Trip Start Apr 10, 2010
Trip End Apr 10, 2011

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Flag of Portugal  , Alentejo,
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jarez, or "Warez" as we love to call it here, was another little gem on the border of Spain and Portugal. A little walled town with white boxey houses surrounding, not one, not two, but 5 extravagant churches. It looked like a catholic mini-Manhattan. But who could complain?
We parked on a sideways slope that at times felt like we would tip over. We couldn't believe that we even got into to town really, the roads were flippin’ narrow and the level of traffic for such a confined area was bleeding absurd!
Nice churches though. This area seems to have a knack for having beautiful blue glazed tiles on their towers. They also have a knack for making you cough up euros if you want to look on the inside… Lets just say, the outside was beautiful enough for the likes of us…

Later on we zoomed off and out again escaping the threatening black clouds building up, and soon we were in Portugal (Country #25 on our trip). As always the land changed instantly and suddenly we were in flatter lands with vast “Barragems” or dams that filled enormous areas.
We have a book inherited from Bigwig’s last owners that has a list of 'Aire du services’ in Portugal, and we had noticed a park where you could camp right next to a castle’s wall. Little did we realize though was the park had an amazing vista of all the land around, including the barragems. So awesome.

It turned out to be one of the best parks of the entire trip. Monseraz has beautiful white houses with high walls and staggering views. What was spooky though were these life-size Christmas mannequins throughout the entire town. It was like medusa had wandered through the town petrifying everyone.
A cool part of the town was the castle. They had converted it (not surprisingly) into a bull ring. But the unpleasantness of that whole mess was kind of covered by the town-wide speaker system playing Christmas carols. Which was eerie really, because there wasn’t a soul around, just these weird Christmas mannequins in the streets.

While parked in our awesome park we made friends with a crazy black cat. In fact the entire night it haunted the van. That damn cat ate 4 of our eggs, a can of tuna, and a big puddle of mayonnaise. We can’t help but feel a little bit manipulated. Like we’ve been grifted by a gypsy. A gypsy cat Jena named “Vegemite”.
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