Drive along the Douro River

Trip Start Mar 01, 2014
Trip End Apr 05, 2014

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Monday, March 31, 2014

It is raining and not too hard, but a good day for a drive along the River Douro. A heritage highway/road  follows the River through its ups and downs, around and arounds, for miles. We were told to just go and turn around when you wanted to come home. Great directions.

Starting out is always easy. I am the girl that asks "how is our gas"? "No problem we have 241 km. to go!" "Do we have a map?" "No we are just going on this Route 108", o'kay, off we go.....

The route is incredible, up, down, around, curving through small villages, forests, gardens, vineyards, wide open spaces but always on our right is this beautiful river sometimes at eye level other times so far down we can hardly see it! I hope some of you get to see this view. Each turn in the road is better than the other and no photo will do it justice. The shoreline is luscious and looks like a sponge from above, ready to soak up all of the water.

It is here I realize that a River Cruise would be exceptional. On the River in a boat you would feel like a "dinky toy" looking up at these hills on both sides. It would be incredible, especially when it is harvest season, colours would blaze in these hills.

As we are travelling en route Tony and I notice that no one is out. The odd fishing boat is on the River. We did see Vendor's Carts  selling "lamprhina's" this is the wrong spelling I know, but what they are - the ugly eels I have previously mentioned.

I noticed our gas getting a little low after an hours drive and I overload my thoughts thinking we will not have enough to get back, maybe it was time to turn around. How did we make the mistake, en route one road, straight, turning around we all of a sudden say to each other "I do not recognize anything!" We were heading inland, hysterical as in laughter, maybe that was me with regard to gas, but we keep hoping for a major road. Finally another hour later we see "108", I begin to chill...out. We were in the middle of nowhere and what are you supposed to do when you road trip...... bring a map and have gas in your I said it could have been worse.
The River is now on our left, whew......

En route back we see people everywhere, we see many pop up vans selling market items. They are selling storage potatoes, onions, new oranges, lemons, flowers and baked goods.Tony remembers reading about special cookies of the region and he stops...sixteen light fluffy cookies later, Tony is a happy guy. He also stopped and picked up some wine,  a special wine of the region is purchased, made here. Before we go to dinner we will have this treat. By the way I do not like those all, Tony is In heaven.

YEP that is Mateus! A full bottle of lightly sparkled rose. Made here and somehow it does not taste so bad, maybe all of us who had this in the '70's did not appreciate a Rose! We had some laughs. Now if I could only find a candle to put in it, one that drips all over......

Arriving back at the Pousada,  three and a half hours later, I am thankful for some time before dinner. Tony heads to the pool for another swim and I catch up on news from sister Carrie is recuperating well after knee surgery, my cousin Jane is engaged. Our family is growing first Emma and Ken and now Jane and Jordan. Celebrations of life continuing.

Dinner was very nice. I will go into detail and I know I have been holding back. Food is important to me, love eating, love cooking and love sharing meals with others. Tonight we sat in our special room, the Turret, at our little corner, and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. Our cocktail was a concoction of crushed pineapple, vanilla syrup and a rose Port. Heaven. Our appetizers were beef carpaccio, melt in your mouth and Tony had a Shrimp and wild mushroom cocktail, heavenly, wild mushrooms are in season. Above the clouds was my veal sirloin roast and Tony's beef with peppercorn sauce. We cannot do dessert yet again.

We walk outside before heading up to our room, it is not raining, right now.....
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Debbie on

From the sound of it a river cruise would be amazing, especially at harvest time. You are seeing so much, not to mention the eating and drinking.

Karen on

I have a candle, I think I even have one with the drips!
I'm taking the pics to show the chefs, I think our amuse bouche should look like that. Beautiful presentation.

Murray Green on

Sounds wonderful. How is Tony's diet ?

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