Warm hugs from the south…

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(Our car park tonight is just around the corner from this beach)

We’ve moved again further into Portugal… just a little bit. To a town called Viana do Castelo, less than 100km north of Porto. There was a temptation to just keep going to that beautiful city but I’m glad we didn’t, we have yet again found a magical spot. The weather is definitely onside too as it’s 18℃ with a cooling breeze. Before you get too envious, rain and thunder storms are forecast all over Portugal for the next ten days…probably no snow though – sorry about that.

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(And there’s the boardwalk)

Portugal is different. We never get used to that. Each time we get here we are struck by the differences. Yesterday I mentioned the hospitality and convenience of eating establishments. So I’ve made a list of some differences we’ve experienced in the last two days…

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(And sunset tonight)

The biggest difference is the people, they are friendly and interested and want to help us. They help us pay for goods with our coins… for some reason they prefer coins to notes so even if we think we don’t have enough to pay they help us count up all our small coins and usually it is enough! They speak English, happily. Or French, happily. They provide beautiful places for us to stay, free of charge. They like selling coffee, there’s so many cafes and the coffee is so good and so cheap you’ll wonder how they could all make a living. And we’ve learned not to judge a book by the exterior of the cafe… it doesn’t matter what the outside looks like the coffee and natas (pastry filled with custard and then caramelised) inside will be heavenly.

Keep warm, everybody, Mairead.