Monday, September 21, 2009

Good-bye Mainland Portugal

We will be casting our lines on wednesday and heading southeast for the madeira islands. About 510nm, so looking at about a 4 day sail out in the atlantic. The madeiras look small but interesting. And now that we have mastered our 5 words in portuguese were all set.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Peniche, Portugal

Our last of the mainland stops. Peniche a small fishing town about an hour or so north of Lisboa. I guess it's not that small that they don't have hip coffee shops with wifi. Peniche used to be a peninsula with lots of old walls as it past defensive system and near the marina is the peniche fortress. We've ventured around envisioning that kind of monty python medieval stuff going on.

We had an over nite downwind sail from Leixoes and anchored our tired bones outside the breakwater at 4am. We awoke to a Scottish lilt paging us on the VHF. It was our shetlander friends informing us it was safe at the dock. It is a small marina and boats have to raft up 3-4 along side but being there at 8am we tied to the dock (amongst lots of excited girl screaming) and now have two boats attached to us. This could be our last stop with the Linda, Ali and the girls and we sure are going too miss them. We are taking a right turn and they are taking a left (med).

So back tracking a bit....Viana do Castelo

I loved it, we spent a week and had a grand time. It was a lovely old, historic, alley permeated place with lots too see and do. We spent one day zipping up the funicular to a 1940ish St. Lucia Basilica. Wow what a view to the river, sea and town below. We then ventured up behind to the 500BC year pre-roman old citania (old town ruins). We followed a steel walkway over the top of...piles of rock that apparent were houses, bread ovens, toilets...even one of those send in the lions type stadiums.
We had lots of good run arounds, hang out time with the shetlanders, even made it to the international folk festival for some Angolan tunes. A small beach on the river Lima was close by but I'm not sure if our(my) skin has thinned but man was it cold. Kids loved it of course and splashed around with the water wings.
One day we wandered ( i pushed the buggie) out to the praia norte. Alittle more gusty on the coast. There were two cement pools that basically were filled by the ocean. Nyah of course got in until one to many pieces of seaweed hit her in the head...There we met a friendly local man with his two children. As kids do they played and laughed together ours in English and the other in Portuguese. It turned out the dad spoke English and very kindly invited to his town of ponte de lima. So on Tuesday we hopped a bus for the town about 45min inland. Wow was it stiffling hot. We headed to the cafe for a meia de leite (latte), cerveja, agua con gas, called our hosts and Alvina and Sofia came and met with us. We spent a leisurely day walking around the historic town while getting history and Portuguese lingo lessons. The kids had fun at the playground. We meandered across the roman bridge across the picturesque town. Before we knew it we had to catch the bus back to the marina . We said fond farewells, and Alvine owning two local papers ran to the office and gave us a much treasured black and white photo of the bridge and town.

On to Leixoes port town of Pelma de Leca and Matosinhos and metro connection to Porto the second city in Portugal and origin of port. It was a bit of a motor but thats okay charged up the fridge so lots of cold beer for when we got in. I know the shetlanders are starting to wonder if we are stalking them...but we pulled in almost next door in the marina and got the lay of the land.
The marina was next to a huge beach where loads of people were riding the waves ( i know that is probably outdated surfer talk). We spent about a week here. After alittle organizing we managed to locate babysitting at of all places the mall. (norte shopping). So Ali, Linda and us decided to drop off the kids and sight see porto....And somehow it all worked out. The kids loved the idea of daycare (play land) and the adults loved the idea of being kids free for a few (actually 6) hours.
Porto is a hilly historic town with 6 bridges. The metro basically lets you off at the top of the hill and you wander downhill to the river. It happened the day we were there it was an airshow so it seemed the whole of the city was down at the river watching the sights. Once again we nabbed the funicular up hill and found a football/pub open to the public half way up to sit, drink and watch.
We managed to climb the 200something stairs to Igreja and Torre dos Clerigos (oh the things you can do kidfree). In all that we didn't make it for a port time. Back to collect the kids who seemed to be having a great time, although pretty exhausted.
Next day we ventured out to the pristine salt water pools on the ocean. This one had an entry fee but was worth it. The kids splashed about and played in the sand. Rogan had one incident with swallowing a tad bit too much salt water and threw up in the pool....Oops luckily it floated to the far end where no one swam. Sorry unedited version have to run more later and spell check

Monday, September 14, 2009

Viana do Castelo has come and gone ( i stand corrected:) You have to remember I usually write this with two screaming children on top of me)

If only we would have a rainy day...I'm sure I would have more too say. We had an awesome week in Viana. The marina was right in the town so it made access too all very easy. We also were reunited with our fellow cruisers with kids, the shetlanders. The kids seem to have a great time together and we have had many a laugh and a few beers with our new friends.
We have now just spent a week in Leixoes, again two doors down from Ali, Linda and girls. We had a grand time metroing into Porto and watching a bit of the airshow from an outdoor bar on the side of a hill.
Off to Peniche tomorrow, which will be an overnight sail. It's been awhile since we've done that one...where is Colin and Tara when you need them! Honest pictures coming.....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Okay so I have given up on the notion I am going to get better at these updates.
We are in Viana do Castelo, Portugal and loving it. Actually starting to grow algae on the bottom again so Olous wants to get moving. It is a quaint unpolished old town oosing in history. We are off today on a bus trip to Ponte Lima, apparently the oldest town in Portugal.
Well off to do the boat is definetely having a dishwasher.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Farewell Baiona...what a wonderful town. I hope we will be back! Bright sunny day today but a tad cool, no sunning on the foredeck.
Viana do Castelo, Portugal next on the list. Hope too meet our friends from the shetlands with two girls. Only a hop skip and a jump down the coast...I hope. Lets hope those atlantic rollers are more like pancakes today..