After spending time in the national park, I spent some time in beautiful Porto which I loved so much I stayed 3 nights. 70c hot showers next to my park up and the view by the river was so nice. I ended up there sooner than expected, considering I had a dodgy experience in a beach town earlier on the night I arrived. I had been surrounded by a few cars at midnight and felt very uncomfortable even though the place was so chilled and beautiful during the day and I had seen other camper vans around. Around 1am I noticed the guys who parked up, looking into my van and being very peculiar. I had a strong feeling I needed to leave, so while my guard dog lay sleeping on the bed, I holled in the drivers seat, pls on, as the guys stared at me, and drove off. I was followed to two locations until I eventually lost them. I continued to Porto and the rest is history... Or so I thought.
I met a lovely girl in Porto called Lena who had a gypsy caravan and was travelling Portugal for over a year with her dog. We changed loads about life and swapped stories, before I headed off into the douro valley to explore what I had heard was one of the most beautiful regions of the world. And they were right!
Arriving in Souselo, I parked up at a free motorhome area complete with free showers, toilets, electric hook up, water and views to die for. The place was so great that I couldn't leave and ended up there for 4 glorious nights. It helped that I had lots of new van friends and the weather was a least 24 every day.
I met John and Gillie an English couple and their Chihuahua whiskey who parked next to me on Day 2. I spent evening drinking wine and watching movies with them and days, sitting in the sun chatting. John even kindly offered to repair the side of my van which I had damaged a while back. Whilst checking out my van, he spotted a slash in my back tyre and came to the conclusion that, that was the reason I was being followed. I had no idea! Luckily, I mean major lucky, that I have 4 back wheels so I could get away at the time, and hadn't even noticed the issue. John was super nice and put extra security on the van and both of them were so kind to me during those days! I was so grateful.
I met a group of Dutch friends who parked the other side, and ended up on a river walk with them and then taught them all yoga the morning I was leaving. I felt as if I could stay there for weeks and never tire of it. The vineyard walks were lush and the sun beaming down as I relaxed by the van, were just two of the many things I loved. The day I left, the gang helped me get out of my parking spot and up the steep hill which we had watched many fail at, I was terrified of that part. I headed off for Peso do Regua where I stopped at a camper area which had 27 campers by the end of the day and was a payable site for electricity and water which I hadn't known. I got away without paying and managed to get my tyre sorted and brake fluid added whilst in town. Luckily I had been told it was a public holiday the next day. With the van full of diesel, a new tyre fixed and laundry all done, I was ready to head off deeper into the valley to rhe heart of the douro wine region Pinhão. It goes without saying that I am looking forward to whatever van life brings next... The good things obviously