afternoon.
Rain amounts of 3-6 inches (75-150 mm) are expected in northwest Spain and northern Portugal …
The rain across northern Portugal and northwest Spain will be too much rain too quickly and will result in flash flooding.
We spent a quiet morning in our hotel, during which I rearranged my bag, somehow managing to fit in the two small porcelain items I bought the other day from the Sargadelos Gallery in Santiago de Compostela. My Tom Bihn Aeronaut bag always seems to have room for just one more thing.
I relive last year’s fantastic holiday by bringing posts over from the trip blog. This doesn’t aim to be identical to the trip blog, but an improvement, with text edits and more / better photos. Find all these posts under the tag: Spain2015.
Our taxi driver from the tour company whisked us off through the rain to our rental car pick up spot in Santiago de Compostela which was to open at 5. With more than an hour to wait we dashed a couple of blocks through pouring rain to a nearby cafe, getting very wet in the process.
Eventually though we were on the road to Valença, Portugal where we’re spending the night in an inexpensive, funny little not quite run-down, somewhat luxurious hotel called Hotel Valença do Minho.
Deb did a grand job of driving through sometimes torrential rain in lots of traffic. In many spots the wipers couldn’t keep up, and Deb said this was 10 times worse than when she drove 60 Km through fog last week.
The GPS refused to find our destination, which is actually just some 2 Km across the river from Tui in Spain so we navigated to Tui then followed the motorway signs, and completed the final stretch by referring to Google Maps on Deb’s iPad.
Now we’re in a different timezone, 1 hour behind Spain, and checking weather forecasts before we finalise our plans for the next few days. Deb would like to visit a monastery in Batalha so we may head down there. It certainly looks stunning.
In retrospect, I noted in my journal at Fisterre:
The last day or two has felt like a bit of a slump. Partly it was to do with being back in Santiago de Compostela though it felt a more pleasant place than the first time. I think I’ve been enjoying having every day something new though, and that was a repeat almost.
That hotel in Portugal was inexpensive, but gave us a whole tiny apartment, with bedroom, lounge, kitchen, bathroom. It was great to be able to dump our bags in a separate room and spread out a bit to sort ourselves out.