Portugal at last!

We drove into Portugal and immediately noticed the change in architecture and cultivation. Weird! Came to the amazingly pretty town of Ponte de Lima which claims to be the oldest town in Portugal. It has a roman bridge. . well part of it is original… and delightful buildings. Campervans park free by the river and we had a lovely, very inexpensive meal in the local taberna.

Our favourite thing is the sculpture of roman soldiers next to Boris.

On the opposite river bank is a roman general on his white horse.

In 135AD a roman general arrived here… his men thought the river was a legendary river Lethe, and if they crossed it they would lose their memory. The general rode across first and called every soldier by name to prove he had kept his memory! The soldiers are on this side…the white blob is the general on his horse!! This town is so lovely it plays classical music through it’s lamposts! Sad to leave!

Bom tempo para patos!

We can officially confirm that the forest fires are out…. you can stop raining now for a while..  please!!

Thankfully good waterproofs mean the rain doesnt stop us getting out and seeing the sights. And Boris is very cosy😊. The next day we drove to  Viana de Castelo on the coast. There are the remains of a large 500bc celtic village there which sadly was closed!! Also an amazing 1920s neobyzantine basilica (!) high on the hill, a beautiful 16th century old town centre and a restored hospital ship, the Gil Eannes, which was used to support the massive Newfoundland fishing fleets, and was really fascinating. 

Then on to Porto. They have great free parking for campers on the riverbank opposite the city. Just a 2km walk along a lovely riverside boardwalk to the bridge across the river Douro. And back of course. Stunning on a balmy summer day. Fairly stunning in the pouring rain..  and more forecast Friday. We are here until Saturday… please can we gave a dry day then!

We did have great tapas in Jameo’s … including elvers…. a first for both of us.

October 2017 Bimble..  hoping the site will work this time!

Hello!

Last time I tried to write a blog it would not work properly. I am hoping it will work for this trip. Let’s see! (It has taken me a while to sort this out so in the meantime I have been doing facebook posts as a diary. The first few blogs will be a copy of my facebook posts! )

Hooray! Finally we are on a proper Bimble in Boris. We have enjoyed an excellent, smooth 24 hour crossing from Portsmouth to Santander in Northern Spain. We are now encamped in the beautiful Picos de Europa mountains in Galicia. 

It is all the more sweet because we have had a very worrying week. I would like to sing the praises of the NHS! A week ago I found a new lump in the breast where I had cancer. I phoned my Gp who saw me the next day and did a fast track referral to Bournemouth hospital. I was seen 6 days later by 2 doctors. Tests done and results given in 3 hours. And, thankfully, it was just a blocked duct. Needless to say we were extremely happy and grateful.

So after delaying our departure, we were able to rebook our ferry and set sail on Friday evening.

The food on board was lovely, and nice warm weather on arrival.😊 

We ❤ Brittany ferries! 

Happy New Year… Bimbling resolutions…

Anne paddling in the sea in Dorset on New Year's Day
Anne paddling in the sea in Dorset on New Year’s Day
New year 2015 16 paella
Some lovely Spanish warmth at our New Year’s Eve party with friends… well I had to include a food picture!

After a rather grey and damp December, and a brief cold snap we find ourselves in mid-January and wondering when we could do our first Bimble of the year.
Boris is having his MOT and Service as I am writing this, so fingers are firmly crossed (which makes typing tricky) that he will be back tonight fully fit and raring to go.
We have the capability to camp in cold weather. The Webasto diesel heater is brilliant, and the electric blanket on the bed is even better. Chris has discovered that by using the inverter we can even use the electric blanket to prewarm the bed when we are not on electric hookup, so long as the batteries are well charged up. It has a negligible effect on the charge.
We had drained down and cleaned all the tanks in November, and we always bring all the linen and soft furnishings indoors in case of damp, but it has not been a problem so far.
So, we are now thinking of restocking the food cupboard, fitting up the bed and trying a short Bimble next week.

We will also review all our memberships and guides. Our top 3 were:

Britstops – we found the Britstops guide really useful last year. It costs just £25 and provided us with lots of free, and very welcoming stopovers in the UK, so we will renew our membership because it seems only fair to recompense the creators for all their hard work. http://www.Britstops.com

All the Aires – this series of books are great if you are travelling in Europe and help keep costs down dramatically. www.all-the-aires.com 

Camping and Caravanning Club – we have recouped our membership fees by using their discount on cross channel ferries, and making use of the certificated sites. The discounts on club sites also mean we can have one night with lovely showers and washing machines for a very reasonable rate, in the midst of all our free and budget nights. http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk 

So…what are our Bimbling resolutions….
1. To do at least one Bimble – however short – in every month of 2016!
2. To visit at least 3 new countries or off shore locations this year!
3. To work out how this blog can be better organised to provide a list of resources for readers!
Happy New Year everyone x