Leaving Sao Joaõ da Pesqueira the following morning we returned to the Douro valley to follow the river valley west towards Peso da Regua. Along the way we passed the massive lock which lifts/drops river-going vessels about 100 feet enabling them to navigate the river from Porto at its mouth up as far as Pinhao. We watched one of the large river cruisers pass through the lock and got some childish amusement from watching passengers sunbathing on the top deck dive for cover as the boat passed under the vertical lock gate and water cascaded down on them from above.
We stopped for lunch at Peso da Regua before moving on to Amarante where we had an unfortunate coming together with the walls of a lane which turned out to be just about a centimetre narrower than the van. It ended up in one of those situations where no matter whether you go forwards or backwards you know that it’s going to be expensive. Bugger!
The campsite we’d intended to use in Amarante turned out to be closed until mid-June so we ended up parking on a market site alongside the River Tamega which turned out to be a good base for exploring the town. An evening meal in a local bar watching the first half of a very indifferent Europa Cup Final between Chelsea and Arsenal in Baku helped to restore a certain amount of soporific calm after the day’s frustrations. We weren’t entirely sure whether FARTURAS was a comment on the day’s frustrations, a summary of the football match or a local delicacy, but eventually decided that it was probably all three.