Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Saturday 7th October: stony ground

We climbed up out of Vinhais along the N103 to a lookout point which had the most spectacular views but also the most spectacular amount of litter. We continued along the ridge for some distance, during which I got a puncture (front tyre, sharp stone) before leaving the main road at Rebordelo. The smaller road was lined with fields of olive trees, grape vines and other delicious looking stuff. We have also been seeing fields of ripe pumpkins and heavily-laden chestnut trees, mmmm... It would have been a lovely area to stop for lunch, but the flies were terrible, there were literally swarms of them, and they just gravitate towards us when we stop (Perhaps we ought to wash more). We eventually found somewhere to stop and continued to munch on our eternal loaf of dense brown cakey bread, which will probably do us another day still.

Not long after that we reached our campsite on the River Rabacal, which we were pleased to find was open, had a restaurant, and was about half the cost of the Spanish one we stayed at. Unfortunately, it doesn't have red squirrels or woodpeckers but it does have free warm(ish) showers - but the ground is hard as hell, leaving us wishing we'd gone for a free-standing tent. It took us an hour and a half to pitch the tent, during which we were told we were not allowed to pitch on the nice soft grassy ground on the other side of the road (I swear, it was greener). We eventually got the tent up using rocks and the spare old tent peg I didn't know why I'd been carrying until now, to hammer out holes for our nice tent pegs.

For the record, Campsite Rabacal, near Valpacos: nice riverside location, cheap, decent facilities, but the ground is hard and stony.

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