Porto - ohh I do love to be beside the seaside .....
Oct 6, 2018
|Yes, a Saturday, weekend and my favourite day of the week, so I decided to take myself off to the beach for the day as I knew Porto would be frantically busy today.
However, first I did what every good tourist does in Porto and hopped on a river cruise to check out the 7 bridges.
I chose early morning before the crowds arrived and was treated to some lovely reflections on the water. It was great to see Porto from the water and all round, it was a good start to the day.
The weather is slowly cooling, morning and nights are quite cool however lovely and warm during the day and plenty of sunshine so I am in my element.
I then hopped on an ancient tram which runs all the way along the river to Foz, a not terribly inspiring beach on the outskirts of Porto. Maybe beautiful Laurieton’s North Haven beach has spoilt me, I didn’t even bother to swim at Foz.
After a walk along the promenade, coffee and my daily Portuguese Tart, I decided to catch another very old wooden ferry (Gary Timm, you would’ve loved it) across the river to Afurada. Afurada proved to be a charming and tiny fishing village on the banks of the Douro, tourist free as there are only a handful of local people, mostly fishermen, living there in the prettiest tiled homes. The women do their washing outside and tend to hang it all over the place around the town.
The smell of grilled seafood wafted across the water before I even arrived there and I enjoyed a grilled octopus and prawn skewer for lunch. All over the little village there were families and tiny restaurants grilling seafood over little coal barbecues. A picturesque sight and the aroma unbelievable.
I met an interesting Middle aged French woman today who has opted out of life as we know it and is travelling around Europe. Such an interesting person, she was staying in a room on one of the fishing boats which had been let out really cheaply on Air B&B. I spent a couple of hours with her.
In fact Wendy, I got on with her so well, would you mind making up a spare bed for her (in Cameron’s absence as by now he is probably freezing his balls off in some tent on the side of Mt Everest instead of making up beds at Laurieton for all my new buddies) as I invited her to come and visit me in Australia.
She had decided that she was not going to wait until she retired to travel and so works as a teacher and many other things until she needs a break and then goes travelling in her car.
I returned to Porto late afternoon to watch the usual spectacle, people doing stuff. The Bridge jumpers are crazy, just before they jump off the bridge, after ramping the crowd up and obtaining as much money out of them as possible, they cross themselves many times in fear and after they have jumped, they have to swim like mad before being swept down the very fast flowing Douro river. Crazy, crazy stuff.
My river cruise entitled me to a free Port tasting which I enjoyed, so after a bit more wandering around and 18 kilometres later, I decided that it was time to meander home. Porto is very hilly so I’m always mindful of the half hour hike home when I’m exhausted at days end.
So two more days until Lorna arrives on Monday. I can’t wait to see her and have some company, I’m a bit sick of my own company by now, particularly at mealtimes so am excited for her to join me.