Easy day today (Day 8)

So its currently day 8, ive been on the road for over a week now and today im just going to take it easy. Ive got to get to Viana do Castelo for the evening of the 10th and its only a days ride away so theres no rush.

Im staying in a lovely campsite which i think was an old vineyard as all the stone supporting collumns are still standing. Its literally on the side of a mountain so everything is on different levels with a steep curvy road linking them all. And theres a river running through the valley below, im working up the courage to nadando but i bet its bloody freezing and all the drains nearby probably empty into it too.

Its an odd place, deserted, half finished. I cant work out if its new and the work is just not completed (theres piles of bricks and building materials around) or if its old but they are “renovating” or its just not had its quiet season maintenance finished yet. Also the guy who owns it, very nice m an with reasonable english but sounds like a member of the Italian mafia, is it his job? Or an evening thing? Yesterday he cant have earnt more than 30 euroes, is that enough to survive?

I think its a bit like what i saw in Spain. People, number one are in no rush to do anything, number two are not bothered if a job is actually finished or not (let alone the standard of the job) and number three just dont have much pride in the place. Though saying that for a converted vineyard run by and old couple everything is reasonably clean and works, and for 7€ a night im not complaining.

Actually maybe one complaint. Toilet seats. You find them everywhere in England, mostly on the actual toilets but im sure there are whole shops devoted to selling them too. Not the case in mainland Europe so far. France was god aweful, just holes or small minature seatless contraptions that were NOT comfy to sit on but squatting while having a poo is an exercise in quadracept endurance. Spain and Portugal have the classic washdown closet that we all know and love, just no seats, so either sit on something that is firstly the wrong shape and too big, and secondly is a bit closer than one would like and leads to terrible splashback. There is also the toilet paper issue, which is either non existant (a la France, dont even have holders so either you carry around a bog roll all day or well…. doesnt bear thinking about) or in the case of Portugal you cant flush it and have to pile it up next to you in a bin that definitely does not have an air tight seal.

Now i may sound spoilt saying all this, but in actual fact im just getting on with the trip and dealing with these things all just fine. If i can write on here and winge about it, it makes me feel much better. And its all part of the spirit of this adventure.

Finally a disclaimer. I think people like honesty (im certain teachers prefered the “sorry i havent done my homework, i just didnt do it” to the blatant lies “i did most of it but got stuck on the last question and went to see steven hawking about it and he took it to space by accident and its now on its way to juipter sorry”) and i quite enjoy being honest. Certainly its far easier to write this and just say what im thinking (and considering i spend all day stuck with just me for company in my head i do alot of thinking) rather than making sure everything i say can be read by little brothers and grandparents. So sorry about the poo and the rapist references but i think they will just keep on coming (but hopefully not the rapists themselves).


3 thoughts on “Easy day today (Day 8)

  1. alex – sam left your blog up on my computer and now I'm hooked. Its the 16th and no update! Hope all is well with you and that your trip is proving to be a success! makes very good reading and I'm supposed to be working…take care jane (sam wards mum)

  2. alexHave only just now managed to work out how to post a comment.Ae you ok? I presume you have met up with the bikers and/or your mobile has run out of battery?Keep up the blog, I love it!Daddy xxx

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