Olive Oil and Wine Tasting

(The road north)

We have travelled a long way since Castro Marim and the Algarve and we’ve seen huge changes in the countryside. This eastern area of Portugal is not as well know as the west or the south but it is truly spectacular. We’ve been speeding through it (not actually breaking any speed limits…) and it deserves much more time and attention.

(Getting closer to the clouds)

Our next stop was the small town of Freixo da Numão which promised wine tasting and olive oil but no mention of the amazing views on route. The E802 road runs up the east of Portugal and it’s mostly free with amazing countryside views. From time to time you can see little villages or vineyards perched impossibly on a hill side. Or there are enormous rocks like giant’s playthings just strewn around.

(Can you see the road below?)

The sat-nav directed us off the main road with no indication we were about to go up into the clouds. As we wound round and round the hillside we got higher and higher every now and then able to see the road we’d just been on far, far below us. I was torn between awe and frozen fear. Meanwhile the locals thought we were driving too slowly and kept overtaking us on winding bends with sheer drops.

(Shaded seating in the center of Freixo de Numão)

Eventually we reached the top and the town. Parking for the night was beside a sports ground surrounded by wild red poppy plants. Wine tasting would be happening in the evening, there was work to be done first. I had a plan bubbling away inside my head about compiling the trip’s blogs into an ebook and Denis was busy with client work.

(That’s a barrel of port)

At six-thirty there was noise outside, the time had arrived to taste the wine. We followed the other campers to a shed under the sports stands. Our host had little barrels of port, boxes of wine, olives and olive oil. The other campers were French and Belgian and our host had lived in France for a few years so French was the common language.

(The olives were amazing)

We were a little out of our depth but Denis bravely tried the wine and even the port. I tasted the olives and they were so good I found a way to purchase them in French. I also accidentally purchased 5 litres of olive oil… the precise volume required getting lost in translation.

Anyone for a share in my olive oil barrel? Mairead.

(Freixo de Numão: Parking €5 includes electricity and water. Small shop and bakery about 15 minutes walk down the hill. Wine tasting each evening around 7pm)