Off into the mountains I go

I stayed at Alfredo’s place for 10 days in the South of Portugal and then, as planned, moved onto my next host. I learnt so much in those 10 days and met some great people. I learnt a bit of Portuguese (and Dutch!), how to look after chickens, a bit about the ins and outs of running a B&B, how to care for guests, and how to prune and care for fruit trees. I also got to see parts of the South of Portugal.

For my next adventure I travelled to the Serra do Açor in Central Portugal. I took the highspeed train (the max speed was approx. 220km/hour) up through Lisbon and ended up in Coimbra. Coimbra (pronounced Kwim-bra) is a beautiful university city that I had only visited before once under stressful circumstances (when we bought the house). Once I made it to Coimbra I wished that I had come up a day early and stayed overnight in a hostel or something and just spent the day exploring the city. It’s definitely worth a visit. Here’s a little piccie from Coimbra:

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From Coimbra I caught a bus to a little village called Moita da Serra where I was to meet my host, Nuno. The bus journey was interesting to say the very least. It followed the beautiful Mondego River, which was great, but the driver was crazy. He must’ve been doing well over the speed limit and took turns very sharply – in a bus – and once, he actually answered the phone and had a 10-minute conversation. I did fear for my life but I thought tumbling down and ‘splashing’ into the Mondego River was a fantastic way to go.

I tried to take a few photos from the bus but they didn’t come out very well (unsurprisingly). Here’s the best one:

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Anyway, after an hour of this, I finally made it to Moita da Serra and nearly fell out of the bus. But I was alive! Nuno is a great host – he looks like he could be Michael Fassbender’s twin brother, but Portuguese. He has a Dutch girlfriend and three great kids, so it’s a crazy but fun household! The oldest of the kids is learning English at school and I can honestly say that I’ve learnt more Portuguese from this 9-year-old in two days than I have in the whole three or so years I’ve been coming to Portugal! So the first few days have been fantastic and I’m really looking forward to what’s to come.

Wouldn’t you when this is your balcony view?:

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