23rd March 2017. Evora, Portugal.

The weather was supposed to be rotten today but when I looked out of the window I saw blazing sunshine with clouds hanging over the hills.  Water vapour was starting to rise from points on the horizon .

We had breakfast then set off for Evora stopping briefly to empty and fill the water etc at the Bombeiros Voluntarios (Fire station) in Reguengos de Monsaraz.

We had a teeny panic part way through the journey when a diversion sign appeared but this one was very straight forward and was actually the old road running round the bottom of the new road which was in the process of being built.  We gave a sigh of relief once we’d passed that.

It was going to be a ‘tasks day’ today and we were heading for the Intermarche just outside Evora to park for the night and to do our shopping and washing, in that order as it turned out!

When we arrived our first ‘port of call’ was the supermarket cafe for coffee and lunch, a nice young lad who was waiting to be served helped us order our food.  The lady behind the counter was very patient and smiley.

When we’d finished eating we did our shopping as quickly as we could to get it over and done with, it is the first stock up of supplies that we’ve done in Portugal and I was very surprised to see that the vegetables weren’t as fresh as those we get at home, a lot of them were starting to become wrinkly.  I don’t know whether that means we have a speedier turnover at the supermarkets in the UK or whether we waste a lot more, I hope it’s the former rather than the latter.

The shopping trip wasn’t all doom and gloom however, we made a small detour into the electrical section in the shop where I had an unexpected surprise, we found a vacuum cleaner for the van at long last, we’ve been looking for a replacement for the one that died for months!  Unfortunately as we got to the entrance to the supermarket with our bags of shopping we were dismayed to see that it was pouring with rain, consequently we were a bit wet when we got the shopping back to the van.

By the time we’d put the shopping away and got the washing ready the rain had stopped so we took the opportunity to go back to the supermarket, to be truthful we did have an added incentive to get a move on, we’d just noticed another motorhome turn up and we were worried that they might have come to do their washing too!

The washing machines were in the shop, at the previous Intermarche we’d stopped at to use the services their washing machines had been in a cabinet out in the car park.  The laundry was very well set out although we were rather perplexed when we tried to read all the information.  Luckily for us a lovely lady who was in the process of drying her washing showed us how to use the machines, the machines were very good they even told you how long the wash would take, if only all the machines did that!  While they were doing their stuff we went back to the cafe for coffee and when we returned the lady showed us how to use the tumble dryer.  The spin on the washing machines was so good the washing was virtually dry when we took it out and as the tumble dryer was HUGE we were able to dry both loads in 20 minutes, what a result!  Intermarche we love your launderette.

While we were waiting for the washing to dry we chatted to the lady.  She told us she’d got 2 children, her son was 30 years old and her daughter was 9 years old, she commented on the age difference and how very different everything had been when she’d had her daughter, both  medically and the baby paraphernalia.  She also suggested we should visit the chapel of bones when we visit Evora tomorrow and said she and her husband work in a shop called Nono Factory a few shops up from there and if we popped in tomorrow she would give us a sightseeing booklet.  I’m looking forward to the visit because she works in a gift shop which sells jewellery made from Portuguese silver, maybe Darren will buy me a VERY early Christmas present!  (Well if I had read this earlier, not now, the 16th April, and five countries later! I might have considered it)  I told her about the lovely lady I met in Spain called Eva who had been surprised to hear that we ate our evening meal before 9 p.m. and I asked this lady what the working day was like in Portugal.  She said that the shops open at 10 a.m. and they stay open until about 7 p.m.  She told us they don’t have a siesta in the middle of the day like the Spanish and they very rarely go out in the evenings, as she put it, the Portuguese get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, to be repeated every working day.  No wonder it feels like home from home.

When we’d finished the washing we went back to the van to work on the blog.

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