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Port wine tasting, then north towards Spain

Bev did some research of the port lodges and booked tickets for Friday at Ferreira, the oldest lodge and still owned by the Portuguese. We set off in search of an early breakfast at the Vinte Vinte Café then joined our tour at 11am. The English-speaking guide was informative and interesting, taking us from the original house belonging to the Ferreira family through the extensive storage areas and out into the tasting room. Fourth generation Dona Antónia Ferreira, already a widow by the age of 33, inherited the fortune of the well-established wine business and successfully developed it further during the 19th century. We were given three glasses of port and will certainly drink ‘branco’ in future!

Returning to the carpark, we said our fond farewells to Manuel, promising to write positive reviews for this excellent, serviced, secure parking spot. The guys really know how to fit vehicles into the tight, sloping spaces, switching cars and vans around to be sure everyone is comfortable. They watch the place 24 hours a day and there’s a friendly wave as you come and go. We leave Porto mid afternoon, heading for the Picos de Europa as the weather looks to be set fair for the weekend. After filling up with fuel we take the N-103 through a spectacular, but inaccessible by road, mountain range. It’s getting late, quite chilly and we’re still in search of overnight parking. The landscape looks a bit like Scotland with spring only just arriving: heather moorland on granite and large reservoirs for hydro power. Steve, ever the optimist, spots a campsite sign beside the road and, sure enough we drive into one, Parque Campismo Penedones at Montalegre, Vila Real. It’s technically closed at this time of year but OK to park up and phone the guy who collects fees in the morning. There’s showers and hook-up available right in front of the reservoir. After a late start, we’ve still driven 151 km so should make it into Spain tomorrow morning.