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Penela, Tomar and Alcobaca – Day 13
Saturday 25th July 2009 – Portugal
It was extremely foggy this morning, and as i stepped out of my tent, i had a job to see where i was, very surreal. The fog also brought a change of temperature with it, as it was a lot cooler. Unfortunately for me, it meant a wet tent this morning. It didn’t take long to clear though. Then i was off for what would turn out to be, a great day.
I stopped by the local supermarket this morning for some provisions, and most importantly, milk. Glorious milk. I had no breakfast at the campsite as i had no food, so i drove to a quiet part of the car park and had some cereal, with my new milk. It is nice to have things like milk and butter once in a while. With temperatures averaging around 100 degrees in the car, it doesn’t take long for dairy products to start smelling offensive. Water is another thing that doesn’t last long. After 30 minutes it gets very warm and hard to drink.
It turned out to be a really great day today, the sort i always imagined having. First was an unscheduled stop at a town called Penela. The sight of a castle enticed me there as i drove through the hills towards the town. The castle itself was a little less impressive than i had originally thought, in fact it was half a building site, with much renovating taking place. But it didn’t detract from the overall appearance too much. The views over the town were stunning, and there were many big lizards running around, but i found them to be very camera shy.
I also stopped by a beautiful burial ground on the hillside. Some of the grave stones and tombs were incredible. My next destination today was Tomar, so that’s where i headed.
The roads were great fun, and took me through many small towns. I loved it. The only thing that spoils it is the other impatient drivers who drive on your back bumper, but that’s another story.
Arrived in Tomar to a place called Convento de Cristo, which was the Headquarters of the Portuguese branch of The Knights Templar. And what a place it is. It’s huge, with lots of rooms and halls, gardens and ornaments, and so much history to discover. I spent hours walking around, and could have spent more but for the time getting on. My cameras had a bit of a workout. Outside the building i had my lunch, then set out for my final destination, Alcobaca.
It was one of the hottest days I’ve had in a long while today, and by the time i reached the next campsite (Municipal de Ortiga), i had a thumping headache. I wanted to explore the Cathedral in Alcobaca but had to leave it for today. I decided to go there tomorrow instead.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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