Roadtrip with Alfredo to Douro Valley

Trip Start May 05, 2011
Trip End Aug 10, 2011

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Flag of Portugal  , Porto,
Sunday, July 3, 2011

What a beautiful drive, very windy roads to get to the valley and about 60 - 80kms by road but spectacular views along the way - had to do heaps of photo stops.

Headed off in Alberto's car about 9am and drove as far as a little town called Pinhao... lots to see and do on the way. Alberto is a very enthusiastic tour guide with a quirky sense of humour and a contagious 'giggle'! Richard wished he watched the road a bit more during some of his commentary! He assured us he has never had an accident ....

On the trip we saw a cruise boat (and others) going through one of the lochs.. we stopped to watch .. very interesting and quite the attraction! We were just some of many spectators watching the water levels drop maybe 20m or so, then the gate open and the boats do through.

The terraced vineyards and the river were gorgeous, around every corner it seemed to get more beautiful.

Lunch was another adventure... Alberto took us to a little restaurant and recommended some of the regional specials ... Richard opted for chicken but i decided to go with the recommendation of a local meat 'stew' (half serve only)............... my god, it was a huge plate of meat and veg - 3 or 4 types of sausage, veal, chicken, pork, ham and the best bit - pigs ear!!! Thought I should at least taste it - not my favourite - chewed on a bit of ear cartilage, say no more! The rest went in a doggy bag to take home to the dog... i am sure he enjoyed it!

We stopped for a port wine tasting at a lovely winery which had a hotel attached to it, also a fabulous function venue for weddings etc - a long room surrounded by wine vats.... gorgeous! Not bad port either, bought a bottle to take home.

Also had a look at this very posh hotel overlooking the Douro River & Valley, had coffee on their terrace and enjoyed the views.

Made it back to Alberto's in time to feed the animals (and us) before heading out again to another beautiful little village nearby.. Here the boys used the free wifi, we had a lovely evening stroll, i tasted some egg pastries famous in the region (yuk- had to spit it out!!) and on the drive home we saw a mother and 2 baby badgers on the road.. soooo cute.
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