24th March 2017. Evora, Portugal.

We had a slow start this morning, it was fun and felt slightly strange to be parked in a supermarket car park wearing our pyjamas (morning attire, I don’t wear jim jams) and eating breakfast, you’d think we’d be used to it by now!


There were a couple of brief entertaining interludes (well I was creased up laughing even if Darren wasn’t).

Last night we’d forgotten to charge the electric toothbrush for the 4th day running and this morning  I mentioned to Darren that we needed a proper toothbrush to do our teeth when this happened.  He disappeared for  a moment before returning with two toothbrushes that he’d remembered we’d bought when we stayed in Seville, superb!  He did his teeth and a while later I went into the bathroom and pushed the basin up into the locked position only to hear a loud ‘SNAP’ and see something land on the lid of the toilet, it was the head of Darren’s toothbrush, whoops!  I tried apologising but that’s not an easy thing to do when you’re curled up laughing hysterically!

I finally managed to compose myself and then decided to replay an event from years ago when we were staying at Darren’s parents house with our young children while we built our house.  One evening Austyn (who was about 2 years old) kept chatting upstairs when he was supposed to be asleep, he couldn’t leave his bedroom because we’d put a baby gate across the doorway.  My mother-in-law  kindly went up to see why he was calling out.  He was standing in the doorway as she came up the stairs and as she got to the baby gate he looked up at her with his big brown eyes  and brought his hand out from behind his back whilst singing “Happy birthday to you” where upon he presented her with a handful of shredded wallpaper that he’d peeled from the bedroom wall!  His little rendition of ‘Happy birthday’ completely threw her off guard and she took the paper and wandered back downstairs without even telling him off!  She’s so lovely she didn’t get angry with us, instead she made light of it by saying she’d wanted to change the wallpaper in that bedroom for a while.  I’m very lucky to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.

Anyway back to the original story, I tried the same tactic with Darren and when I presented him with his newly improved ‘two piece’ toothbrush I sang “Happy birthday” to him,  unfortunately it didn’t have the same impact as Austyn’s version, it probably didn’t help that again I was consumed by an uncontrollable fit of laughter.  Strangely enough Darren put the toothbrush on charge after that.

To add insult to injury I then went into the bathroom to wash and dress and while there my phone rang Mandy being the helpful one she is brought it to me.  She just opened the door wide without a word to the wise and exposed my totally naked body to all and sundry in the car park.  Got a few admiring looks! well that’s what I’m calling them.  Needless to say someone found it amusing.

We packed up and arrived at Evora around midday.  We’d followed the co ordinates from Park4Night and the car park was perfect, it was very big and we could see some beautiful historic buildings from where we were standing.  We weren’t exactly sure where we were but we’d unintentionally parked next to a British van and the people who owned it happened to come back just as we were about to set off so they gave us directions into the town.

We walked through some pretty gardens to get to the Chapel of Bones and from there found the shop we were looking for, Nono Factory, it was a pretty shop, much bigger than it seemed from the front and packed full of eye catching things for sale.  Unfortunately the lady we’d been chatting to the previous day wasn’t there but her husband was and he chatted with us about places to visit and kindly gave us a glossy booklet with places of interest in it.

We wandered back to the park for coffee and cake and discovered that the Portuguese cakes are scrummy.  The lady serving us spoke to us in fluent English so I took the opportunity to ask how to say “Thank you” correctly, whether it was obrigado for a man or a woman (we’d been pronouncing the last o as we’d say it in our alphabet).  She was adamant that it wasn’t either and explained it was obrigado for everyone and the way she pronounced it the last o sounded like the o in to only cut short.  She was very helpful.  We sat next to a pond with our coffee and watched a big fat goose as it constantly walked around the perimeter of the pond but insisted on squeezing between the fence and a tree stump, we speculated that he’d probably been thin enough to do it without any problem at one time and as if to prove the fact we saw him lumber over to the food container and shovel food down his beak!  A duck with a red beak took the opportunity to jump up on the tree stump and spend the next 5 minutes preening and flicking water off his feathers as if he was in a shampoo advert!

From the park we went into the church to have a look around and just as the lady in the launderette had told us yesterday, it was well worth the visit, there was so much to see and the view from the top was wonderful.  We both felt rather uncomfortable walking round the Chapel of Bones, it seemed wrong to be gawping at people’s remains somehow and yet impossible not to at the same time.  It didn’t help that once I’d gone into the room a coach load of people suddenly appeared and I was stuck in there for what seemed like ages until I realised I’d have to push my way out.  After all these months of travelling we still haven’t got used to the fact that in a lot of countries people don’t queue, we’d already been stuck in a narrow corridor and in a couple of other awkward places waiting whilst this coach load of mixed Nationalities had pushed past us in what seemed like a never ending wave of people.  When I finally got through the crowd I spied Darren sitting on  seat waiting for me.  We went back into the room a while later when the people moved on.

From there we went in to look round the church.  The stained glass windows cast vivid shafts of light into the building, it was beautiful.

We weren’t really sure what we’d come to look at in Evora so we set off up the road, where we came to a square with a big fountain, a pretty church, lots of shops and  a big traffic jam.  A couple of people hooted their horns once and I said to Darren that  wondered what they thought that would achieve, he then pointed out that if we’d been in Italy ALL the motorists in the queue would have been hooting their horns!  On the way up the hill to the square we’d noticed a sign for a restaurant so we decided to see if we could find it.  We nearly gave up when we couldn’t see it in the road we were walking down or the lane halfway down.  I insisted that we carry on down to the bottom of the road just in case it was down there and that’s where we found it.

The restaurant was in a beautiful building, it had a lovely serene atmosphere, the waiter was very helpful and spoke to us in English which was a great help.  We had a wonderful, relaxed meal and left to continue exploring the town with extremely full stomachs.

We found the Roman ruins, it always amazes me that humans built something that have lasted THAT long, it’s wonderful.  The view from the gardens across the town and over to the distant fields was lovely, our feet were starting to ache by this time so we made our way back through the town to the van, en route we saw another fountain with a big flock of pigeons swooping over and around it and as we walked through little streets we walked through an archway where we passed by  another huge and fancy building hidden away.

We had intended going back to Nono Factory to say hi to the lovely lady there but it was getting late, we were on the other side of town and it was beginning to spit with rain so we carried on back to the van and drove for an hour to the dam near Terena.

It was a lovely place to park, there was a castle up on the hill in the distance to the left of us and in front of us was a huge lake with the dam to the right hand side of us.


There was one car parked here in the huge car park when we arrived but he left a few minutes after we arrived.  We sat and watched the birds swooping across the water, there were a couple of cormorants and two crested grebes fishing in the water (we saw some big fish jumping for a while) and later on when I went out to explore a heron suddenly flew up from the shoreline by the dam wall and as the sun started to set a stork flew over the lake.  What a magical stopover and we were all alone here.  It was VERY quiet, I’d hoped to see lots of stars in the dark sky but it clouded over so no stars tonight.

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