Portuguese Hospitality

Wisteria? At the campsite

By Thursday evening last we had arrived over the border in Portugal at a town called Mogadouro and booked into a great municipal campsite. Great means the toilets are clean and the showers are warm and there’s all the camper services.

There’s a Costa here somewhere…

After the rush and bustle of France and Spain, Portugal is a lovely change. Everything slows down and yes that includes the service but what’s your hurry? I spent 15 lovely minutes with the receptionist who was having a difficult time with the computer as she tried and tried again to check us in. But she still found time to marvel that we had come all the way from Ireland. And to ask us if we were enjoying our stay. And all this in English!

The castle

We slept very well that night and decided to stay the next day to wander the very hilly town. We visited the castle and the cafe and the supermarket where we found more Portuguese hospitality.

The post boxes are red…

I was making dinner that night and needed crème fraiche but I couldn’t find it. Denis suggested I ask someone… but he didn’t volunteer. While I was giving him the look – you know the one that says I don’t need your advice – the lady who was stocking the shelves nearby said something in Portuguese to me. She couldn’t be offering to help could she? She was!

And so are the fire engines

I mentioned the crème fraiche with an expression of you probably don’t have it, sure it’s French, what was I thinking, no worries, I’ll use cream or maybe yoghurt. But guess what? She found it! I was so grateful and this is the thing that keeps happening in Portugal… it doesn’t matter that we don’t speak the language, we get each other! She smiled and put a hand to my arm, like, it’s ok I got your back!


Well I’m not ashamed to admit, there was a tear in my eye. It was not just crème fraiche, Denis!